The agency building the new Transbay Transit Center project in San Francisco announced Tuesday that it has closed on a $171 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan for the project.

The first phase of the planned project, projected to cost $1.2 billion, will tear down the current dilapidated Transbay Terminal — which handles commuter buses from the East Bay as well as Greyhound intercity buses — construct a temporary station for those buses, and build a new bus terminal.

“This is a very important milestone that brings our collective vision of the Transbay Transit Center one step closer to reality,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement after the TIFIA loan was announced.

In future phases, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority plans to extend the Caltrain commuter rail line more than a mile south to the terminal, and also to host the northern terminus for California’s planned high-speed intercity train system. The full project is expected to cost $4 billion.

“This project truly represents a model in providing a seamless, interconnected system that combines transportation options at one location,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “It’s an example for the rest of the nation in supporting the department’s sustainability and livability goals.”

The Transbay project has also applied for $400 million in federal rail stimulus funds for construction of the underground terminal for high-speed rail. At press time, it was not known if that project was included in the $2.25 billion in rail stimulus funds that were announced Thursday for the California project.

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