Muni Escalators and Elevators Get a Much-Needed Face-Lift

Share this:
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Most of the Muni Metro’s elevators and escalators have been on the job since 1973.

Over the next four years, we will replace 17 escalators as the second phase of the Muni Metro Escalator Rehabilitation Project. We will also modernize 11 existing elevators and add new ones at Powell and Castro stations.

Unlike the old elevators and escalators, which are outdated and easily break down, the new units will be equipped with state of art technology. These will make the Muni Metro system much more safe, reliable and accessible – especially for seniors, people in wheelchairs and customers with special needs.

A woman with a stroller exits a Muni elevator on the street above Castro Station.

Families with strollers, seniors, people in wheelchairs and customers with special needs rely on our Muni elevators and escalators. Meet a few of them in our new video.

When you see a wooden barricade, normally in grey, over an escalator at a Muni Metro station, it means the escalator is going through an overhaul. Once the work is done, it will look nicer, work better and add a lot more neat features to serve Muni customers. 

The new escalators will bring features to keep customers and technicians safe, provide better lighting, save energy, prevent damage from debris and allow maintenance crews to troubleshoot technical issues more easily.

The second phase of our escalator rehabilitation project, which began in November 2015, includes the rehabilitation of 17 escalators at Montgomery, Powell, Civic Center, Van Ness, Church and Castro stations.

Currently, the escalators on the north side of Castro Station and south of side of Hallidie Plaza (outside Powell Station) are under construction. Once those escalators are finished  (expected this month), work will begin on the escalator serving the platform at the east end of Powell Station and the Castro Station escalator leading to the inbound platform.

In the first phase, completed in 2014, we replaced five escalators at Church, Powell and Van Ness stations. In all, the SFMTA owns and operates 28 escalators and 12 elevators in the Muni subway system.

During construction, the staging area adjacent to the job site will be clearly marked and covered with a wooden barricade to help ensure the safety of Muni customers and working crew members.

To minimize disruption for customers, there will only be closures for one escalator per station and two escalators total at a time. Each escalator will be out of service for approximately five months because each one is custom designed.

The Elevator Rehabilitation Project, expected to begin in spring of 2017, will also include adding new elevators to some stations. Under the current plan, Powell and Castro stations will each get a new elevator. Van Ness and Civic Center stations are also being considered for two new elevators each.

Among Muni’s nine subway stations, four downtown stations – Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell and Civic Center – are shared with BART. At those stations, BART owns and operates the elevators and escalators that lead to the street, while Muni is responsible for the equipment that serves Muni platforms.

Check out our video below to learn more about our escalator and elevator improvements and meet some of the regular Muni riders who will benefit from them.

Modernizing Muni Subway Escalators and Elevators