San Francisco, the Bay Area’s greatest railway project is born

It’s called Link21 and it will connect 21 counties in Northern California

It’s the region of American big tech, with one of the highest incomes in the country, and naturally San Francisco, one of the most iconic and vibrant cities in the United States of America. Today, California has about 12 million inhabitants, projected to reach 16 million by 2050. That’s why authorities have launched the Link21 project, a series of new railway lines and connections that will stretch from the north, precisely from San Francisco, to the East Bay: a mega-project that involves a total investment of 29 billion dollars and a completion deadline of 2040.

The project is ambitious because it aims to connect 21 counties of the Northern California Megaregion, including the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Area, the Monterey Bay Area, and the Northern San Joaquin Valley. Additionally, connections to the existing regional network are planned, significantly reducing congestion in the area and enabling fast and sustainable transportation, aligning with California’s development policies.

Link 21: a project to change California's mobility

The goal, as outlined, is to adhere to the California State Rail Plan, a multi-year plan for the development and modernization of rail transport throughout the state, seen as the most effective tool for managing population growth while reducing air pollution. Hence, Link21 was conceived, a railway project resembling a subway, connecting existing and strategic infrastructure (intercity trains, regional trains, and high-speed trains), including an underground section within San Francisco.

The subway under San Francisco Bay

Crossing San Francisco Bay is currently a challenge. The current transportation corridor includes a series of services such as buses traveling on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge or ferries crossing the bay. Based on existing traffic, completing this passage can take from 15 minutes to over an hour.

That’s why part of the project involves building an underground railway line running beneath San Francisco Bay. This is the most challenging part of the entire project that will allow travelers to reach Oakland in minutes without falling victim to surface congestion.

Boosting California's Development

Innovation is the soul of California, which has been chosen by the most advanced high-tech industries in the world as an ideal place to put down roots. Northern California is indeed a global leader in the high-tech industry, as well as a densely populated area with cities like San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento.

In a territory where economic development is central, especially in its most modern sense, the new railway line project represents another accelerator of collective opportunities. According to the state government, once completed, Link21 could provide an economic benefit to the entire region of $145 billion, fostering the creation of 377,000 jobs. This is a considerable impact even for a highly developed territory like this, yet another demonstration of the effect that large infrastructures can have on the communities they serve.