Pictured (left to right): Councilwoman Cindy Bass,; SEPTA GM Jeffrey D. Knueppel; U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah; SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. “Pat” Deon Sr.; FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan; Majeedah Rashid, Executive Director, Nicetown CDC; Faatimah Gamble, co-founder of Universal Companies; Joe Hill, of U.S. Sen. Robert Casey’s office. They were among the dignitaries who gathered on Friday, Nov. 13 to celebrate the reconstruction of SEPTA’s historic Wayne Junction Station.
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Therese McMillan attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly modernized Wayne Junction station — a busy transit rail station in suburban Philadelphia’s Nicetown and Germantown neighborhoods that is part of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) system.
Constructed at the turn of the 20th century, the Wayne Junction transit rail station has been a fixture in North Philadelphia since it was opened by the Reading Railroad in 1881. Designed by the renowned architect Frank Furness, the station was rebuilt in 1901 but had fallen into a state of disrepair over its more than 100 years of use. The facility is considered a major transit hub, serving more than 161,011 riders annually via six regional rail lines. Three bus routes connect the station to the surrounding community and the city of Philadelphia.
“The modernization of the Wayne Junction transit rail station makes it more inviting for people to take the train, and that will make these neighborhoods, and others throughout metro Philadelphia, more livable and more sustainable,” said McMillan. “For residents and businesses in Nicetown, the completion of this project means they will benefit from safer, more accessible and environmentally friendly access to SEPTA transportation services."
The extensive, four-year project began in fall 2011. Renovations included: making the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the construction of new station platforms and new elevators and an ADA compliant egress throughout the station; upgrading power, signal and track infrastructure; restoring passenger tunnels and stairways; and improving passenger amenities including signage, lighting, the Audio Visual Public Announcement system; and new HVAC systems, shelters, canopies and benches.
The U.S. Department of Transportation contributed $24.6 million toward the construction of the $31.5 million project. Federal funds included $3.9 million through an FTA competitive livability grant, and $17.16 million through FTA’s Section 5309 Fixed Guideway Modernization and 5337 State of Good Repair Programs.