The Portal project celebrates $3.38 billion in Federal Transit Administration funding

The Portal
Joey Kotfica

Officials gathered Monday at the Salesforce Transit Center to celebrate $3.38 billion in funding from Federal Transit Administration for work on The Portal, which brings the project to two-thirds funded.

The Portal
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi tours The Portal on Monday.
Joey Kotfica

The Portal, also known as the Downtown Rail Extension project, is a transformational infrastructure investment, delivering on the decades-long promise of bringing communities closer, reducing climate change impacts, and providing Bay Area residents with better access to jobs, housing, and economic opportunities.

The Portal will extend Caltrain service from Fourth and King Street and ultimately, the California High-Speed Rail system to the Salesforce Transit Center, in the heart of downtown San Francisco and connect 11 transit systems.

The Portal
Joey Kotfica

The project has been over 30 years in the making as part of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority’s (TJPA) vision to deliver seamless transportation service through its multimodal six-level transit hub, the Salesforce Transit Center, in downtown San Francisco. 

The 1.3-mile rail extension (1.95 miles of total construction length) will be constructed principally below grade using cut-and-cover and mined tunneling methods underneath Townsend and Second Streets. The project includes an underground station at Fourth and Townsend streets along with the Salesforce Transit Center's basement levels, six structures for emergency exit, and ventilation along the alignment, utility relocation, and rail systems work.

The already built two-level trainbox will serve as the Lower Concourse, and Train Platform levels when The Portal is complete.

The Lower Concourse will house rail ticketing, passenger waiting areas, and support spaces. At its east end, it will connect to the intercity bus terminal and a pedestrian tunnel leading to the Embarcadero BART/Muni station, approximately one block north of the Transit Center. Along with ticketing and passenger waiting areas for rail and support spaces, the Lower Concourse will contain retail space.

The Train Platform will contain six tracks and three platforms for Caltrain commuter and high-speed rail service. Back-of-house support spaces will also be built on the Train Platform level to support rail service.

MTC is a major funder of the Salesforce Transit Center, providing more than $360 million for the $2.3 billion project.

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