November 4, 2009

Temporary Transbay Terminal Cam And Construction Update

Transbay Terminal Contruction Cam: 11/4/09

From the first building in June, to the first palm in August, construction on the Temporary Transbay Terminal keeps chugging along (although a bit behind schedule).

Greyhound could be on the scene by the end of this year with other operators making the move in the first quarter of 2010. And once again, that overpass is slated to be all the way down around April.

Temporary Transbay Bus Terminal: First Prefab Buildings Placed [SocketSite]
Washingtonia Robusta Now Arriving At Howard And Main [SocketSite]
As Seen On The Temporary Transbay Terminal Construction Cam [SocketSite]

First Published: November 4, 2009 10:45 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Transbay is scheduled for demolition in February... so not much longer.

Posted by: anon at November 4, 2009 10:54 AM

So much hype for a bus depot. Who uses these buses, commuters from East Bay? Isn't that what BART is for?

Posted by: lolcat_94123 at November 4, 2009 11:21 AM

You can use a bus to commute?

Posted by: Tall Guy at November 4, 2009 11:26 AM

One obvious user would be people commuting from the north bay, where BART does not run.

Posted by: rr at November 4, 2009 11:36 AM

Commuters from the East Bay (BART is slower than the Transbay buses from many places, and the buses are much nicer - Wifi, comfy seats, don't kill your ears with wheel squeal, etc), commuters from Marin, commuters from San Mateo County.

Posted by: anon at November 4, 2009 11:36 AM

what's a bus?
Is that one of the wheely things?
I thought everyone commuted by jet pack and chauffeured gyrocopter.

Posted by: hmmm at November 4, 2009 11:38 AM

The transbay express buses are *much* nicer than bart, if you live in an area where that makes sense. Years ago, my wife used to casual carpool into the city, then take an express bus home -- the buses used to feed right onto the bridge, avoiding the awful ramp traffic.

Posted by: dub dub at November 4, 2009 11:45 AM

What are all the homeless people that currently call the Transbay Terminal home going to do? I'm not even kidding - that place is a de facto homeless shelter, day & night. It doesn't like like this new Temporary Transbay Terminal will offer the shelter that the current one does. Are they just going to scatter to the surrounding area, or is there any sort of plan to relocate them to an ACTUAL homeless shelter when the current Transbay Terminal shuts down?

Posted by: The Drizzler at November 4, 2009 11:50 AM

Yes, the homeless will all be moved to an adjacent structure which is currently vacant known as Millenium Tower.

Posted by: OneEyedMan at November 4, 2009 12:01 PM

I think it's maybe 12-13K people on AC Transit transbay buses which is probably the largest number of people, and then there's Golden Gate transit, SamTrans, and Greyhound. Also does Amtrak come here? (since Amtrak doesn't run trains to SF?) Some of the Muni buses terminate here as well, of course.

As someone mentioned, some of the East Bay express buses are more convenient, since they serve areas that aren't very close to BART. BART generally runs along old rail right-of-ways and freeway medians, and there are plenty of folks who live in places like the Oakland Hills that aren't well-served by it.

Posted by: sfrenegade at November 4, 2009 12:10 PM

What's the latest on the design? Still planning on the elevated park and 90-story tower?

Posted by: Snark17 at November 4, 2009 12:11 PM

"And once again, that overpass is slated [to] be all the way down around April."

Good riddance! Can you say eyesore?

The irony of course is that the centerpiece of this new neighborhood is the only thing moving forward what with the current state of the economy/access to credit, etc...

Posted by: RinconHill_Res at November 4, 2009 12:30 PM

"Hmmmm", that's so 2005.

The disease ridden bust depot that currently exists cannot come down fast enough. It is a fun exercise to see if you can walk under the entire length while holding your breath though.

Posted by: JB at November 4, 2009 12:37 PM

@ The Drizzler,

Hopefully the homeless people will all be given tickets on the last bus to leave the current terminal. Destination: Ohio.

Posted by: sacdomc at November 4, 2009 1:11 PM

Won't Ohio in the winter be so nice for them.

Posted by: sparky-b at November 4, 2009 1:49 PM

"What's the latest on the design? Still planning on the elevated park and 90-story tower?"

Good question Snark17!

I think the plan is in trouble. Not only the renewed issue of where to stop the train, but the economy.

The state for this year is now in about 7 billion in debt. More next year. Frankly I see this high-speed train being delayed.

Where does that put the park and tower?

I can only speak to the tower - a 90 story office tower simple does not pencil out. The developer will take a bath. Same with a 90 story condo tower.

My guess is the actual Transbay development will be much, much scaled back by the time it finally gets built.

Posted by: Gil at November 4, 2009 1:52 PM

Happy to see the progress ... happier to be able to use that side of Main Street's sidewalk again to walk home. My champagne is ready to open on the day the eastern Transbay overpasses are demolished in 2010. :)

Posted by: jamie at November 4, 2009 2:05 PM

Those shelter roofs aren't going to do squat on a rainy day with a bit of wind. Or is there a plan to wrap three sides in plastic?

