BART's board has just approved a contract to modernize Powell Street Station in San Francisco, a project that will include reopening the public restrooms there that have been closed since September 11, 2001.
The $11.3 million contract with Oakland-based ProVen Management Inc. will also include the installation of LED lighting on the Powell station platform, the relocation of fare gates, and the installation of new Clipper Card kiosks near the Westfield Center entrance to the station. The project will also bring new, five-foot-tall glass fare-gate barriers to the station to deter fare evasion. As KPIX reports, no completion date for the project has been set, and if an additional $3.7 million in funding can be found, the project will also include new seating on the platform, and an accessible ramp at Hallidie Plaza.
This modernization project dates back four years, and SFist last wrote about the bathrooms possibly reopening at Powell in 2016 — when the completion timeframe was thought to be 2018. As of 2017, 10 underground stations in SF and Oakland still had bathrooms closed, while 35 stations in the system had reopened them. BART has been working with designers to come up with a "secure" design that removes locking doors.
The newly reopened, all-gender bathrooms will also come with full-time attendants, and sinks and hand dryers on the outside of them.
54,000 people pass through Powell Street Station every day, as the Chronicle reports. And this coming construction project follows not long after a lengthy project that saw the ceilings of Powell Station ripped out for asbestos removal and the addition of new lighting. BART officials believe that traffic through the station will climb with the opening of the Central Subway in 2021, which is around when the bathrooms should be open.
Another station modernization project is set to start at 19th Street Station in Oakland as well, and that will also include the reopening of the public bathrooms there. BART spokesperson Alicia Trost tells KPIX that construction there should begin next year.