Throwback Thursday: Old Transbay Terminal

Old Transbay Terminal
The Old Transbay Terminal in the 1940s.

As issues are ironed out to get the new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center up and running, we take a look back at the old Transbay Terminal facility that operated for seven decades

With the completion of the Bay Bridge in 1936, East Bay commuters had a way to get to San Francisco that didn't involve a ferry. Rails were put on the bottom deck of the new span, while automobiles used the top. The rails provided a new way for East Bay workers to get to San Francisco. 

The original Transbay Terminal opened in 1939 at First and Mission streets and served as the end point for thousands of those East Bay commuters traveling by trains via the Key System and other rail service. In the mid 1940s, the terminal served 26 million passengers annually.

But by the late 1950s the popularity of cars surged, while trains were in decline. Rails came off the bridge and in 1959 the terminal switched to being exclusively a bus depot. It continued in that role until it was closed and demolished in 2010.








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