future_bart Preliminary rendering of the future BART (Embarcadero Station). Image: Chiang & Company

New improvements for two of the busiest Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations are unfolding. BART is moving forward with its capacity and modernization plans for Montgomery and Embarcadero stations to accommodate existing and future demands of its growing ridership.

This week BART hosted two in-station open houses to reveal conceptual plans and follow up on 2014 survey results. Last October, 4,900 BART passengers were surveyed on modernizing and improving BART at both the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations. Top priorities for both stations include environment (safety, cleaning and lighting), access (real time information at street and concourse levels), and capacity improvements (more platform space and faster escalators).

“Average weekday ridership in September was 455,103. Recent history suggests a 5.5 percent growth in ridership per year,” said James K. Allison of BART’s Communication Department in an email to BuzzBuzzHome News.

In 20 years, BART could potentially have a weekly ridership of approximately 1.3 million people.

Rising to the concourse level at Embarcadero present day-compressed Photo: Nova Punongbayan

BART representatives were available at the open houses to discuss plans with passengers. The plans lay out several possibilities for potential short-term and long-term projects. Some projects may take up to 20 years and all projects are subject to available funding.

Rising to the concourse level at Embarcadero present day-compressed Photo: Nova Punongbayan

BART is the in the process of developing a phased implementation plan, determining priorities and identifying funding for the various projects at each station. Overall these plans will enhance station access, circulation, safety, functionality and appearance.

Additional platforms will be added where riders will board and disembark. Embarcadero plans include adding platforms on both the eastbound and westbound outer-side of the tracks. Montgomery station will have one platform added going eastbound, as the center platform is wider than the one at Embarcadero station.

Some other key improvements should funding allow include:

  • Improved lighting
  • A direct connection from Embarcadero BART to the Transbay Transit Center
  • New elevators, escalators and stairs
  • Potential new ceiling design on concourse level with bridges at Embarcadero station
  • Enhanced signage and larger real time information displays
  • Canopies at street level
  • More seating at platform level
  • Dedicated elevators for Muni
  • Dedicated elevators BART
  • Incorporating public art at Montgomery station
  • Renovation of ticketing areas

In the photo above at the Embarcadero station, these existing stairs will be replaced by a glass platform elevator dedicated to BART riders and stairs will be moved up against the north wall.

And what about the Muni rail stations? The Muni station is sandwiched between BART’s concourse and platform levels. As a tenant, Muni will benefit from dedicated elevators, but there are currently no plans to change its platform level at this time.

BART has plans for modernization at additional stations in San Francisco and other Bay Area locations. This study of capacity and modernization plans is scheduled to be completed for Spring 2016.

A conceptual idea for canopies from Powell BART station rendering-compressed Conceptual ideas for Montgomery and Embarcadero street level canopy design from Powell Station renderings. Image: Courtesy of BART

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