SEPTA Welcomes Passengers to New Drexel Station at 30th Street

Written by SEPTA, Agency Communications
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PHILADELPHIA –– SEPTA joined Drexel University and local, state and federal officials this week for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the newly reconstructed and renamed Drexel Station at 30th Street.

Drexel Station at 30th Street is one of SEPTA’s most heavily used transit hubs. The station is served by the Market-Frankford Line, five Trolley lines, multiple bus routes, and provides convenient connections to Regional Rail at the nearby William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. Following completion of the project, Drexel Station at 30th Street is now a modern transit gateway to the SEPTA system for employees, students and visitors traveling to and from Drexel University, University City, and Schuylkill Yards – Brandywine Realty Trust’s vibrant innovation district.

“This transformative project would not have been possible without the partnership and commitment of Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University, which provided important backing and financial support for the project and our successful application for federal grant funding,” said SEPTA Board Chair Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. “SEPTA is pleased that this state-of-the-art station now bears Drexel University’s name – a testament to the strength of our partnership and SEPTA’s value to the city and region.”

Today’s ribbon cutting served as the official unveiling of Drexel Station at 30th Street, along with accompanying signage and branding. This marks SEPTA’s most recent station naming rights agreement, which helps generate revenue and improves the customer experience.

“We’re proud to join the celebration of the opening of the station that will serve as the gateway for so many of our students, faculty, professional staff and community partners as they arrive on campus,” said Drexel President John Fry. “As new educational, research and business development opportunities continue to grow in West Philadelphia, it is fitting for Drexel to welcome everyone to University City.” 

The naming agreement is the latest development in Drexel’s longstanding relationship with SEPTA.  The University was one of the first partners in SEPTA’s Key Advantage Program in 2022. SEPTA is an annual participant in Drexel’s Co-Op program and first-year medical students in the College of Medicine have served as “Health Navigators” in support of SEPTA’s SCOPE (Safety Cleaning Ownership Partnership Engagement) Program.

Drexel Station at 30th Street is the first station to debut the SEPTA Metro Wayfinding initiative – with new colorful, easy to identify station signage. The goal of SEPTA Metro is to create modern, welcoming, and accessible transit stations that everyone can use – no matter what language they speak or how well they know the #SEPTA system. SEPTA via Facebook

“The reconstruction of this flagship station will not only improve mobility and enhance access for SEPTA customers; it also demonstrates how transit infrastructure investments build communities and support regional economic growth,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “We are fortunate to have supportive regional funding partners and stakeholders – led by our Congressional delegation – who understand and promote the important role of SEPTA in the region.”

The project was initiated to modernize station infrastructure, increase capacity and improve circulation between transportation modes, and support the world-class development underway in the district. It was funded in part through a $15 million U.S. Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant and $34.2 million in Pennsylvania Department of Transportation funding, which was made possible by Pennsylvania Act 89.

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-3) said, “I want to commend SEPTA and Drexel for this partnership, and I’m very pleased to see that transportation funding I voted for – both at the federal level and when I served as a state representative – is continuing to deliver for Philadelphia. We’ll also continue to see other SEPTA improvements and repairs as a result of President Biden’s 2021 Infrastructure and Jobs Act that I voted for.”

“The reconstruction of SEPTA’s Drexel Station at 30th Street is another example of USDOT and SEPTA working together to improve rail transit in the Philadelphia region,” said FTA Regional Administrator Terry Garcia-Crews.  “The improvements will create better opportunities for faster, more reliable transit. Public transportation at its best serves as a safe, fast and efficient connector – taking people to jobs, school, vital community services and to see friends and family. The improvements we celebrate today will get SEPTA closer to those goals.”

“This station is an example of how Commonwealth investments can make safe, multimodal connections in communities across Pennsylvania,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said. “As another example of opportunities made possible through state support, Governor Shapiro’s proposal to make the largest state transit investment in over a decade would help ensure that the services Pennsylvanians’ rely on can continue meeting their current and future needs.”

Extensive renovations were completed as part of the station reconstruction project to better integrate the station into Drexel Square and the broader Schuylkill Yards district. Improvements include a new glass headhouse and canopy; upgraded elevators, escalators and stairs to improve accessibility; a modernized and expanded mezzanine with enhanced lighting and improvements to connections between transit services; and new flooring and tiling throughout.

“Schuylkill Yards is uniquely positioned as one of the most exceptional transit-oriented developments in the nation, introducing 6.5 acres of greenspace, revamped transit and infrastructure, and a vibrant mix of work and lifestyle experiences,” said Brandywine Realty Trust President and CEO Jerry Sweeney. “Today’s celebration is a tribute to the power of public-private partnerships, civic engagement, and good corporate citizenship. We were delighted to partner with SEPTA on this endeavor to create a welcoming gateway to Schuylkill Yards for the thousands of commuters, students, and visitors who visit our neighborhood each day.”

The Market-Frankford Line and Trolleys remained in service at the station throughout construction.  Before the project began, SEPTA installed a new elevator at 31st Street to ensure that station accessibility was preserved for customers. SEPTA closely coordinated construction activities with Drexel and community stakeholders throughout the project.

“Drexel Station at 30th Street is West Philadelphia’s mass transit gateway to the rest of the city, the region, and the entire nation. And it is the launch pad for visitors looking to explore West and Southwest Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie R. Gauthier (3rd District). “Thanks to this private-public partnership, SEPTA riders who pass through Drexel Station will enjoy a safer, cleaner, more pleasant, and more accessible experience!.”

Drexel Station at 30th Street is the first station to debut the SEPTA Metro Wayfinding initiative, with new colorful, easy to identify station signage. The goal of SEPTA Metro is to create modern, welcoming, and accessible transit stations that everyone can use, no matter what language they speak or how well they know the SEPTA system.  The completion of this station is a significant step forward for the initiative, and during 2024 more new signage will continue to debut at additional stations on the SEPTA Metro system.

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