Permanent entrance closures planned at Civic Center for traction power project
In December 2016, the District closed one entrance to the Civic Center BART Station on Grove Street on the North Side of Market Street because of infrastructure damage caused by a collapsed sewage drain pipe beneath both escalators. This entrance has remained closed due to the repair work needed.
Capacity and reliability improvements to the BART system in San Francisco, both short and long term, will require this entrance, and possibly others, to remain permanently closed.
Currently, a wooden structure encloses the location along Market Street where the entrance used to be (right in front of the Burger King fast food restaurant). BART will remove the bulky structure and replace it with a flat, steel plated surface.
Looking towards the near future, BART needs to install a new traction power substation at Civic Center as part of our Measure RR rebuilding efforts and strategies to increase capacity into and out of the city. New substations, along with upgrades to our train control system and a new fleet of rail cars will allow BART to increase peak capacity by 25% through the Transbay Tube. We currently run 24 trains per hour in each direction through the Transbay Tube, these planned improvements will enable us to increase to 30 trains per hour.
We studied possible locations of the new substations extensively and reached the conclusion that the west end of the concourse level of the Civic Center station is the only place where the new substation can go. Therefore, it makes sense to permanently close this entrance along with the nearby 8th and Market entrance (outside the Hotel Whitcomb) to accommodate the new traction power substation equipment when the time comes, which is still to be determined.
While the station will likely lose these two entrances, there are others still available that are located much closer to the platform, fare gates, and ticket vending machines and riders will gain the benefits of more frequent and more reliable service.
BART will provide updates on the timeline as details are finalized. The District plans to do outreach with the community and with neighborhood stakeholders and our transportation partners as it develops a plan for doing essential system repair work in downtown San Francisco.