Project Advances to Engineering Phase with Medium-High Project Rating 

CONTACT: Lily Madjus Wu, (415) 949-9500 (cell),  

TJPA PRESS RELEASE: This press release was published by the TJPA. View the original press release here.

Today, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), along with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, California Senator Scott Wiener, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed joined partners and supporters to celebrate the federal government’s funding commitment of $3.4 billion to The Portal. This funding commitment along with $500 million in the Biden-Harris Administration’s FY2025 Budget Proposal, a medium-high rating and entry into the Engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, provides the project with two-thirds of the total cost.  The Portal, also known as the Downtown Rail Extension project, will extend Caltrain’s rail system to the multimodal Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco and ultimately bring the statewide California High-Speed Rail system into its northern terminus, connecting 11 transit systems in the Bay Area.

“From the start, TJPA’s world-class Transit Center has represented the best product of a strong, thriving public-private partnership and a model for the nation of smart, sustainable design,” Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said.  “Today, we celebrated major milestones at the Transit Center in our decades-long effort to bring electrified rail service into the heart of San Francisco.  The Portal’s construction will make it easier for commuters to get to work, for shoppers to support our local businesses and for communities to stay connected, while reducing our City’s carbon footprint.  Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, we are taking major steps toward a truly multimodal transportation network in our City.”

“This funding represents a huge leap toward the vibrant transportation system San Francisco needs to thrive in the coming years,” said California Senator Scott Wiener. “By connecting downtown San Francisco with the broader region and the state, this project will help secure a future of prosperity and progress on our climate goals. We will keep pushing to secure The Portal’s remaining funds and to complete the statewide High-Speed Rail system to ensure maximum impact. This exciting progress would be impossible without the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, Speaker Emerita Pelosi, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and the Department of Transportation. I offer them my sincere thanks.”

“Our work to build the future of Downtown San Francisco and transportation in the Bay Area and California got a huge boost with this major investment from our federal government,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “The Portal will unlock and unite Bay Area rail connections from the South Bay to San Francisco, by bringing Caltrain all the way to the heart of our downtown, all while laying the groundwork to bring High Speed Rail to the heart of our city. I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration, Speaker Emerita Pelosi, and the US Dept of Transportation for their leadership and vision to invest in this transformative project.”

“The TJPA, along with its partners, has been working diligently over the last two years to get The Portal into the Engineering phase, a key step in advancing the project toward federal funding.  This $3.4 billion federal commitment represents a giant leap forward in our longstanding effort to connect Silicon Valley and the entire peninsula with 11 transit operators in the heart of downtown San Francisco,” said Jeff Gee, Chair of the TJPA Board of Directors.  “With Caltrain service going fully electric this fall, we are all aboard to better connect our communities with clean, safe, and sustainable transit.”

“We are grateful for the FTA’s strong funding partnership to deliver The Portal, which will help realize the project’s extensive regional, statewide and national benefits,” said San Francisco County Transportation Authority Chair Rafael Mandelman. “These federal funds build upon San Francisco's investment in the project, accelerating our shared vision for electrified rail service to the region's premier transit hub at Salesforce Transit Center.”

“This $3.4 billion federal commitment will provide The Portal the funds necessary to put local tradespeople to work building sustainable long-term infrastructure for generations to come, and connecting tens of thousands of people every day,” said Rudy Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of the SF Building & Construction Trades Council. “Investing in infrastructure is truly the best economic multiplier for our community and region, and the building and construction trades unions and our partners are ready to roll up our sleeves and help get The Portal delivered.”

The CIG program provides funding for large transit project investments such as new and expanded rail service.  The Portal is one of just 18 projects nationwide in the New Starts program that funds new projects or extensions to existing fixed guideway systems with a total estimated capital cost of $300 million or more. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes an historic $23 billion over five-years for the CIG program. Acceptance of The Portal into the Engineering phase of the CIG program is the second step of the three-part process. The Portal was first accepted into the Project Development phase of the CIG program in December 2021.

The Portal has completed all environmental reviews, received a medium high rating (only two of 60 CIG projects nationally scored higher), and was recommended by the Biden-Harris Administration for an advance appropriation of $500 million, one of only seven such recommendations for FY2025. The federal funding commitment of $3.4 billion, together with existing local funds committed and budgeted for the project (including Regional Measure 3, sales tax measures Proposition K and L and tax increment funds) brings The Portal to over two-thirds funded.

The Portal’s entry to Engineering is key for TJPA to continue developing design and advance the project with additional pre-award authority including pre-construction activities, and secure full local share commitments prior to FTA approval of a Full Funding Grant Agreement.

The Portal connects two major federal investments in the Bay Area: the two-level trainbox beneath the Transit Center built with $400 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Funds and Caltrain electrification, which just reached substantial completion and is expected to launch this Fall with all new electric trains.

To complete the funding for The Portal, funds will need to be assembled from local, regional, state and federal non-CIG sources. The TJPA is working with partners from all levels of government to close the funding gap and is focused on obtaining regional funding along with state funds through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Delivery of The Portal will complete the Transbay Program by extending Caltrain’s system from its current terminus at Fourth and King Streets into the multimodal Transit Center in downtown San Francisco, fulfilling the voter mandate of Proposition H in 1999. The Portal will also serve as the northern terminus for California High-Speed Rail and unlocks the potential for a future conventional gauge Transbay rail connection through downtown San Francisco.

The benefits of The Portal extend far beyond San Francisco, bringing an estimated 90,000 average daily riders into the multimodal Transit Center where they can easily transfer across 11 different public transit providers serving the entire Bay Area. The Portal is one of the most efficient projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, vehicle-miles traveled and climate change impacts in Northern California and will create an estimated 69,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

For more information about the FTA’s CIG program, visit

Photo renderings of the future concourse and train platform levels at the Transit Center (courtesy of the TJPA) is found here


About the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA): 

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) is charged with delivering The Transbay Program, a visionary transportation and housing project that has transformed downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional transportation system by creating a world class transportation hub in the heart of a new neighborhood. The TJPA has completed two of the three components of the Program by replacing the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets in San Francisco with a modern regional transit hub, the Salesforce Transit Center, and creating a transit-oriented neighborhood with 15,000 new residents, shops and open-space. The TJPA is working to complete the Program by delivering the third and final component of the Program, the Downtown Rail Extension, also known as The Portal, which will extend Caltrain and ultimately, California High-Speed Rail service from 4th and King streets to the Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco. As the owner and operator of the multimodal Salesforce Transit Center, TJPA connects nine-Bay Area transit systems and provides free activities on the public Rooftop Park, Salesforce Park. The name of the Salesforce Transit Center and Salesforce Park is the result of a naming rights agreement with that helps fund the Center’s operating costs.