Embarcadero is the easternmost stop on the BART/MUNI rapid transit subway under Market Street. The stop wasn't part of the original Market Street subway plans but added as an infill station during construction when it was realized that a station was needed closer to San Francisco's waterfront. The stop opened late, two years after the Transbay Tube was completed, as an infill station for BART on May 27, 1976 that uses the two lower level tracks with an island platform. The upper level saw train service on February 1980 the first N-Judah cars started using the MUNI Metro and began terminating on the upper island platform. On January 10, 1998 MUNI Metro trains began leaving the MUNI Metro Tunnel at the Embarcadero portal for the first time with routes extended to 4th/King (Caltrain) in 2007 down Third Street to Sunnyside. Today J, L, and M cars all terminate at Embarcadero, using relay tracks with diamond crossovers beyond the station, just before the tunnel portal. T/K cars (the routes are through routed together with southbound T trains switching their signs to K at Embarcadero, and northbound at West Portal) and N cars use the portal and don't terminate.
The station was definitely designed (unlike the other Market Street Subway stations where MUNI has full 10 car BART length platforms) after it was decided that the upper level platforms would be used for modern streetcars and not a second subway/rapid transit line (the original plans during construction). This means that fare control on the top-level concourse is much less complicated than other stations and the MUNI entrances lead to actual car boarding areas. In the middle of the station is the MUNI platform and its entrances; there is an opening in the concourse letting passengers on the concourse see the MUNI platform one level below. To reach this platform are two separate banks of MUNI tap-activated only Faregates facing each other that each lead down to a bank of two escalators down to the MINI platform. In between them is the platform elevator. BART and MUNI riders share this single elevator. BART riders have to activate their tickets through a special fare card reader that isn't attached to a fare gate. MUNI riders have a Clipper target. There are two separate (wider) BART fare control areas (that have narrow areas allowing passage outside of fare control) on each side of the entrance to MUNI. Each of these has a couple banks of fare gates. The two entrances are identical with one bank of two escalators, one with an escalator and staircase and finally a narrow wrap-around staircase (to the extreme ends) down near the ends of the BART platform. Decorative the platforms are fairly dark with simple concrete walls with some geometric shapes in the concrete adding some contrast.
To reach street-level, starting at the NE end of the mezzanine are two staircases/up escalators, one out to each side of the street up to each side of Market Street, across from each other between Drumm Street and Spear Street. The one up to the north side of the street leads up right at the end of California Street and the eastern end of the California Cable Car. Next (closest to the MUNI entrance) is a staircase/up escalator to the SW corner of Market Street and Main Street, directly following this is the street elevator. Across Market Street is another staircase/up escalator mid-block between Drum and Davis Streets. Finallay at the SW end of the mezzanine are two more staircases/up escalators up to each side of Market Street, just SW of Davis/Beale Streets.
Photo 1 & 2: 20 April, 2006; 3-5: 14 March, 2010; 6 & 7: 12 June, 2013; 8-13: 13 June, 2013; 14-18: 14 June, 2013; 19-22: 15 June, 2013; 23: 17 January, 2015; 24-26: 18 January, 2015