Funding to Transbay Joint Powers Authority suspended in unanimous vote

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend funding to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, effectively ending its ability to oversee the next stage of the Transit Center, which will extend Caltrain from 4th & King Streets to the center.

"A crumbling park at the top, a cracked beam at the bottom, this is just not the right agency," Supervisor Aaron Peskin said.

Peskin says the three to six month hold on funding will be a catalyst for figuring out which agency will oversee phase two.

Still, Transbay Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Mark Zabaneh says he is hopeful they can regain control of the project.

"Well obviously the board of supervisors is very disappointed about the developments in the Transit Center. I accept that, I understand that but my hope is that we'll regain their credibility in the program and move forward," Zabaneh said.

The board of supervisors' disappointment was palpable.

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"The cameras are here for a reason because we have a problem and we have a problem because there always seems to be shady details," Supervisor Malia Cohen said as she chastised Zabaneh for not being able to answer questions about the TJPA's operation costs.

Both the supervisors and TJPA say they are committed to maintaining the schedule and momentum of the downtown extension.

The suspended funding will not impact the repairs to the Transit Center which will be covered by the contractor or designer depending on what caused the cracked beams.

There are people on site right now ready to take samples to make that determination once the peer review approves the sampling method. That will take 5-7 days, then another two weeks to do the testing.

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