Facebook Exploring Getting Involved in Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

Facebook Exploring Getting Involved in Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure


In an unprecedented move, social media giant Facebook is exploring the possibility to rebuild a now-defunct railway that used to connect two parts of the San Francisco Bay area:

Facebook and a private investment firm are teaming up with a public transit agency to potentially deliver a dream commuters have held for decades: a new southern crossing to connect the East Bay and the Peninsula. The proposed transit connection, which estimates indicate could cost nearly $2 billion to build, would use an existing —  but now-defunct — freight corridor to whisk commuters past stop-and-go traffic on the Dumbarton Bridge that regularly leaves motorists slogging at speeds that average under 20 mph. The Cross Bay Transit Partners, a collaboration between Facebook and the Plenary Group, a private-investment firm specializing in infrastructure projects, began gathering input on the plan with public meetings late last week and two more events are planned for Thursday and Saturday. While the details are far from finalized, the idea is to reopen the old rail corridor for passenger service, said Dale Bonner, the executive chairman of the Plenary Group, speaking on behalf of Cross Bay Transit Partners. He said the group is months away from selecting potential station sites or even determining what type of service — train, bus or some other mode of transportation — might be offered. A map on the group’s website, however, illustrates one possibility, a rail connection between the Union City BART station and Redwood City Caltrain station.

Source: In ‘unprecedented’ partnership, Facebook-funded trains could one day cross the bay – East Bay Times


The need to updated and expanding the Nation’s infrastructure is has been well-documented through Thematic Signals such as these. Washington seems to be talking the talk about a federal infrastructure bill, but there has been no “walk” yet. But that hasn’t been stopping local governments from getting creative in finding new ways to fund much-needed infrastructure repairs and we are seeing more and more where corporations are stepping in to relieve the financial pressures.

What’s in it for private companies such as Facebook — beyond just good will? (Something the Mark Zuckerberg very much needs, given his company’s struggles on the privacy front as of late.) Well, in this case with Facebook, the ability to tap into a wider talent pool is likely top on the list. Opening up a new commuting avenue would allow potential employees who just would not make the commute across the Dumbarton Bridge today to suddenly consider joining the team at Facebook. Plus, it could relieve congestion for those making the getaway on Friday afternoons for the trek up to Tahoe for sking!

About the Author

Chris Broussard
I'm the Co-Founder and President of Tematica Research and editor of Thematic Signals, which aims to uncover confirming data points and items to watch for our list of investing themes. Whether its a news item, video clip, or company commentary, we've included this full list of items literally "ripped from the headlines." I have been involved in financial services marketing and publishing for over 20 years – having held senior level positions with financial publishers, financial services corporations and providing marketing support and consulting services to financial institutions and independent financial advisors. My background in digital marketing, financial services and consumer research provides me with a unique perspective on how to uncover the underlying proof points that are driving the themes our Chief Investment Officer Chris Versace utilizes in our various Tematica publications.

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