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Castro Station Accessibility Improvements Project

Project Introduction

A new elevator is coming to the Castro Station. To support a system wide effort to improve safety and accessibility, the SFMTA is rehabilitating and modernizing the subway system elevators. The Castro Station Accessibility Improvement Project includes an elevator design that will allow station agents to see into the elevator and maintain sight lines from the station agent booth. The elevator design includes a translucent etched pattern of gradient lines made on clear laminated glass. To create a safer and more comfortable place to walk, the brick area near the station entrance will be regraded and both the walkway above the station and the sidewalk on Market Street will be made wider.  The existing plaza lighting will be replaced, the terraces and concourse level will be replanted and new fences and benches will be installed.

The Castro Station Accessibility Improvement Project is a partnership with San Francisco Public Works and the SF Arts Commission to improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access to Muni transit. We’re pleased to say that the project now calls for adding a fourth stop to the new three-stop elevator. The new stop will serve the Market Street sidewalk, allowing riders of Muni’s 35 & 37 routes to enter directly into the elevator and ride down to the concourse level and enter the station through the fare gates. The elevator will still include stops at Harvey Milk Plaza and the platform level as included in the original scope. These design changes impact the architectural and structural systems and will require re-doing several city approvals. This project is now estimated to start construction in Fall 2021 and projected to be complete in 2024.  

Project Timeline 
Civil and Engineering Design
Final Design and Approvals
Cost Estimate
$14.5 million
Current Phase or Stage
Predicted Completion
Project Status
Project Success
On schedule
SFMTA Accessibility icon
Adding second elevator
Streetscape Icon
Repaving and leveling plaza pathways
SFMTA walking icon
Widening Market Street sidewalk
Castro Muni Station, Castro Street, Market Street, Collingwood Street

The three pictures below were different design options considered for the new station elevator. All options were made of glass to allow station agents to see into the elevator cab and maintain sightlines from the station agent booth. These designs were considered as the project complete its Civic Design phase and moves into the Detail Design phase. 

The project design option 1 received more favorable from the community survey and feedback.  The project team is worked with San Francisco Public Works and with The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza in the design phase of this project.   

To find out more about the new design, visit Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza at:  www.friendsofharveymilkplaza.org/newdesign


Option 1 - Point Support System

Option 2 - Curtain Wall System

Option 3 - Storefront System


As part of a larger system-wide effort to improve accessibility to Muni services, several stations are having their elevators and escalators rehabbed. Some stations, including Castro Station, are serviced with a single elevator that provides access to the station gates. When the elevator needs servicing, or goes out of service unexpectedly, customers who rely on the elevator to enter the station are unable to do so, affecting their day-to-day activities.  With a second elevator added to the station, the existing elevator can be serviced without disrupting access and provides continuous access to the station and trains. Castro Station will undergo several upgrades in and around the station area in an effort to improve ADA access to the station and Muni transit. These proposed improvements include:

  • Adding a second elevator to provide continuous access to the station
  • Regrading (leveling) the brick area surround the station entrance to create ADA compliant paths of travel
  • Widening the brick walkway above the station by removing the planters where feasible
  • Widening the sidewalk on Market Street to create safer and more comfortable pedestrian path
  • Replacing the existing plaza lighting

The look and design of the elevator, shown here to be built out of etched glass, will be designed with input from the Castro neighborhood. The etched glass design also allows for graphic patterns to be incorporated onto the glass.

Above pictures (from left to right): Draft renderings of new elevator added to station site; examples of existing elevators and public art that could be incorporated in the elevator design.
Project video(s)
Project Details, History or Features

The 4th stop added on Market Street to provide accessibilty to customers.  This stop will also benefit the customers riding the 35 & 37 bus routes to enter from street level to get to the concorse.  

San Francisco Arts Commission logo
San Francisco Public Works logo
Contact Information
Tess Kavanagh