Bay Area/ Oakland/ Transportation & Infrastructure
Published on July 25, 2019
Transbay buses set return date to Salesforce Transit CenterPhoto: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

A month and a half after the official reopening of the Salesforce Transit Center, transbay bus service is finally returning.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) announced that its buses will return to the Transit Center's bus deck on Sunday, August 11. Until then, AC Transit will continue to operate out of the Temporary Transbay Terminal, about a five-minute walk from the Transit Center.

AC Transit is the first operator to announce its return to the Transit Center's third-floor bus deck, which forced the then-new, $2.26 billion project to close for nine months. Fissures that were found in its steel support beams have since been repaired.

"Our engineering staff members observed installation, monitored physical inspections, reviewed girder fabrication, design stresses and inspection reports of the girders at Fremont and First streets," AC Transit general manager Michael Hursh said in a statement.

"This comprehensive analysis was the foundation I needed to assure that our bus operators, service employees, mechanics, and road supervisors are indeed safely working."

AC Transit will share the bus deck with buses from Westcat Lynx and Greyhound, as well as Muni's 25-Treasure Island line.

Return dates for those agencies have yet to be announced, but Muni's other lines, as well as Golden Gate Transit buses, returned to the Transit Center's bus plaza on July 13. 

The Salesforce Transit Center's bus deck, last August. | Photo: Nikki Collister/Hoodline

The month-and-a-half delay in AC Transit's return to the bus deck is related to the reinstallation of interior finishes — including columns, posts, floors, walls, and ceiling treatments — and the retraining of drivers. 

Given that AC Transit will resume service to the bus deck on a weekend, riders should keep in mind that the operating hours and the frequency of Transbay bus lines are limited on Sundays. The full complement of 26 Transbay lines and four Early Bird Express lines won't begin serving the Transit Center until the following day, Monday, August 12.

Transbay riders will likely be eager for the resumption of service, which cuts time spent on the bus by allowing buses to directly enter the bus deck from the freeway, bypassing rush-hour traffic into San Francisco. 

A map of the bus deck, with AC Transit bus bays in dark green. | Image: Via AC Transit

The return of AC Transit to the Salesforce Transit Center also restores an adjacent Bus Storage Facility (BSF), built to house buses for AC Transit during weekday off-peak hours when they are not transporting riders between San Francisco and the East Bay.

The facility includes an administrative building for office, storage, and restroom facilities, with a bus link ramp connecting the BSF and the bus ramp to the Transit Center.