After Salesforce Transit Center's closure, commuters nonplussed by return to temporary terminal

Fremont Street remains closed under the Salesforce Transit Center. | Photos: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on September 28, 2018.

Since 2010, the Temporary Transbay Terminal at Howard and Main streets has served transbay commuters awaiting the opening of the permanent Salesforce Transit Center.

Now, a month into the transit center's debut, commuters are being sent back to the temporary location — but they aren't particularly concerned about the impact on their commutes. 

Hoodline visited the Temporary Transbay Terminal yesterday afternoon to talk to commuters about their experiences since the $2.26 billion Salesforce Transit Center closed on Tuesday afternoon, after workers found a crack in a steel beam on its third-level bus deck. A fissure on a second beam was subsequently found, and officials have said that impacts will continue at least through next week.

A number of buses have been rerouted, including lines from Muni, AC Transit, WestCAT, SamTrans, Amtrak, Golden Gate Transit and Greyhound. But the commuters Hoodline spoke with had few complaints.

Chi, who did not share his last name, was waiting for the WestCAT. He said that he has been going back to his previous bus stop.

"It's not much different than a month ago," he said. 

Rian Q., who was gearing up to board Muni's 82X-Levi Plaza Express, was also nonplussed. He said it wasn't difficult for him to find the new location to get on his bus — since it was exactly where it stopped before.

Rider Yolanda C., who was waiting for AC Transit's NX3 transbay bus, called the whole situation around the steel beam crack "comical."

Yolanda, who works across the street, first learned about the reroutes when she saw that buses were approaching the temporary terminal again, she explained.

She said it was easy for her to locate the new pickup spot for her bus, since she is familiar with the area — though she imagined it could be harder for those who aren't.

Another rider, who requested to remain anonymous as she awaited her 25-Treasure Island Muni bus, first found out about the closure when she walked into the Salesforce Transit Center, "but there was nothing there," she said. On her way out, staff directed her to her temporary stop.

She said that she is now waiting for her bus at the same location as she did before the new station opened — a bus shelter across the street from the temporary terminal at Beale and Folsom streets.

In a statement, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) said on Wednesday that the agency will conduct additional ultrasonic testing to determine the extent of the damage. Officials also asked engineers and contractors to develop a plan to relieve loading on the beams, to prevent further damage.

The TJPA's first priority is to reopen Fremont Street as soon as safely possible, prior to resuming bus operations at the Salesforce Transit Center. We'll keep you updated on when the buses will return. 

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