The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded BART a $6.3 million grant to upgrade its 19th Street Station and surrounding streets in downtown Oakland.
The new grant is part of a $28.7 million “Go Uptown” collaboration between BART and the city of Oakland designed to modernize and increase access to the popular station.
“Uptown is one of the hottest, thriving new neighborhoods in Oakland,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in an interview Thursday. “We know that 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs are going to be coming. We know that significant residential units are being built in that area, and this project is going to help accommodate that growth in use at that station.”
Many of those new jobs are expected to come from Uber's new Oakland headquarters, which will occupy the old Capwell's/Sears building at 20th and Broadway and open next year. An entrance connecting 19th Street Station to the building has been shuttered for years but will be reopened as part of the project.
Other practical upgrades, including additional fare gates, two new glass elevators, glass fare barriers and "bike escalators" to help cyclists roll bikes up and down staircases, are being made to accommodate the increasing number of riders using 19th Street Station.