Politicians break ground on $4B San Francisco transit hub

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, right, is applauded by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, center, during the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Transbay Transit Center, the nation's first high speed rail station, in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. The new multi-modal station will serve eleven transportation systems, including California High-Speed Rail, and will create 48,000 new jobs. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and a phalanx of federal, state and local politicians have broken ground on San Francisco's new $4 billion public transit hub.

The groundbreaking Wednesday marked the beginning of construction on what Boxer called the "Grand Central Station of the West." Other politicians present included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The planned 1 million-square-foot bus and train station will serve as the northern end of California's planned high-speed rail service between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Plans also call for the construction of the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast above the transit center. Funding for the first phase of the project includes $400 million in federal stimulus money.

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