BART opened a new street-accessible entrance at its Downtown Berkeley station Monday morning. The entrance, located on the west side of Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way, allows for easier access to platforms and begins a larger series of station renovations.
The entrance leads directly to the southern platform entrance, which reopened for the first time in decades earlier this month with Clipper Card-only faregates.
“We’re trying to get more people to move to Clipper because it’s more convenient, and it will be cheaper starting on January 1, because we are going to be initiating a 50 cent surcharge on trips that are made with paper tickets,” said BART spokesperson Taylor Huckaby.
The new entrance also aims to increase circulation, according to BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman, and will allow BART to close the main Downtown Berkeley Rotunda entrance and redesign this opening and its surrounding plaza area.
The Rotunda entrance will be closing shortly and will reopen in late spring 2018, according to Huckaby.
Plans for the outdoor plaza include opening up the area for programmed activities such as music events, and adding an elevator and another staircase leading from the street to the concours to further improve circulation, Saltzman said.
BART also has plans for redesigning the entire inside of the station. Interior plans include adding more escalators leading to platforms, and improving station appearance through lighting and art.
“The Downtown Berkeley Station is really important because it’s sort of a flagship exit for people who are visiting the Bay Area,” Huckaby said. “It’s a good station for us to put our best foot forward because there’s not a lot of parking in Berkeley, so folks have to come in using public transportation. It’s a good spot to begin, and we’re really excited about what’s happening there.”