BART to make largest investment in escalators in decades

03.14.19

BART to make largest investment in escalators in decades

The BART Board of Directors at its meeting today approved the single largest contract to replace escalators in BART’s history.  The $96.5 million contract is funded by voter-approved Measure RR and will target escalators that regularly malfunction in downtown San Francisco.  Dozens of the system’s most heavily-used escalators will be replaced. 

The Market Street Escalators Renovation Project will install and replace 41 escalators at Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell, and Civic Center Stations. Twenty-two of the escalators that will be replaced extend from the street to the concourse levels of the stations while 18 connect concourses with station platforms.  Additionally, a street level escalator at Civic Center Station will be relocated to the entrance closest to the Orpheum Theatre where only stairs currently exist.  The contract approved by the BART Board further authorizes BART’s general manager to exercise an option that allows for the additional replacement of four Muni escalators at the Embarcadero Station upon receiving funding from SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency).

Many of the units being replaced are among the oldest in the entire BART system.  Not only have those units outlived their useful lives but they’ve struggled with handling passenger loads at our busiest stations. "Working escalators are so important," said Bevan Dufty, President of the BART Board of Directors. "This is a game-changing procurement as we will have a single escalator technology at all our core stations."

This work will enhance rider safety and escalator reliability.  A key provision of the program requires the contractor to maintain a reliability rate of at least 96% for the new escalators during the life of the nearly ten-year contract.  Street-level escalators will benefit from better protection from the elements as BART is moving forward with a separate contract to build new canopies over all downtown San Francisco station entrances.

It’s anticipated BART can complete work on six escalators per year. The first escalators are expected to be delivered for installation in spring 2020.