San Francisco Downtown Rail Extension federal funding request advances

In December, the San Francisco Downtown Rail Extension project, which will connect Caltrain and eventually High Speed Rail service to the Salesforce Transit Center, reached an important milestone on the path toward federal funding.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has accepted the project’s entry into the major federal funding program for big capital projects, the federal Capital Investment Grants program.  This keeps the project on a timeline to submit the Full Funding Grant request by 2023, and to secure the commitment for federal funding in 2025, for project completion estimated for 2031.

The progress in the federal funding queue comes at a time when there are large sums of transit capital funding on the way.  The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed in November includes $23 billion over five-years for the CIG program.  The federal funding for DTX will be complemented by local, regional, and state sources.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority reported that passing this milestone allows the project to incur costs during the federal grant application period, for activities such as engineering and design, planning, utility relocation, and real estate acquisition – and for these costs to count against the TJPA’s local match for the project.

Also in December, the TJPA board selected Adam Van de Water  to the position of Executive Director of the TJPA.  Prior to a three year interlude leading economic development for the City of Livermore, Van De Water had previously spent 17 years working for the City of San Francisco, most notably leading the Golden State Warriors area and mixed use development project in Mission Bay.