A demolition team took a wrecking ball to San Francisco’s old Transbay Terminal for the first time today as work continued on a new downtown transit center.

The wrecking ball thudded into the facade of the former bus terminal at First and Mission streets this morning, marking “an exciting milestone in our demolition efforts,” Transbay Joint Powers Authority Chairman Nathaniel Ford said in a statement.

Demolition on the terminal’s bus ramps, roof and other areas has already been completed. The wrecking ball will be used for the next few months.

Ford, also the executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said the demolition work was on schedule.

The $4 billion Transbay Transit Center will replace the old bus terminal with a modern transit hub connecting 11 transportation systems, including AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, Muni, SamTrans, Amtrak and the future high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The new transit center is expected to open in 2017. In the meantime, a temporary bus terminal is located at Beale and Howard streets.

Ari Burack, Bay City News

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