For the first time in nearly three months, BART riders who use wheelchairs or otherwise rely on elevators have access to the North Berkeley station.
The lone elevator that carries riders from the station platform to street level had been closed since March 12, when BART police said someone intentionally set a fire in the lift.
The transit system initially estimated the closure would last about six weeks, but later doubled its length to almost 12 weeks. BART officials apologized for the closure, saying maintenance crews had difficulty finding the parts they needed to repair the 50-year-old elevator, and had to go through a month-long process to get state approval for the project.
A BART spokesman said the elevator reopened on Friday.
The closure frustrated several North Berkeley riders who rely on the elevator, and had to travel to other BART stations if they wanted to use the system.
“That’s a long time for that station to be off-line for people with mobility disabilities,” said Mark McGoldrick, a North Berkeley resident and BART rider who uses a wheelchair. “It shouldn’t take so long — and if it wasn’t affecting a smaller portion of the population with disabilities, it would’ve been done [sooner].”