By Andria Borba

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — BART is planning on closing some entrances to San Francisco’s Civic Center station.

When it comes to arts and culture in San Francisco, if you don’t want to sit in traffic to get to the Orpheum, the War Memorial Opera House or Symphony Hall, you get off at the Civic Center BART station.

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Nannette Mickel with the San Francisco Ballet said, “We get a lot of calls from folks who want to take BART, but there’s sometimes some difficulties in getting from the BART station to us.”

Now, there’s talk of closing some of the entrances at Civic Center BART, including one in front of the Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street across from the Orpheum.

“It’s already difficult enough. It’s already very difficult for folks to take BART and to get over here that to do anything that would sort of stand in the way of that create another barrier, it would be really bad,” Mickel said.

BART board member Bevan Dufty, who represents this area, says he’s heard the complaints about Civic Center BART.

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“I sit down with the folks at the Orpheum and the Shorenstein Theatre they show me the letters from people that say, “I am not ever coming back, I am canceling my subscription,” Dufty said.

But, he says it’s a necessity to grow the BART system using measure RR funds to put in a new power substation at Civic Center.

“There’s a real shortage of power between like 16th Street and Civic Center,” Dufty said.

Dufty also says it doesn’t make sense for Embarcadero BART, which is far busier to have only eight entrances while Civic Center has 10.

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“I do not at all want to close these stations,” Dufty said. These were my entrances that I used when I worked at City Hall for 25 years. So, I did not want to do it…but you have to put the substation in the right place or you’re not really going to be dealing with the surges and that’s what we really don’t want 10 years from now. And we really want BART to be a world class system again.”