OTOH, rainy days seem to be few and far between.

Posted by: Delancey at November 4, 2009 2:18 PM

The state for this year is now in about 7 billion in debt

Not sure what you mean here, Gil. Do you mean a seven billion dollar deficit in this year's budget? Because the state is much, much more than $7 billion in debt (even most states less than a tenth of California's size have that piddly amount of debt). The city of SF has more than $7 billion in debt.

If the state had only $7 billion in debt, we could go hog wild building three HSR systems without any federal funding and not have to worry much.

Posted by: anon at November 4, 2009 2:25 PM

Who cares about the terminal. What's the status on the Tower!

Posted by: rufus at November 4, 2009 2:44 PM

"Because the state is much, much more than $7 billion in debt"

This is since the compromise reached last summer to balance the budget for this year. It is unbalanced already. Moreso next year.

Delaying HSR will be part of the fallout. BTW, part of the solution - tax more - just went into effect Nov 1. You will notice it in your fisrt paycheck this month.

TI is also in trouble. The Navy isn't just going to hand it over to SF for a song. Pelosi tried to get that through Congress a few weeks back but the Washington Times caught on and helped defeat the effort. They are going to be watching this closely.

TI was a sweatheart deal for TPTB - the no bid contract and all. The "elites" stood to make a bundle because the government was essentially giving them some of the most expensive real estate in America for a song.

Without the "giveaway" of the land by the Navy, the TI project is dead IMO. I couldn't be happier about that.

[Editor's Note: Treasure Island: We Have A Plan, So Can't We Just Have The Land?]

Posted by: Gil at November 4, 2009 2:50 PM

90 story tower and park? They are mutually exclusive. After the new (bus-only) TBT is built, the temporary terminal turns into a park. The "90 story tower" won't be on that site--it's going to built elsewhere (1st and mission)?

Posted by: Mikey at November 4, 2009 3:38 PM

How long do you think that's going to take, Mikey?

I have a feeling that the "temporary" bus terminal won't turn into a park for quite sometime...three to four years from now. I love this city, but the governing body of this city takes so damn long to do things!

Talk about a site for sore eyes for the Infinity residence. Were the Infinity residence allowed to protest this temporary terminal before it was decided?

Posted by: Wharton at November 4, 2009 4:14 PM

^It's supposed to not be a park for something like six or seven years.

[Editor's Note: Transbay Park Potential: Post-Temporary Transbay Terminal (Et Al.)]

Posted by: anon at November 4, 2009 4:28 PM

If everything goes according to plan (yeah right) the temporary terminal will cease operations in 2015.

Meantime I am curious to see how much of a cluster jam is created by the temporary terminal and Folsom street becoming a 2-way.

Posted by: anon at November 4, 2009 4:44 PM

It's coming up quick. I'm impressed with their progress.

It's going to be one massive traffic jam though!

Posted by: Financial Samurai at November 4, 2009 7:05 PM

The residence in the area are going to hate this in the next six to seven (possibly eight) years. The constant rumbling and honking of the buses...homeless loitering the area...increase in traffic on Folsom...

Posted by: Wharton at November 4, 2009 10:22 PM

I suspect the main problem that Transbay JPA might get noise about from my neighbors is extended idling by buses parked along Main or Folsom. They're supposed to limit idling to no more than 3 minutes, if I remember right. Every day, you can see MUNI buses lining up along Davis Street between California and Sacramento around 3pm or a little later that sit there with engines idling for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or even longer.

I'm hopeful the 2-way traffic on Folsom will slow cars down a bit .. make it safer for pedestrians, just maybe. However, there's also a good chance of private cars following buses heading west on Folsom beyond Fremont ...

Folks were predicting all hell was going to break loose when that parking lot was eliminated on the site of the temporary terminal because they said those drivers would be driving around in circles looking for parking.... whatever, never happened.

Maybe the bus activity on Folsom/Main will discourage drivers from trying to do the end run around the back up of cars on 1st by whipping around Folsom to Main to Harrison ... that'd be good for pedestrians too!

Posted by: jamie at November 4, 2009 10:51 PM

It's the middle of the city--I don't think anyone bought around there thinking it was going to be a quiet oasis--that's what the suburbs are.

I live at the Infinity, and I, for one, am glad something is happening around here. The temporary terminal is a big improvement over the POS buildings and parking lot that was there before (which, BTW--was infested with homeless).

I'm surprised by the nimbyism-by-proxy of the peanut gallery here.

Posted by: Mikey at November 5, 2009 9:22 AM

"Were the Infinity residence allowed to protest this temporary terminal before it was decided?"

The site of the temporary terminal was set before the infinity towers were ever conceived.

Posted by: intheknow@yahoo.com at November 5, 2009 9:46 AM

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