BAY AREA

TRANSPORTATION

WORKING GROUP

Caltrain Downtown Extension

When Caltrain is extended into San Francisco's new Transbay Transit Center (TTC) it will be in the heart of the San Francisco Financial District, adjacent to 10,000 units of new transit-oriented housing and linked conveniently to the Market Street subways and over 40 bus lines. As such, it will be a boon to San Francisco, the Peninsula and the Region. Here is why this extension is so important:


When completed the new TTC will be a spacious, airy and comfortable facility, modern in every way. Because of serving so many transit lines, the TTC will generate tens of thousands of new trip opportunities for Bay Area bus and train riders. Extending Caltrain is central to the success of the TTC.


San Francisco's Muni is the Bay Area's largest public transit system. Despite the complaints about it, Muni serves over 700,000 riders a day. That's 700,000 riders that take the place of 700,000 automobile trips. However most of Muni's 75 lines are street running. That means that when the streets are crowded, the effectiveness of Muni's buses and surface rail vehicles drops. The only reason Muni functions as well as it does is because, unlike most other American cities, the auto access from outside San Francisco County is limited. Limited that is from the North (only 4 incoming highway lanes), from the East (only 5 incoming traffic lanes) and West (Pacific Ocean). That leaves the South. From the South it is not so protected. On the contrary from the South 18 northbound highway and arterial lanes dump no less than 280,000 incoming automobiles a day onto San Francisco streets. Extending Caltrain will provide a fast, convenient and generally classy alternative way of accessing San Francisco.


In order to reduce congestion in San Francisco and throughout the Region it is necessary for the Region's transportation systems to work better. That means better transit connections everywhere. Extending Caltrain will create a major new point of Westbay connections. Extending Caltrain will clearly demonstrate the usefulness of creating efficient and effective points of transfer between lines.