BART adds more elevator attendants, new fare gate to San Francisco stations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART rolled out two new improvements today in downtown San Francisco.

First, they will be adding more elevator attendants. The attendants who work at Civic Center and Powell stations have prevented unwanted behavior and are considered a huge success.

"We were hearing constantly when is this program going to expand? So we say this week we are finally expanding to Embarcadero and Montgomery stations," said Bart Director Janice Lee.

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The attendants are hired from Urban Alchemy, which gives people a second chance.

"We are happy to provide opportunities for employment for long term offenders, individuals who have made significant steps in their lives to recognize their shortcomings and address them," said Director of workforce development Montrell Dorsey.

The attendants will be paid with capital improvement funds through a partnership between BART and MUNI.

The other improvement announced today is a new fare gate outside the elevator at the Montgomery Station. Officials think this will help cut down on free rides.

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"There are some stations where the elevators provide free access to the trains so they can bypass paying their fares by using the elevators," said spokesperson Jim Allison.

This will also help those in wheelchairs or who use strollers and need the elevators. They now have a straight shot to the train.

"(Before) you would have to go through the glass doors and go all the way around to process your ticket, then go backwards to get to the elevator," said Shamiki Rew, who is in a wheelchair.

She thinks the new gate will save her about four minutes each way. She says it is a relief to have the new gate.

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