Bayshore Intermodal Station Access Study | FAQ


What is the Bayshore Intermodal Station Access Study, and why is it being undertaken?

The Bayshore Intermodal Station Access Study is an effort to build community and public agency consensus around a vision and conceptual design for new multimodal connections to Bayshore Station. Recent proposals for nearby land development and transportation improvements represent an opportunity to transform the station into a vibrant transit hub and prized community asset. Growth proposals are moving forward for multiple nearby sites, including the Brisbane Baylands, Schlage Lock, Executive Park, and others. Related transportation proposals include:

  • Extension of the T-Third light rail to Bayshore Station
  • Extension of Geneva Avenue from its current terminus at Bayshore Boulevard to a new interchange at US 101
  • New Bus Rapid Transit service connecting to Balboa Park BART station
  • New local bus and shuttle connections

Bayshore Station is slated to play a central role in bringing regional transit access to the area. It will not only need to provide seamless transfers but also become a key access point for both new and existing neighborhoods.

The Study is a design effort that aims to:

  • Enable smooth transfers among Caltrain, light rail, and buses
  • Support easy access by foot, bicycle, and private vehicle
  • Create a high-visibility, community-focused station area for existing neighborhoods and expected new development

With dramatic new plans in progress to bring more housing, employment, and retail to the area, now is the ideal time to take a fresh look at what this station can become.

The Caltrain station platforms and pedestrian overcrossing structure already exist; why consider moving and/or re-building?

The proposed employment and residential growth have the potential to transform the urban landscape of the station area. And the proposed new transit services will fundamentally alter the way transit patrons use the station. Under these new conditions, the optimal location of the station elements may very well be different from the current location. Chapter 3 of the Final Report presents alternative ways to optimize station functionality. In addition, an evaluation of these alternatives includes implementation considerations, including the cost associated with moving station elements.


A vision for Bayshore Station depends in part on the vision for the currently vacant Brisbane Baylands site directly adjacent to the station. What will be built on the land around the station? How does this study relate to the process to develop the Baylands?

Planning is currently ongoing for development of the Baylands site. The City of Brisbane undertook a community planning process in Summer 2009 that resulted in a proposed site plan showing office, retail and entertainment uses in the vicinity of the current station. The land owner/developer, Universal Paragon Corporation (UPC), proposed an alternative site plan in May 2010 showing more intense office development and adding high-density housing. Both land use programs will be evaluated in an Environmental Impact Report. To move forward, any site plan and development program will require approval by the Brisbane City Council.

This Study's focus is on how the station and its elements should be designed for the optimal transit experience and most vibrant station area. There are therefore dependencies between the Baylands process and the Bayshore Station process. This is an opportunity to create a station area where transit is truly integrated into the community and provides a strong sense of identity for the immediate neighborhood.

I've heard that there are plans to retain and make changes to the waste facility, Recology. How does that affect the Study?

Recology has recently made public its plan to transform its facility for more advanced and environmentally friendly waste processing. Recology may choose to expand beyond its existing footprint, which would require the cooperation of the landowner, Universal Paragon Corporation (UPC), and the City of Brisbane. Recology may also propose acquiring the City of Brisbane's public street, Beatty Road, to accommodate the facility expansion.

The Bayshore Study recommends 2 station alternatives, both of which are expected to be consistent with Recology's plans. In particular, Alternative 1 contemplates a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in an elevated structure over Beatty Road, that could be consistent with Recology's expansion. The Study also developed a variant to Alternative 1, that places the BRT in a tunnel under the Recology site, should the aerial structure be found to be incompatible with Recology's plans.

Which agencies will implement, operate, and maintain the proposed transportation facilities and services, and how will it all be coordinated?

The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board operates Caltrain service. The San Mateo County Transit District operates buses primarily within San Mateo County. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency operates light rail and buses primarily in San Francisco. In this border area with overlapping transit service needs, clearly there is a need for coordination where multiple transit services must converge and facilitate smooth transfers. Further, to fulfill its role effectively, the station will need to provide good access to communities on both sides of the county line. The Bayshore Study is a vehicle that enables the local agencies to do the necessary coordination to optimize the transfers and station access. Chapter 7 of the Final Report identifies implementation roles to continue the close inter-agency coordination needed to realize the design.


How will proposed improvements be funded?

It is expected that the private and public sectors will share the cost burden for these station area improvements. The Study developed cost estimates and a funding plan for the preferred design (see Chapter 7 of the Final Report), relying in part on the proposed cost-sharing arrangements that will be determined within the Bi-County Transportation Study (see next question).

How does this study relate to the Bi-County Transportation Study?

The Bi-County Transportation Study, another multi-agency process managed by the Transportation Authority, is an effort to identify a priority list of transportation project investments that are needed to address cumulative needs in relation to the combined development proposals in the area. The Bi-County Study will aim to bring together public and private sector resources to fund the priority list, given that these improvements are precipitated by new private development. The Bayshore Station and its proposed new connecting services are under consideration for this priority list, and if included, will be part of the Bi-County Study's proposed overall funding plan that will identify all project costs and expected contributions.

The Bi-County Study will not resolve design issues regarding how the new connections should be made, e.g., where should Bus Rapid Transit be routed to support easy transfers to Caltrain? The Bayshore Station Study is a related effort to build consensus on exactly such design issues: where light rail, buses, and Caltrain will connect, and how the station will interface with the surrounding community.


I've heard about future potential plans for High-Speed Rail, including potential changes to the Caltrain right-of-way and a proposal for a rail maintenance yard. How do those plans affect the study?

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is planning a high-speed, inter-city rail service that would share the Caltrain corridor to send trains from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Chapter 2 of the Final Report describes how initial conceptual plans proposed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) would conflict with this Study's recommendations but have been placed on hold to focus on the Central Valley HSR segment. In the meantime, a shorter-term Fast Start Project for HSR between San Francisco and San Jose is being advanced locally; that project does not conflict with the plans recommended in this report. There will be a need to revisit station access issues when the process to clarify the longer-term HSR project resumes. In the meantime, this Study serves as a local consensus vision for the area that can be used by the local agencies to advocate for local interests that should be respected when CHSRA moves to refine its plans. 

Caltrain is currently considering major financial difficulty. Will there be more service to this station in the future? Why are we planning for expansions when we can't afford today's service?

The ultimate expected build-out of the land development plans is years away. In that time, it is likely that economic conditions will change from today's bleak picture, making it easier for local governments to meet Caltrain's operating needs. Further, Caltrain remains a critical piece of the region's rapid transit system, and the regional transportation agencies are currently working hard to find ways to secure Caltrain's long-term financial health. The Transportation Authority and its partners are conducting this Study now so that station connections can be designed in coordination with development plans and be ready for implementation when those development plans come to fruition.

How can I get involved in the Study? What opportunities are there for public input?

The Study's major public outreach events have been completed and what we heard and how it was addressed is discussed in Chapter 4 of the Final Report


For more information, contact the Transportation Authority at or call 415.522.4800.