HeadsUp: Starting Saturday, April 13, bus shuttles will provide #NJudah svc btwn Ocean Beach and Carl/Cole while N… https://t.co/D7m0xshADM (More: 16 in last 24hrs)
#TBT

Transbay Yesterday

Thursday, January 14, 2016

This week, we bring you two snapshots taken on this date 77 years ago. Today marked a very special event back in 1939 — the opening of the original Transbay Terminal.

Overhead view of crowd of thousands of people gathered for the opening of the original Transbay Terminal on January 14, 1939 with San FRancisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and downtown buildings in background.
Opening of Bay Bridge Terminal with Crowds | January 14, 1939

A massive crowd turned out beneath the huge Art Deco building to celebrate the opening of San Francisco's new bus and rail terminal, which was the largest transit hub in town, after the Ferry Building. It originally served as the terminus of electric commuter trains on the Key System, Southern Pacific and Sacramento Northern railroads, which ran on the lower deck of the recently completed Bay Bridge. Commuters from as far away as Chico could travel right into downtown SF and transfer to Muni or Market Street Railway lines to get anywhere else in the city.

Overhead view of crowd of thousands of people gathered for the opening of the original Transbay Terminal on January 14, 1939 with downtown buildings in background.
Crowds Gathered for Bay Bridge Terminal Opening, View North | January 14, 1939

 

By the end of the 1950s these interurban railways had all either shut down or converted to bus operations and the terminal became what most people remember it as — a massive bus complex serving everything from Muni coaches to cross-continental Greyhound lines.

 

Today, no trace remains of the mammoth structure after it was torn down in 2010 to make room for the new Transbay Transit Center, which is slated to open in 2017 and will serve as San Francisco's hub for regional transit as well as the future terminus of the California high-speed rail system.

 

For more photos from San Francisco's past, follow us on Flickr, Twitter, HistoryPin, and Instagram and check out the SFMTA Photo Archive website.