Escalator Status

Planned Escalator Service Advisories

12.14.2018 Major escalator repair at 24th & Mission starting 1/2/2019 Read More

The official BART app also offers escalator status updates.

Escalators may be out of service for the following reasons


The process of opening up an escalator and determining the extent of repairs needed to safely return the unit to service. After the evaluation, repair plans will be put in place factoring in needed parts, resources and impact to system.

Major Repair

Maintenance that will need immediate attention and will require significant down time is considered a major repair. This type of work is usually discovered by a significant failure or routine maintenance check.


These outages are for life cycle renovation of equipment to prolong an escalator’s State of Good Repair.  Modernizations are performed to improve reliability, upgrade systems to current code and to meet modern safety regulations.  A full Modernization project typically requires 24 weeks on average to accomplish due to the required precise fabrication of replacement components; as well as, the specialized equipment and rigging needed to remove and install extremely large components in often arduous locations.   A modernized 40’ rise escalator is comprised of over 12,000 moving parts.  Asset age, size, station location and surroundings generally determine if a modernization is selected in lieu of new replacement.  A new replacement can often cost substantially more than a modernization due to the increased construction cost associated with removing large facility structural members or redesigning of a station to accommodate a new building code or increased group level rating in newly manufactured conveyances.  Escalators should be modernized every 20-25 years and replaced after 40-50 years.      

Planned Maintenance

Accomplishing identified maintenance that is required and planned at a time that will cause the least amount of impact to the system and patrons. Items have been identified and need to be corrected but will start when all parts, equipment and manpower is available to accomplish repairs with the intent to have minimal down time of the unit.

Preventative Maintenance

Monthly planned maintenance to accomplish routine tasks, items such as lubing components and servicing oil in gearboxes. Preventative Maintenance checks are accomplish during non-commute periods and unless a major issue is identified return to service the same day. These monthly tasks help the reliability of the units and identify issues in order to schedule maintenance that will limit disruption to the patrons.


Maintenance that will require out of service time to accomplish. This type of repair will normally take less time than a major repair to accomplish and return the unit back to service. Based on the scope of work, the repair work will be accomplished during non-peak hours to minimize service disruptions.

Safety Inspection

State codes mandate annual inspections accomplished on all escalators to assure that units are operating safely. If discrepancies are discovered during these inspections the units are immediately taken out service until repairs are completed. A safety inspection is conducted by a state licensed technician on any unit that is involved in a patron incident. A unit involved in such an incident will have a safety inspection and any identified repairs completed before it is returned to revenue service.

Scheduled Support

Escalator taken out of service to support other maintenance activity in the station. Examples include repairs to station lighting and platform tiles.

BART launches Escalator Modernization Program

Escalator repair

Systemwide, BART has 175 escalators, most of which have been in operation for over 40 years.

BART is in the beginning stages of the first major escalator overhaul in nearly 20 years. It involves units being renovated or replaced, beginning with the system's busiest stations.

In 2017, BART began work to overhaul 12 of the worst performing escalators in San Francisco, located at Embarcadero, Montgomery, 16th and 24th Mission stations. This extensive work involves a complete rebuild of the electrical system and takes each unit out of service for multiple months. This repair work is expected to be complete by 2020 and will result in more reliable escalators and access.

Measure RR bond funds allow us to expand our escalator modernization program, focusing on escalators between Embarcadero and Civic Center Stations as the first phase. It has an estimated cost of $164 million and is focused on 41 escalators at the four downtown stations. We anticipate replacing six escalators each year once the contract has been awarded.

Phase Two of the Measure RR funded escalator overhaul program will involve 38 escalators at downtown Oakland's 12th St. and 19th St. Stations, and at San Francisco's 16th/Mission St. and 24th/Mission St. Stations. Future phases will involve the remaining 96 escalators.

We understand the major disruption caused by our escalators being taken out of service, but please understand these units have been heavily used for decades for up to 20 hours a day year round. The wear and tear necessitates that they be upgraded and replaced.

Escalator repair

Protective Canopy Project

The Escalator Modernization Program is taking place in conjunction with the construction of 22 Measure RR funded protective canopies over street level entrances for the Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center Stations. Once the contract is awarded in early 2019, we anticipate building six canopies per year.

Two pilot canopies (one at Powell Station and one at Civic Center Station) opened in Fall 2018. The canopies are a state code requirement for new escalator investments.

Powell St Canopy

They will not only protect the new escalators from the wear-and-tear of elements like rain and wind-swept debris, but they will provide an added layer of station security and cleanliness through motorized gates that allow the entrances to be locked at street level when stations are closed.

We have learned from the 19th St. Station Canopy Project in Oakland, completed in 2015, that the added protection has reduced escalator down time by about 30%, so significant improvement is anticipated for escalator performance in downtown San Francisco when the Canopy/Escalator Replacement Project are completed. All of the canopies are scheduled to be up by 2025.


Read the detailed presentation given to the BART Board of Directors in November 2017 highlighting our escalator and canopy program.

Watch this video that shows what it takes to fix the BART escalators used by tens of thousands of people every day:

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