Search title image

Bay Bridge

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: Bridge Rail Study

Historical photograph depicting the caption below.

Rail last ran on the bridge in the 1950s. (Governor Frank Merriam tests a train on the Bay Bridge, 1938.)

Under design criteria adopted by MTC in 1997, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is to be sturdy enough to carry a light-rail line should train service on the bridge be reinstated in the future. In November 1998, the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and San Francisco passed ballot measures requesting MTC to study the concept of including a rail line on the bridge. In response, MTC undertook a comprehensive analysis of Bay Bridge rail options, including light rail, intercity rail and high-speed rail systems. The study was completed in July 2000.

The study was conducted by Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris (SMWM) of San Francisco, the same architectural firm that is studying improvements to the Transbay Terminal. The two projects are closely related as the terminal could serve as the San Francisco distribution point for a transbay rail line.

In a follow-up effort, MTC in August of 2000 launched the Bay Crossings Study to look at a broad array of strategies for increasing capacity in the transbay corridors.

See Structural Analysis of rail on the bridge