Getting home should be considered mundane and common but for some BART riders, it will soon become dangerous and difficult.
In a few months, the Civic Center BART station will permanently close entrances at Grove, Hyde and Market Streets and the entrance outside Hotel Whitcomb will be permanently closed.
This decision is to make way for a new power substation that is needed to ensure there’s enough electricity when the plan for 2025 runs 25 percent more trains beneath downtown and the Transbay Tube.
“Things will become much more noticeable during peak time such as the 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. transit times,” said Thomas Edwards, utility worker for BART.
The Civic Center station had the second most police calls just behind Powell station in 2017 and has one of the highest crime rates compared to the rest of the stations.
“The amount of space for people will drastically drop and when you have a huge crowd suddenly entering the station, it makes things more congested and more things can happen since security will be harder to enforce,” he said.
The area around the station are notorious for drug dealers, users and the homeless which may populate the limited station space in the future.
“I use BART everyday for work and the Civic stop is already bad enough as it is,” said Stefan Kirk environmental science major at SF State. “I understand they have to close parts down for repairs or maintenance, but they should provide an alternative instead of just forcing the public to deal with less effective public transportation.”
These closures come after Civic Center already closing down some escalators and access ways within the station further restricting walkways.
“I can’t imagine this will help the issue with drug addicts in the station either,” said Kirk.
The Orpheum Theatre will be heavily affected because more of the entrances around the theatre will be closed.
“I already feel like there’s too many people when I get on the BART these days, I can’t imagine what it will feel like in the future,” said Kate Greene, SF State theatre alumni and volunteer usher for the Orpheum Theatre. “I feel claustrophobic when I have to get on at 5 after a show. It’s already bad enough in the cars, now it’s gonna feel like a sardines can in the station too.”
BART riders can enjoy the extra entrances for a short while longer but should be prepared for the permanent changes in the following months.