At their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday morning, BART's board of directors approved a plan to spend $96.5 million to replace 41 escalators at stations along San Francisco's Market Street corridor.
The contract also allows BART General Manager Grace Crunican the option of replacing four San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency elevators at the Embarcadero station.
BART staff members said the elevators being replaced are some of the oldest in the entire system and have outlived their useful lives.
As part of the escalator contract, the contractor is required to keep the equipment functioning properly at least 96 percent of the time. The board hopes to assist them in that effort by installing canopies over all the station entrances in question, which should protect the escalators from the elements.
"Working escalators are so important," board President Bevan Dufty said today in a statement. "This is a game-changing procurement as we will have a single escalator technology at all our core stations."
The plan calls for installation of roughly six escalators per year, starting in 2020 when the first escalators are slated for delivery.