The Transbay Joint Powers Authority today closed on a $171 million federal loan in what government officials are calling a significant funding milestone for San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center Project.

The new Transbay Transit Center will replace the current Transbay Terminal and accommodate nine Bay Area transportation systems under one roof, according to transit officials.

The project, which broke ground on the temporary terminal in December 2008, consists of three parts: replacing the outdated Transbay Terminal with a modern transit hub; extending the Caltrain rail line into the city’s Financial District; and redeveloping the area surrounding the Transbay Transit Center into a residential neighborhood.

The loan came from Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which provides federal loans for national and federal transportation projects, and will fund 14 percent of the $1.2 billion Phase I capital costs to build the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, according to transit officials.

“This is a very important milestone that brings our collective vision of the Transbay Transit Center one step closer to reality,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority has also applied for $400 million in federal stimulus funds to build the below grade train levels of the Transit Center, transit officials said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said today the loan for construction of the Transbay Transit Center will generate thousands of jobs in California.

“This project will create thousands of jobs at a time when the state unemployment rate is 12.4 percent and more than two million Californians are out of work,” Feinstein said in a statement.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood applauded the premise for the new Transbay Transit Center, saying the facility will make daily commutes and longer trips easier and faster.

“This project truly represents a model in providing a seamless, interconnected system that combines transportation options at one location,” LaHood said in a prepared statement.
The total cost of the project is about $4 billion.

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