New $6.7 billion price tag makes Caltrain’s SF extension among costliest in the world

By Eliyahu Kamisher, The Mercury News, January 23, 2023

“Preparations for the final 1.3-mile leg — pushing trains to the city’s Salesforce Tower — are finally picking up speed after decades of on-and-off planning. But there’s one major hurdle: a new $6.7 billion price tag.

“ ‘This is a generational investment in our climate, mobility and economic future for California. This is not extending a commuter rail one mile,’ said Adam Van De Water, executive director of the [Transbay Joint Powers Authority]. Instead, he said, Bay Area residents should view the mega project as a linchpin for a climate-friendly future by uniting high-speed rail, bus and BART at San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center.

“For Caltrain and The Portal, the other issue is convincing the federal government that it is worthwhile to invest in a transit service and downtown area that is oriented around commuters who have shifted to working from home.

“Tom Radulovich, a former BART board president and long-time advocate for the extension, said the region needs to think past high sticker prices and fund infrastructure that will be used for generations to come.

“ ‘This one is truly transformative,’ he said. ‘We have an obligation to be a good ancestor.’ ”

Read the full article here. (~4 min., paywall)

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