SF transit center granted loan, awaits feds’ stimulus decision

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The federal government will make a $171 million loan for the new Transbay Transit Center, but a decision about larger funding is still pending.

The new transit center is expected to serve more than 45 million passengers annually and contain nine transportation systems. The San Francisco facility is expected to be completed in 2014, with a total cost expected to reach $4.2 billion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday it has approved a $171 million loan for the project. The loan will finance ramps to the Bay Bridge, a bus storage facility and the design of an underground transit facility.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the Transportation Department’s decision to approve the loan will create thousands of jobs, as the state’s unemployment rate stands at 12.4 percent.

Mayor Gavin Newsom also praised the decision.

“This is a very important milestone that brings our collective vision of the Transbay Transit Center one step closer to reality,” Newsom said. “We can begin actual construction on this critical project and begin creating thousands of jobs.”

As The Examiner reported this month, a decision about $400 million in federal stimulus funds is pending. That money, if received, would go toward building an underground train station during the first phase of construction instead of building it at a later date, saving the project $100 million overall, according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

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