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How to Connect Caltrain to Transbay Terminal Now

Caltrain’s 4th and King streets Station. Photo: Soul of America

After seven years of construction, San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal is a $2 billion bus station, disconnected from Caltrain’s northernmost, 4th & King Street Station by a 1.3-mile gap. Caltrain doesn’t intend to close that gap for another ten years, when a still-unfunded tunnel designed to share with California High Speed Rail trains is expected to open.

In an August 30 letter to The Daily Journal entitled “Connect the hubs“, Millbrae resident Stanford Horn pitched an interim all-rail solution that could be finished within a year: construct Muni light rail tracks from the Caltrain station to the Transbay Terminal for three blocks on Townsend Street and four blocks on Beale Street. Today the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) runs the 10-Townsend bus route in between the two stations every eight minutes at peak hours, charging a fare of $2.25 one-way.

“To dress things up, a circus-like tent should be constructed above the two tracks, so transferring Peninsula passengers will be shielded from the weather,” wrote Horn. “The attractiveness to Peninsula commuters, versus a 10-year wait, should be priceless.”

Neither Muni nor Caltrain has responded to the proposal.