After several months of being out of service, much to the chagrin of countless weary Muni Metro passengers, the escalator at the Church Street Muni Station near the intersection of 14th and Church is back in service, in all its shiny, new glory. We're not sure exactly when the plywood barricades were removed to reveal this new mechanical wonder, but the moving steps still smelled new when lazy in-a-hurry SFist utilized them this afternoon.

According to SFMTA, the Church Street escalator was the first of a few that they'll be replacing in the coming months. They're currently working on the Hallidie Plaza escalator at Powell Street Station, which leads up to the cable car turnaround at Powell & Market streets, followed by another Hallidie Plaza escalator that goes down from Market Street to the Mezzanine level from May to August. From August to January, they'll be replacing two escalators at Van Ness Station.

Apparently the new escalators, which are being funded by Proposition K local sales tax dollars and federal funds, are replacing ones that were thirty years old, so hopefully we can expect smooth sailing for a couple of decades! Maybe BART can follow suit.