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BART adding canopies to Market Street station entrances

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BART is building two pilot canopies at Powell Street and Civic Center stations to test the designs for new station entrance canopies planned for 22 sites along Market Street in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

BART is moving forward with plans to install 22 shiny new canopies to shield train station entrances on Market Street.

That’s after a unanimous vote by the BART Board of Directors Thursday morning to approve the BART Market Street Canopies and Escalators Modernization Project’s environmental documents, and officially adopt the project.

That project will also see BART replace 40 escalators throughout its Market Street stations. The new canopies and escalators will debut at Embarcadero, Powell, Civic Center and Montgomery BART stations.

Both aspects of the project, escalators and canopies, will tentatively see contractors approved in 2019, according to BART documents. The escalators will cost about $135 million, and the canopies about $45 million, and they are tentatively expected to be complete in 8 and 6 years, respectively. The funding will come BART’s $3.5 billion bond, measure RR, which was approved by voters in 2016, as well as $30 million from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency toward the canopies, among other sources.

The canopies come equipped with motorized barriers intended to prevent people from sleeping in station entrances. BART officials have also previously said shielding escalators from inclement weather with canopies can help ease the frequency of needed repair.

Frequent escalator and elevator breakdowns are the bane of many BART riders, especially those in the senior and disability communities. On Thursday morning, as the board approved the escalator revamps, 11 escalators were out of service in the BART system, including four in San Francisco, according to the BART escalator status website.

Two pilot canopies in San Francisco being built as test runs at Powell and Civic Center stations will be completed by the end of the summer, BART planner Tim Chan told the board Thursday morning.

People walk by a construction zone where work continues on one of the new BART station entrance canopies at Powell Street station on Market Street on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

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