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Canopies on Market Street

3:57 PM PST on November 13, 2018

Canopies on Powell and Civic Center now cover station entrances. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick

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BART opened canopies today over an entrance at its Civic Center station and over the Powell Street Station entrance at Ellis and Market.

"This is the future--safe entrances, new trains, elevator attendants, homeless outreach, and new substations so we can move trains more rapidly," said Bevan Dufty, BART Board Director for the 9th District, which includes portions of San Francisco, at a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of the canopies, held this morning at Powell Station.

BART director Grace Crunican at this morning's opening ceremony
BART director Grace Crunican and SFMTA's Ed Reiskin at this morning's opening ceremony
BART director Grace Crunican at the lectern during a ribbon cutting for a new station canopy on Market last Nov. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

The two canopies are part of a "Downtown San Francisco Market Street Canopies and Escalators Modernization Project," which will also replace 41 escalators at the Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center stations. The canopies cost about $2.2 million each and are meant to protect escalator mechanisms from the elements. Based on the 19th Street BART station canopies in Oakland, BART officials estimate that escalator breakdowns will be cut by 30 percent. Twenty-two additional canopies will be constructed above all of the remaining street entrances on Market over the next few years.

BART is going to pause now and see how things work out with the two pilot designs. "We'll be keeping a critical eye on the finishes," explained Luis Paez, Senior Resident Engineer for BART. So far they've noticed the fiberglass ceiling on the canopy smudges a bit more easily than they would like. They also want to see how the graffiti- and scratch-resistant coatings hold up on the stainless steel and glass.

So far things look good, said Paez, adding that he is especially pleased with how the canopy looks at night. From a distance it seems to be "faintly glowing" he said, making it easy to find the entrance. His hope is the canopy design will become iconic, like with the New York subway entrances with their globe lights or the famous Hector Guimard "Metropolitan" entrances to the Paris Metro.

Now it will be possible to see when your train arrives without going down to the mezzanine
Have one more errand to run but not sure if you have time? Now it will be possible to see when your train arrives without going down to the mezzanine
Now it will be possible to see when your train arrives without going down to the mezzanine

The new canopies also have arrival monitors (see above) so it will no longer be necessary to go into the station to find out when your train is expected.

And, as part of the canopy design, there is now a gate at the top of the stairs. Diane 'Dee' Malabuyo, whose job includes going down the stairs and opening the station between 3:30 and 4 in the morning, said it will make opening the station less harrowing. "It's scary to come down the stairs... there are a lot of people on the stairway," she explained. The canopy also has security cameras with real time feeds.

Diane Malabuyo demonstrating the gate
Diane Malabuyo demonstrating the gate
Diane Malabuyo demonstrating the gate

The contract for the remaining canopies, meanwhile, is expected to be awarded early next year and will come to $55 million. Funding sources include Prop. 1B, Measure RR, and SFMTA. SFMTA, which of course shares the stations, is contributing $30 million from San Francisco Prop. A funds. Construction of the remaining canopies should be finished in 2025 and all escalators will be replaced and upgraded by 2027.

The view as one comes up the stairs. BART's keeping an eye on the finishes, such as the white fiberglass roof, on these pilot canopies
The view as one comes up the stairs. BART's keeping an eye on the finishes, such as the white fiberglass roof, on these pilot canopies
The view as one comes up the stairs. BART's keeping an eye on the finishes, such as the white fiberglass roof, on these pilot canopies

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