USD 3.4 billion for rail project in San Francisco

The PortalThe Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), in San Francisco, California, along with the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, announced a USD 3.4 billion federal funding for The Portal project also known as Downtown Rail Extension (DTX).

This funding commitment along with USD 500 million in the Biden-Harris Administration’s FY2025 budget proposal, a medium-high rating and entry into the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) programme, provides the project with two-thirds of the total cost.

“We celebrate major milestones at the Transit Center in our decades-long effort to bring electrified rail service into the heart of San Francisco. The Portal’s construction will make it easier for commuters to get to work, for shoppers to support our local businesses and for communities to stay connected, while reducing our City’s carbon footprint,” Nancy Pelosi said.

The Downtown Rail Extension project will extend Caltrain’s rail system to the multimodal Salesforce Transit Centre in downtown San Francisco and ultimately bring the statewide California high-speed rail system into its northern terminus, connecting 11 transit systems in the Bay Area.

“Our work to build the future of Downtown San Francisco and transportation in the Bay Area and California got a huge boost with this major investment from our federal government. The Portal will unlock and unite Bay Area rail connections from the South Bay to San Francisco, by bringing Caltrain all the way to the heart of our downtown, all while laying the groundwork to bring High Speed Rail to the heart of our city,” San Francisco Mayor said.

The TJPA has completed the 30% design of Downtown Rail Extension (DTX), which has an anticipated revenue service date of 2032, funding dependent. The Portal has completed all environmental reviews, received a medium high rating, and was recommended by the Biden-Harris Administration for an advance appropriation of USD 500 million, one of only seven such recommendations for FY2025. The latest federal funding commitment together with existing local funds committed and budgeted for the project brings The Portal to over two-thirds funded.

The Portal connects two major federal investments in the Bay Area including the two-level trainbox beneath the Transit Centre built with USD 400 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Funds and Caltrain electrification, which just reached substantial completion and is expected to launch this autumn with all new electric trains.

The benefits of The Portal extend far beyond San Francisco, bringing an estimated 90,000 average daily passengers into the multimodal Transit Centre where they can easily transfer across 11 different public transit providers serving the entire Bay Area. The Portal is one of the most efficient projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, vehicle-km travelled and climate change impacts in Northern California and will create an estimated 69,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

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