Public can weigh in on BART stations improvements in SF

BART is seeking the public's input for improvements at the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations and will be holding two in-station events, on Tuesday at Embarcadero and Thursday at Montgomery, respectively.

The transit agency is looking at various options to ease overcrowding at its two busiest stations, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

BART averages a weekday ridership of over 400,000 people per day, according to BART's website. During its peak periods, almost half of all riders either board or exit at the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations, where the platforms are the smallest in the system.

Trost said the transit agency is conducting outreach for the $410,000 study, scheduled to be published in spring 2016. After that, BART will have to find funding to make the improvements, and Trost said the agency is not sure where the money will come from or when the improvements would take place.

BART workers have slowly been removing “bulky” items, such as broken payphone kiosks, from the platforms to make more space, Trost said.

“We've pretty much been doing everything we can think of that doesn't cost a lot of money or require a lot of planning to make space on the platforms,” Trost said.

BART is hoping to gather riders' top three priorities for the improvements, so staff can assess the estimated costs and look for funding sources.

Some suggested ideas include building new side platforms on the opposite side of the existing tracks, reconfiguring the platform for a more efficient use of space, upgrading elevators and escalators, or installing sliding doors adjacent to the tracks, which Trost said can help improve safety for riders trying to cram into packed trains.

The improvements are part of BART's Station Modernization Program, a directive from the BART board of directors to its staff to make the stations more comfortable, improve station functionality, safety, access, appearance, and overall customer experience.

To chime in on the improvement plans, the public can fill out an online survey for the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations by Nov. 7 at www.surveymonkey.com/s/EmbarcaderoSt and www.surveymonkey.com/s/MontgomerySt.

An in-station event is scheduled for Tuesday at the Embarcadero station from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

BART representatives will be available at the Montgomery station on Thursday from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

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