Subject: Golden Opportunity for Early Link 21 Action
The purpose of this letter is to ask that your two Boards and the Link 21 team become champions of linking the Salesforce Transit Center to Market Street and the Embarcadero Station via a subsurface moving-ramp pedestrian connection.
At the September 9, 2021 BART Board meeting your Link 21 Team made an excellent presentation outlining its progress to date. During the meeting there was much enthusiasm expressed by all concerned for developing a truly integrated rail and bus network such as those commonly found in other advanced countries.
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The State Rail Plan of 2018, MTC’s Plan Bay Area 2050, the Bay Council, SPUR, ACTC and many other groups are calling for such a system to serve the Greater Bay Area and/or the entire northern California mega-region.
One of the advantages of closing some of these service gaps early is that it would give people the chance to recognize and understand the value of a truly world class integrated passenger rail system.
One major connection is “out in front” and could be completed much sooner than a new transbay rail crossing could be up and running. The idea of connecting the mezzanine level of the Salesforce Transit Center to Market Street and the Market Street subways via subsurface moving walkways has been a part of the DTX project for almost two decades.
Yet last Thursday, with little discussion and no knowledge of the effect on bus and rail ridership of its action, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority removed this vital 843 foot pedestrian link from the project without fanfare. Unless one is regionally-oriented, the extreme importance of closely connecting regional and intercity rail lines to facilitate fast and efficient transfers does not seem to register.
Suffice to say, a fast and convenient pedestrian connection that tied the many rail and bus lines on and under Market Street with Caltrain, eventually HSR and the over 40 bus lines serving the Salesforce Transit Center would create the most significant nexus of rail and bus systems in the Western United States. A positive response from your Boards and Link 21 Team regarding the importance of placing a high priority on activating this connection could be pivotal.