North America: Plenary, Facebook team up for San Francisco multimodal project

19 June 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Plenary and Facebook have entered an exclusive negotiating agreement with the San Mateo County District for the revitalization of a rail network in the Bay area, San Francisco.

The project is centered around an enhanced bus service and a rebuilt rail corridor between Redwood City and tri-cities area (Newark-Fremont-Union City). The project’s total cost could top USD 2bn, said a spokesperson for SamTrans, a public transportation agency for bus service in and around San Mateo.

The agreement, which was approved during a 6 June SamTrans board of directors meeting, would give Plenary and Facebook an initial 18-month period to negotiate a mutually acceptable lease disposition and development agreement (LDDA) if they deem the project feasible.    

If the project is deemed feasible, funds could come from private and public sources, including available federal and state grants.

A spokesperson for SamTrans said the 6 June approval marks the beginning of an 18-month process to craft a plan for the corridor.

Carter Mau, SamTrans’ deputy general manager, introduced Facebook’s Transportation and Mobility Manager Winsome Bowen to Plenary Group’s Executive Chairman Dale Bonner after both companies expressed interest in the potential project, according to SamTrans’ board meeting document.

Facebook’s is understood to have funded an initial study examining the revitalization of the corridor. The firm’s headquarters is located within the corridor.

Plenary has won several contracts in California, notably closing the UC Merced P3 and Long Beach Civic Center P3 in 2016. The developer is also in the process of negotiating terms with the city of Napa on a civic center P3.

Documents related to the project can be viewed here and here.