You know what San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wants? He wants the new California High Speed Rail System to make tracks all the way up to the new Transbay Terminal near Mission Street instead of having the rails end around the CalTrain Station on King Street. Says our Mayor, who is right now this moment learning all about high speed rail on the scene in Paris, France:
“We’re not going to build a $2 billion bus station under my watch.”
Well, that says it all.
Click to expand:
François Lacôte, SVP at French conglomerate (and BART train maker!) Alstom Transport, and our globetrotting First Couple, Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, today trainspotting in France. Via the Mayor’s Office of Communications.
And you know who would agree with Gavin? Dave Snyder, Transportation Policy Director at San Francisco Planning + Urban Research (SPUR). He thinks the voter-approved high-speed rail should “reach right into the heart of San Francisco, even if it costs more than… [nibbles right pinky ] one billion dollars.”
What will it appear like? Here’s an idea on the YouTube: San Francisco Transbay Transit Center Animation. Complete with intra- and inter-city rail, it’s just like a small version of Toyko Station. They want you to think of it as the Grand Central Station of the West(TM).
More deets after the jump
WHILE TOURING FRENCH HIGH SPEED RAIL SYSTEM, MAYOR NEWSOM CALLS FOR
BRINGING HIGH SPEED RAIL TO TRANSBAY TERMINAL
Mayor Newsom urges leadership of Transbay Terminal Development Project to
Include High Speed Rail as a requirement of Phase One of the project
PARIS, FRANCE – Mayor Gavin Newsom used his tour of the French high speed
rail system (TGV) to make a public commitment to ensuring that California’s
future high speed rail system and Caltrain come to downtown San Francisco.
California’s high speed rail system, approved by voters this past November,
will link the State by rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco. However,
the plan for the system is currently uncertain as to whether or not the
high speed trains would actually terminate in the new Transbay Terminal in
downtown San Francisco. Today Mayor Newsom forcefully stated that the
first phase of the Transbay Terminal redevelopment must include a ‘train
box’ underneath the terminal to host the northern terminus of high speed
rail, as well as an extension of Caltrain.
“Since the onset of this project, I have been committed to the grand vision
of Transbay, including high speed rail, a downtown extension for Caltrain
and the visionary multi-use terminal itself,” Mayor Newsom explained.
“Including the rail box as part of the terminal construction is necessary
for this grand vision to be realized.”
To date, discussions at the Transbay Joint Powers Board, which oversees
development of the Transbay Terminal, have considered building the first
phase of the new Transbay Terminal without the train box, and coming back
later to excavate under the terminal and build for high speed rail only if
subsequent funding materializes. Today Mayor Newsom took a strong position
against that idea, suggesting that the Transbay Joint Powers Board should
not move forward construction of the new transit center until funding is
secured for the inclusion of high speed rail and it is fully integrated
into the first phase of the project.
“We’re not going to build a $2 billion bus station under my watch,” said
Under this plan, the Transbay Terminal would be a multi-modal transit hub
and northern terminus of California high speed rail, and would connect high
speed rail to Caltrain, BART, Muni and several regional bus lines. Mayor
Newsom explained the importance of this linkage: “High speed rail is a
game changer in California, but only if it connects the downtown transit
hubs of the two largest metro areas in the State. Building a high speed
rail route that stops short of downtown San Francisco equates to building a
major highway that ends before it reaches a city.”
The Mayor identified the Transbay Terminal as a textbook example of the
type of infrastructure project that Federal stimulus and recovery funding
should be funding.
“The Transbay Terminal is the first rail facility built from the ground up
in 70 years and it will revolutionize our transportation system by
increasing environmentally friendly transportation options. It will also
create over 2,600 good paying construction jobs in the first phase of
construction. It’s just the kind of infrastructure project we need to get
the country back on track.”
At today’s event in Paris, TGV officials provided Mayor Newsom with an
in-depth briefing on the history, construction, and operation of the TGV
System, and a “first-hand” opportunity to ride the TGV and see its
operations up close.