Linking Muni, Caltrain in southeast S.F. could cost as much as $396 million 

click to enlarge Circumventing the Recology recycling and waste center on Beatty Road figures in all of the SFCTA’s proposals. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Circumventing the Recology recycling and waste center on Beatty Road figures in all of the SFCTA’s proposals.

For years, neighborhood advocates have clamored for transportation upgrades in the Bayview and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.

Muni’s T-Third Street line, added in 2007 to improve access to the communities, does not connect with Caltrain’s isolated Bayshore station, and there are no convenient east-west transit options in the area.

But solutions are being developed, and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority recently released a draft report detailing the costs of proposed transit alternatives for the community.

Planned improvements in The City’s southeast neighborhoods, which include an extension of the T-Third Street train and a new Bus Rapid Transit line, could cost as much as $396 million.

The $396 million plan would include tunneling beneath the Recology recycling center and waste-transfer station on Beatty Road for a bus rapid-transit line — a system of heavy-duty vehicles traveling on grade-separated traffic lanes. That alternative would also include extending the T-Third Street line to connect with the Bayshore Caltrain station. The platform of the Caltrain station would be moved 150 feet south for better connectivity, revamping the depot as a multiagency site.

A second option, at $335 million, would have the bus rapid-transit vehicles travel over the waste facility via an aerial system. The cheapest option, at $298 million, would have the Bus Rapid Transit vehicles travel around the Recology site via Geneva Avenue.

Federal and state funding sources are being pursued for the project, authority planner Chester Fung said, although none have been identified yet. Fung said private-public investment partnerships, such as the mechanism funding the Doyle Drive rebuild project, could also be pursued. Private donors might be interested in the project as well, said he added.

The Bayshore station report will be presented for review next month to an authority committee. The next step in the project is a feasibility study of the bus rapid-transit line, which would provide a crucial east-west link between the Bayshore Caltrain station and the Balboa Park BART station, Fung said. Eventually a preferred alternative would be selected, followed by subsequent environmental tests.

One of the main questions regarding the rebuilt Bayshore station is how many people would use it. While the Hunters Point development is still going forward, other local projects, including a housing plan at the Schlage Lock factory, are suspended indefinitely after  the elimination of local redevelopment agencies, according to Kelley Kahn of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

Fung said the authority hasn’t set a timeline for the Bayshore station project since so much depends on neighboring development trends.

“We’re going to continue to move forward with studies on this project,” Fung said. “But there is a lot of uncertainty about the developments proposed nearby.”

Fran Martin, a Visitacion Valley resident, said a new Bayshore station is vital for the community.

“We feel it could be one of the most important transportation hubs in The City,” Martin said.

Cost alternatives for Bayshore station

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is studying a variety of proposals for new transit options in the southeast corner of The City.                    

Under waste site Over waste site Around waste site
Station cost $52 million
$52 million
$58 million
Related costs $344 million
$283 million
$44 million
Total costs $396 million
$335 million
$298 million

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Will Reisman

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