'This Has Changed Everything': San Francisco Commuters Review the $2.2B Salesforce Transit Center - NBC Bay Area

'This Has Changed Everything': San Francisco Commuters Review the $2.2B Salesforce Transit Center

With the fanfare from its grand opening now over, the Transit Center begins its real job: serving thousands of people on their commutes and lunch breaks

What Do Commuters Think of the Salesforce Transit Center?

Two weeks after its heavily attended grand opening, San Francisco's new Salesforce Transit Center is still packed — only now, it's packed with people waiting for buses.

(Published Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018)

What to Know

  • The Salesforce Transit Center has been called the world's most expensive bus station, with train service still at least a decade away

  • A rooftop park spanning four city blocks is open to the public, and brings green space to a neighborhood that had almost none before

  • The Transit Center will add retail in 2019, including a Philz Coffee downstairs and a sit-down restaurant nestled amid the trees upstairs

Two weeks after its heavily attended grand opening, San Francisco's new Salesforce Transit Center is still packed — only now, it's packed with people waiting for buses.

"It used to be the best kept secret, the transbay bus," said commuter Michelle Ward as she waited to board an AC Transit bus to Oakland. "Now, it seems the word is out, and lines are long."

Bus service is currently the only mode of transportation offered at the Transit Center. Though it sits on top of a two-story concrete box ready to handle double-decker trains bound for Silicon Valley and eventually Los Angeles, it will be at least ten years before a tunnel can be built beneath city streets, connecting the Transit Center to the current Caltrain depot at 4th and King Streets. Transbay Transit: Then & NowTransbay Transit: Then & Now

Though critics have called it a "$2 billion bus station" and "the most expensive bus terminal in the history of mankind," those who live in the growing neighborhood of steel-and-glass high rises surrounding the Transit Center say it's much more than that. The public rooftop park, spanning four city blocks, brings an oasis of green space to a part of the city that previously had almost none. Take a Tour of the New $2.2B Salesforce Transit Center in San FranciscoTake a Tour of the New $2.2B Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco

"It's a complete transformation of the entire neighborhood," said Julie Hwang, who lives nearby. "Completely changes the character."

We went for a tour of the Salesforce Transit Center, including the parts that aren't open yet — and talked to commuters about whether the world's most expensive bus station is making their daily travels better. Watch the video above to see what we found — and explore the 360 photos below to take your own tour!

The Grand Hall is the main entrance to the Salesforce Transit Center. Public art adorns the floor and the windows above, as you walk under the giant skylight. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
The structure supporting the skylight in the Grand Hall goes all the way down to the basement, bringing daylight to what planners hope will one day be a bustling train station. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Two stories beneath the Transit Center, the “train box” has room for six tracks surrounding three platforms — but right now, it’s just a concrete box, while planners search for funding to extend Caltrain and finish California’s high speed rail project. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Though there are no trains yet, transit planners say they’ve saved tax dollars by making the Transit Center “rail ready.” This is the spot where tracks could one day curve southward under 2nd Street to connect with today’s existing Caltrain tracks. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
With no trains yet, the $2 billion Transit Center has been called the world’s most expensive bus terminal. But commuters say they love the clean, covered platforms where buses arrive on a dedicated ramp from the Bay Bridge, instead of congested streets. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
For many, the highlight of the Transit Center will be its sprawling rooftop park, spanning 4 city blocks, in a neighborhood that was sorely lacking green space. BlackRock, IBM, Slack, Trulia and Deloitte are just a few of the offices with park views. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
Far more than just open space, Salesforce Park has a packed schedule of vendors and free programs keeping it lively. Yoga, art, books, games, hot dogs and beer are among the initial offerings. Planners say activities help keep the park safe and clean. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

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