I not only wanted to be there, I had to be there in August of 2010 on the last day of service at the Transbay Terminal on Mission Street. Built in 1939, this transportation hub was my introduction to San Francisco at age 15 when my buddies and I learned how to take a bus from Castro Valley into the City. It was always a long trip there and back, involving a transfer of buses, but the magic feeling at the sight of the inside of the Transbay Terminal was as exciting as the view of the Disneyland Matterhorn was as a kid after a long drive with my family from Northern California. From the Terminal, my friends and I discovered Golden Gate Park, Playland-at-the-Beach, the Cliff House, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, cable cars…… oh, don’t get me started. Too late! The building was already old when I discovered it, and it’s amazing that it still lasted for decades after that. These are then and thens of pictures I recently found from the San Francisco Public Library archives in comparison to some of the pictures I took the day before the Transbay Terminal closed forever. (Thumbnail images)
The view of the Transbay Terminal during the 1950s from the northeast corner of Mission and Fremont Streets:
The third level of the terminal where the trains and buses loaded and unloaded passengers, showing the tracks of the Key System Train Service:
Passengers boarding one of the Key System trains that traveled to and from the East Bay Area by way of the lower deck of the Bay Bridge:
One of the ramps leading up to the third level of the Transbay Terminal: There must have been something pretty exciting going on in the East Bay when the vintage picture was taken.
Long ago ladies going down the stairs to the first level of the terminal, and my picture I took of one of the stairs leading down to the mezzanine: I’m assuming that they got off the train; when you’re dressed like that you don’t have to take a bus.
People packing into one of the buses on the third level, looks like the 1960s or early 1970s, and one lonely looking passenger boarding a bus on the last day of service in August of 2010:
Some of the people who’ll miss the Transbay Terminal posted comments on the Market Street Railway internet page, like this person.