Muni stations need elevator and escalator overhaul, SFMTA says 

click to enlarge SFMTA says Muni stations’ elevators and escalators are in need of repair. - GABRIELLE LURIE/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Gabrielle Lurie/Special to The S.F. Examiner
  • SFMTA says Muni stations’ elevators and escalators are in need of repair.
Muni stations’ elevators and escalators are breaking down more often, and need a $2.2 million shot in the arm for much needed maintenance.

That’s according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which presented an action plan at Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting to address the situation.

Specifically, the $2.2 million is needed to repair elevator doors and for other maintenance at Church, Castro and Forest Hill stations.

SFMTA’s 28 escalators reached an 85 percent availability in January 2015, compared to 96 percent the year before, according to the agency. Elevator accessibility was down to 90 percent last March, from 98 percent the year before.

The elevators and escalators both are especially vital for those with disabilities, one public commenter told the board.

“I have metal in my legs, it’s a hidden disability,” said Randall Glock, a member of SFMTA’s Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Committee. “I literally crawl up stairs.”

Many stations have only one elevator, which may be the only way for a wheelchair user to enter a station.

Glock read comments on behalf of his fellow committee member Roland Wong, who uses a wheelchair. Wong said broken Muni elevators often leave him stranded. Often the elevators are out at multiple stations simultaneously, he said. The SFMTA solely maintains escalators and elevators at Van Ness, Church, Castro, Forest Hill and West Portal stations. BART and the SFMTA divide up maintenance duty of escalators and elevators in Montgomery, Embarcadero, Civic Center and Powell stations.

Phase 2 of the SFMTA’s station modernization plan will move forward at the end of 2015, which involves replacing 17 escalators. The project is estimated to finish in 2018.

“The whole system is crying for attention,” said John Haley, the SFMTA’s director of transit.

About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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