SAN FRANCISCO - The new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco will cost $300 million more than estimated, and costs could grow higher, transportation officials said.
Money earmarked for future projects will be used to pay for the increase, said Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
The project's first phase includes building and maintaining a temporary terminal while the new five-story facility near downtown San Francisco is being constructed.
When completed, the now $1.9 billion initial phase will first serve buses from seven transit agencies.
Officials blamed the cost spike on increased federal security requirements, and a stronger economy that has fueled higher bids from contractors.
Since money earmarked for the already underfunded second phase is being used to pay for the first, officials are on the hook to find even more new revenue.
"There's not enough money to deliver the full project — not before the increases and not after," Adam Alberti, a spokesman for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/12kRyzE).
"The fact that the cost increased by $300 million means that a bigger hole needs to be plugged."
In the future, the terminal is planned to be a stop for California's high-speed rail system and regional electric trains from Caltrain.
Other officials involved in the project said the increased cost is disappointing but not a big setback.
"We have always known that getting the downtown extension done would take a lot of work over a number of years, and this doesn't change that," said Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Supervisor and transportation commissioner.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com