Transbay Joint Powers Authority Closes on Loan for San Francisco Transit Center Project

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) has closed on a $171 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the Transbay Transit Center Project in San Francisco.

The loan will fund 14 percent of the project's $1.2 billion Phase I capital costs to build the new center. The project is funded through local, state, and federal funding sources.

"This is a very important milestone that brings our collective vision of the Transbay Transit Center one step closer to reality," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "With this funding today and positive news later this winter on our stimulus money request, we can begin actual construction on this critical project and begin creating thousands of jobs."

The $171 million TIFIA loan also paves the way for the next increment of funding for the train box. TJPA has applied for $400 million in federal economic stimulus funds to build the below-grade train levels of the transit center as a part of the first phase of construction. Announcement of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding is expected this winter.

TIFIA was established to create a Federal credit program for eligible transportation projects of national or regional significance under which the US Department of Transportation may provide three forms of credit assistance - secured (direct) loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit. Implementation of the TIFIA program is the responsibility of the Secretary of Transportation.

A letter of interest was submitted by the TJPA to the DOT in October 2003, and the application was submitted in October 2008. The loan was recommended by the credit council in Washington, D.C., for unanimous approval in September 2009 and approved by the TJPA Board of Directors in December 2009.

The Transbay Transit Center Project will replace the current Transbay Terminal with a new, multi-modal transportation center and centralize the region's transportation network by accommodating nine transportation systems under one roof. There are three components of the project: replacing the old terminal with a new transit hub, extending the Caltrain rail line 1.3 miles into the heart of the financial district, and redeveloping the area surrounding the new transit center with homes, parks, and a retail main street.

The project broke ground on a temporary terminal in December 2008, and demolition of the current bus terminal is scheduled for spring 2010. The total cost of the project is $4 billion.