A project to transform the aging San Carlos Caltrain station into a new transit-oriented development center received its first boost this week with the injection of a $3.5 million federal grant.
The station, which is situated next to the San Mateo County Transit District headquarters, it set to feature 280 new apartments, a mix of retail shops and office space, and a central public plaza — all within walking distance of SamTrans and Caltrain vehicles. SamTrans bus stops and connecting shuttles will be relocated to better serve the transit center, and cab stands will be set up at the development. The new transit village will also feature improvements to pedestrian and bicycling pathways.
On Monday, the Federal Transit Administration announced the first funding allocation for the project — a $3.5 million grant from its discretionary spending program.
Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the grant requires a local match, but it is still too early to tell how much the total project will cost and where all the funding will come from. She said officials from the city of San Carlos are still developing the required environmental studies for the project. The start date for construction hasn’t been set yet.
The new multimodal station at San Carlos is an example of California’s move toward transit-oriented development. A state bill passed in 2008 specifically outlines plans to cut down on carbon emissions by focusing residential and commercial development around public transit options.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s lead transportation agency, has based its long-term policies around centering growth near transit stops such as the one planned for San Carlos.