Transbay Transit Center Aerial Tram



Opening Soon: Transbay Transit Center Aerial Tram

Ropes for the Transbay Transit Center aerial lift was in the process of being strung and installed this week. Once complete, the ropeway will connect a public park (at the top) and a public plaza (at the bottom). Photo by CUP.

The San Francisco Transbay development is one of the largest civic and transport projects in the history of the Bay City. Spread over several city blocks and costing $2.3 billion, the redevelopment scheme is anchored by the iconic 61-storey (326m) Salesforce Tower and the 457m long Transbay Transit Center (also known as the Salesforce Transit Center).

The $1.1 billion skyscraper was inaugurated in January 2018 while the transport hub is scheduled to open in June. Dubbed by some as the “Grand Central Station of the West”, the new 5-storey transit node will offer passengers with an improved rider experience and enhanced transport connections throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Park level map with the aerial tram circled in red. Screenshot from San Francisco Chronicle.

Cross section of Transbay Transit Center. Image from TJPA.

As part of the station’s initial phase, a mini aerial tram system (45m in length with 21m of vertical) is currently being constructed to connect a ground level public plaza to a 5.4 acre public park atop the Transbay Transit Center.

The single cabin ropeway is designed to not only facilitate access to the two public spaces, but to also act as an “architectural link” which attracts the attention of users passing-by at the pedestrian level. The system is currently in the final stages of construction before it is inaugurated this summer.

20-person cabin being hoisted and positioned for installation this week. Photo by Jim Fletcher.

Cabin lowered and position into place at the bottom station. Photo by Jim Fletcher.

In the future, when passengers hop onboard the aerial system, they will have access to restaurants, cafes, playgrounds and an outdoor amphitheatre at the rooftop park. The Transbay Transit Center Aerial Tram won’t be the only link to the greenspace as there are several vertical connections (i.e. escalators and elevators) placed throughout the 300m long linear park.

Unlike the City’s heritage cable cars and the BART to OAK line, the Bay Area’s newest rope-driven line won’t function as an integral part of the region’s transport network. Nevertheless, the new aerial tram will offer the terminal’s estimated 45 million annual passengers with a unique and complementary transport experience.

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