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Sleek canopies coming to Market Street BART stations

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Blame it on the rain, as new coverings mean to protect escalators from inclement weather

A rendering of a shelter with glass sides built over an entrance to Civic Center BART. BART

As SF Weekly noted on Monday, BART will soon add a little flair to Market Street in the form of canopies over the street-level entrances to its Market Street stations.

It’s not a decorative touch, though; rather, the agency is eager to add an extra layer of protection to its constantly broken escalators. Says BART via the “planning” section of its site:

Market Street will eventually have new protective canopies for the BART/MUNI entrances at all of the Downtown San Francisco stations. These canopies are a state code requirement to protect new escalator investments.

[...] We have learned from the 19th St. Station Pilot in Oakland that the canopy has reduced escalator down time by 2/3, so we anticipate significant improvement to escalator performance in downtown SF.

But only a few of the auspicious awnings are on their way this year. The plan as written calls for just two new entrance shelters by the end of this year, one at Powell Street Station near the intersection of Ellis and Market and one at Civic Center near 7th Street.

The agency maintains the option for a third canopy this year at either Powell or Civic Center, and then plans to complete similar installations at all of the entrances of its four Market Street stations—Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery, and Embarcadero—by the end of 2019.

Presently, BART has five escalators (two of them in SF) down for repair or “major repair,” plus six more under evaluation.