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Temporary Transbay Terminal Operations Delayed

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Temporary Transbay Terminal that we’ve watched rise out of what used to be a parking lot with a couple of commercial buildings over the past year or so will not begin operations until the late spring 2010. The delay is primarily due to funding uncertainties for the main Transbay Transit Center and the so-called “train box” that would require another $400 million to build in Phase I (saving money overall versus digging and building the underground train box later in Phase II).

The Transbay JPA applied for a $400 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for high-speed rail back in October. A decision on awarding those funds has been delayed. Harming the Transbay JPA’s chances is the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s sudden urge to consider other alternative terminus points in San Francisco other than the Transbay Transit Center despite the voter’s 2008 mandate that a $10 billion bond could be issued only for a high-speed rail line that terminates at the Transbay Terminal site. Without “shovel ready” work to do (while the California High-Speed Rail Authority fools around with alternative terminus location bologna), it harms the chances of the Transbay JPA to win the $400 million. This chance at $400 million from the Federal Government is a one-time opportunity – a chance for California to create hundreds of jobs and to get back some of the surplus federal tax dollars our state contributes every year. The CHSRA is gambling with a lot of our lives with their sudden indecision.

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