Powell Street is a station on the two-level Market Street Subway. The lower-level opened for BART service on November 5, 1973. The upper level entered service by Light Rail vehicles with the opening of the MUNI Metro in February 1980. The station has three levels, the uppermost level is a mezzanine entrance and fare control concourse, the middle level is used by MUNI for LRVs, and the lower level by BART with the usual separate fare control areas, each system has two. The mezzanine has decorative white hexagonal tiles that are slightly circular disks. These are along platform and street escalators and stairs. The track walls of the Upper Level MUNI platform have a midsection painted red with ads. The lower level BART track walls have a previously grey but now orange trimline with grey walls. The station has received recent renovations with new white illuminated Powell signs along the BART platform and other black illuminated signs for direction of travel information and green illuminated signs for exits.
Up to the mezzanine: our tour starts at the extreme NW end of the mezzanine here are two streetstairs (with up escalators) that lead up to each side of Market Street, just NE of 4th Street and serve the Moscone Center. Next is a corridor that leads past a sealed off former entrance up to the SW corner of Stocketon & Ellis Street that has been closed because of the Central Subway Construction Project. Passengers must continue down the mezzanine a bit father before reaching the platform elevator. Here MUNI and BART riders share an elevator, MUNI riders have a Clipper Target before entering the POP fare zone, and BART riders have a special fare card validation machine. The elevator reaches the MUNI platform a ways from the actual trains, this requires elevator passengers to walk down a walkway with a fence between a track and ancillary rooms before finally reaching a doorway onto the end of the MUNI platform. The street elevator is nearby up to the NW side of Market Street right near Ellis Street. Across from these elevators is the eastern BART entrance. This entrance has a single two escalators with a narrow staircase entrance with two sides of fare gates. On the other side of this BART entrance are two streetstairs/escalators up to each side of Market Street (midblock just west of Fourth & Ellis & Stockton). On the otherside is a small MUNI Metro entrance with a single, wide staircase and escalator down to that platform.
The portion of the concourse open to the public becomes narrower as the western end of the station is reached. Here is the main BART entrance with two combined escalators/staircases to and from the lower level platform. Across from it at the extreme western end of the concourse is the second MUNI entrance with faregates and a single but wide combined staircase/up escalator. To reach the street (all are within the area shared by BART and Muni) are two streetstairs to the SE side of Market Street with a direct entrance to the basement of the Westfield San Francisco in between. One of these street stairs leads up to the SW corner of Fifth Street and Market, the other on the otherside of Fifth Street more midblock. The NW side leads out to Hallidie Plaza, this sunken plaza has entrances from both sides of Cyril Magrin Street and a staircase up to the end of Powell Street at the Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround. The sunken plaza has an elevator down to it but this is mainly designed to serve the businesses in the plaza (including the San Francisco Visitor's Center and Cable Car Coffee, not BART/MUNI riders) with BART not acknowledging the elevator on its literature. Underground in the entrance area are a number of Mosaics. These are Putting the Pieces together, by the Larken Street Youth Center, 2005.
Photo 1-4: 20 April, 2006; 5-14: 14 March, 2010; 15-27: 13 June, 2013; 28: 14 June, 2013; 29-63: 15 June, 2013; 64-70: 17 January, 2015