Signs temporarily taken down in SF stations for spring cleaning project


Signs temporarily taken down in SF stations for spring cleaning project

It was reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode this morning as some BART riders were disoriented in downtown San Francisco stations that were missing some of their station name signs.

"Why the heck did the station names on the BART platforms downtown disappear?!?!" a BART rider who goes by vinzbee on Twitter asked. 

BART apologized for the temporary inconvenience and said it would result in a long-term improvement. The signs mounted on some walls in Embarcadero, Montgomery and Powell Street stations were removed so that work can be done this week to spruce up the stations. There will be steam cleaning, power washing and painting during the overnight hours -- so people who use the station ultimately will benefit from much cleaner, brighter surroundings.

The downside today was that temporary stenciled signs had not been put in place everywhere to remind riders what stations they were in (they were up in some spots but not everywhere). Those signs should be fully up by Tuesday, a project supervisor said.

In addition, customers were encouraged to listen for the announcements that train operators will be making at the stations, emphasizing the station names to help avoid confusion.

Regular commuters seem to know their stations almost by instinct, counting the stops after they come out of the tube, recognizing something distinctive on the platform, or seeing their cohort of commute-mates getting off at the same stop.

Less-frequent riders (or those listening to music and not station announcements) could be befuddled because, especially for Montgomery and Powell, the white bubble-pattern walls look very similar in both stations. And tourists? Well, here's a chance for locals to do a good deed and help visitors know which stop will get them to the Ferry Building, the Museum of Modern Art or the Apple Store.