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Visualisation of public transport terminal

Connecting commuters with the “Grand Central Station of the West”

When completed, the Transbay Transit Center will be the biggest intermodal center west of New York City.

The new Transit Center will accommodate more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and up to 45 million people per year.


In 1939, San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal was built at First and Mission Streets. The terminal served East Bay trains crossing the newly opened Bay Bridge, and provided a direct rail connection between San Francisco and the East Bay, central Contra Costa County, and the state capital of Sacramento. By the end of World War II, the terminal was serving about 26 million people per year.

In 1958, the lower level of the Bay Bridge became cars-only, and the intermodal Transbay Terminal was converted to serve only buses. The terminal was damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

Ten years later, San Francisco voters approved to extend Caltrain 1.3 miles underground to a new intermodal Transbay Transit Center. The Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) would save commuters about an hour a day in travel time, and would accommodate future high-speed rail service from Los Angeles to San Francisco.


In 2004, Mott MacDonald was retained by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority on the program management team for the design, construction, testing, and start-up of the DTX. Our role is expected to continue until 2018.

The DTX combines the use of mined and cut-and-cover tunnels with open-cut construction. A new subsurface station will be built near Fourth and Townsend Streets and the existing surface station at Fourth and King will be modified.

Mott MacDonald's specific duties include the following:

  • Monitoring design consultants’ progress in terms of budget and schedule
  • Overseeing design development
  • Reviewing design deliverables for technical content, accuracy, and constructability
  • Analyzing contract procurement methods
  • Developing deliverables including project cost estimate, contract packaging strategy and design criteria

Mott MacDonald is also reviewing design submittals for the Transit Center building to ensure the proper coordination of structural, rail, and systems interfaces between the rail and terminal projects.


The DTX is expected to reduce the number of commuter vehicles by thousands, resulting in $360 million in travel time savings, $120 million in avoided costs of vehicle operation and maintenance, and more than $20 million in safety-related benefits.

When completed, the Transbay Transit Center, sometimes called the “Grand Central Station of the West,” will be the biggest intermodal center west of New York City. It will link 11 transit systems, including Amtrak, Greyhound, Muni Metro, and Bay Area rapid transit (BART).

The new transit center will accommodate more than 100,000 passengers each weekday and up to 45 million people per year.

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