San Francisco Tunnel Project Balloons in Cost

The plan to extend a Caltrain line to the Salesforce Transit Center is now expected to cost $6.7 billion as the agency faces a budget shortfall for its electrification project.

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January 25, 2023, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


A new cost projection for a 1.3 mile section of tunnel in San Francisco is 34 percent higher than a 2015 estimate, reports Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive. The $6.7 billion project would extend the Caltrain commuter train to the downtown Salesforce Transit Center, which opened in 2018 to much anticipation and serves as the city’s primary bus hub.

According to Zukowski, “The Caltrain rail line is also designated as the future route of the California high-speed rail project to San Francisco. But the cost of connecting the high-speed line being built in the Central Valley to the Caltrain line was estimated last year at $19 billion, and there is no funding currently available.” Meanwhile, Governor Newsom’s proposed 2023-2024 budget cuts $2 billion from transit and rail spending, and Caltrain’s plan to shift away from fossil fuel-powered to electrified trains is facing funding challenges.

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