Planning for accessibility improvements and new stations in Southeast SF

The City of San Francisco and Caltrain are planning for new stations and station access improvements in Southeast San Francisco. 

  • Accessibility ramps could be installed at 22nd street in a few years if there was money for it (and there are potential funding sources)
  • A new infill station could be built in the Bayview at Evans, Oakdale, or Williams
  • In the longer term 22nd street station could be rebuilt and replaced nearby, at Potrero/Dogpatch locations at Mariposa, or 22nd, or Cesar Chavez.

Staff explained this timeline and the choices at a presentation hosted by Friends of Caltrain, Streets for People, and San Francisco Transit Riders on Monday, November 8.

The study results will be coming to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority in January. If you use Caltrain in southeast San Francisco, read on, and then share your thoughts with the city (instructions at the end).

Bayview station options need more community feedback

There were several locations discussed for an infill station in the Bayview area. Oakdale and Williams are central to the Bayview neighborhood and transit connections, but are challenging to meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Evans location is less accessible to the neighborhood and is vulnerable to sea level rise.  

An infill station has long been in the city’s plans since the Paul Ave station, which had infrequent service, was closed in 2005. The Bayview infill station plans don’t depend on other rail line changes, so a Bayview station could be built long before the 22nd street replacement if there is funding – and the region is about to have much more capital funding from recent federal legislation.

With Caltrain’s equity policies supporting initiatives to make Caltrain more affordable and accessible, a Bayview station seems promising.  So far, the city’s outreach activities have not yet gotten feedback from many neighborhood residents, so the city plans to do more outreach before making recommendations


22nd street replacement station options in Dogpatch/Potrero hampered by the 280 freeway

The question of whether and where to rebuild the 22nd street station, with it’s grim location under the highway 280 overpass, has been sparked by the project to grade separate the busy intersection of 16th and 7th streets by extending the train tunnel coming from the downtown extension of the tracks to the Salesforce Transbay station. 

However, the Pennsylvania Avenue Extension grade separation tunnel option, and all of the replacement station options, are hampered by the existence of the freeway segment, as called out in attendee comments at the event on November 8th. 

In the study last decade covering alternatives for the Caltrain railyard and the grade separation options, a proposal to take down the stub end of Highway 280 was removed from consideration following objections from car-supporting neighbors.  The constraint to maintain the highway segment contributed to a multi-billion dollar tunnel grade separation design.  And the station study shows that keeping the highway also poses design challenges that will make replacement stations costly, technically challenging to build, and difficult to access. 

Jon Bate of co-hosting organization Streets for People suggested that the decision to keep the highway segment be reconsidered, which could open the door for more attractive, accessible station options and lower cost grade separation options. 

Near-term feasible option for 22nd street access ramps

At the request of Supervisor Walton in 2020, Caltrain studied accessibility options for 22nd Street Station, which is currently accessible only via several flights of stairs. The study found that there are feasible options for ramps, which could be implemented if there was funding.  San Francisco CTA will make the decision about whether to prioritize funding for the project. 

Share your thoughts with the City

The results of the study will be presented to the SFCTA in January.  You can share your thoughts in writing to the study team at ​​ CPC.SERSS@sfgov.org, and feel free to send us a copy at friends@friendsofcaltrain.com. We’ll post when the agenda comes to the SFCTA.

For more information on the study, the slides from the event are here, and the recording from the event is here including the q&a.  The standard presentation recording is here in English, Spanish and Cantonese.   www.sfplanning.org./SERSS