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SEPTA Celebrates 40th Street Station Accessibility Improvements

Kristin Mestre-Velez
Public Information Manager

Crucial transit hub and gateway into West Philadelphia were common phrases used to describe SEPTA's 40th Street Station along its Market-Frankford Line until December 2017, when the transit Authority added accessible to that list.

"Let's all ride SEPTA," said Patricia Russell, Chairwoman of the SEPTA Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation (SAC). "I want to thank SEPTA for keeping us abreast of every move during this project and for giving us the opportunity to let you know what the community is saying."

SEPTA joined elected officials, community leaders and advocates from the disability community to celebrate the completion of the 40th Street Station Improvement Project, which includes the installation of two new elevators that provide direct access from the street to the subway level fare line. These enhancements streamline service for riders to and from the station.

"A station with elevators and enhanced lighting is a prime example of how improvements can be made for everyone," said Thomas Earle, CEO of Liberty Resources. "For people with disabilities to be able to live in a community, we need basic things and Philadelphia is doing that for us."

Improvements to 40th Street Station were made possible with funding from Act 89, the state's comprehensive transportation funding law which was passed in November 2013 to provide a long-term, dedicated funding source for capital improvements to transportation across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SEPTA has embarked on efforts across the region to bring the system into a state of good repair utilizing Act 89 funds.

"I have been asked about 40th Street Station improvements throughout my career," SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel said. "Act 89 is a wonderful life giver to us because it makes projects like this possible. In general, SEPTA doesn't just move people, we're part of the community, all of which is visible in this project."

SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line is a life line for the 187,000 customers who use the line each day, with nearly 7,000 traveling through 40th Street Station. The station also provides a connection to SEPTA Bus Routes 30 and 40.

Knueppel added, "I am extremely proud of the work we've done here. Thousands of SEPTA customers utilize 40th Street Station along our Market-Frankford Line to connect to the growing residential, educational and medical campuses of University City. With the new elevators in place, we can now provide full ADA accessibility for all riders at this critical transit hub." During the ribbon cutting ceremony, each legislative official and community leader who spoke echoed the SEPTA General Manager's sentiments.

With the completion of the 40th Street Station Improvement project, SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line has 24 accessible stations. The station remained open during construction.

Improvements made to 40th Street Station under the $9.23 million project include:

  • Installation of two new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant elevators at the northeast and southwest corners of 40th and Market Streets
  • Station and pedestrian way-finding signage, along with upgraded doors, gates, and employee facilities
  • Architectural enhancements including tile work; structural and concrete repairs, painting, flooring and ceiling systems
  • New stair and elevator headhouses

The new headhouses incorporate public art installations named "Nexus" as part of SEPTA's Art in Transit Program. Nexus, which was done with community input and participation, features colorful patterns on each of the four headhouses depicting the Philadelphia Street Grid, with a focus on the station's location at 40th and Market Streets. Artists Marianne Lovink and Scott Eunson designed the artwork so that the colorful patterns on each headhouse reflect Philadelphia's interconnectedness, the flow of its waterways, its public green spaces and the digital information systems that link residents together to share ideas and communicate. SEPTA's Art in Transit Program incorporates artistic elements into renovation and construction projects at select stations and public transportation facilities.

For more information about SEPTA, visit

SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel highlights 40th Street Station improvements.

SEPTA Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation (SAC) member Thaddeus Robinson takes one of the new 40th Street Station elevators down to the platform.

The new 40th Street Station headhouses incorporate public art installations named "Nexus" as part of SEPTA's Art in Transit Program.

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel (right) prepares to cut the ribbon celebrating the completion of the 40th Street Station Improvement Project. He's surrounded by community leaders and elected officials including US Rep. Dwight Evans (left), Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (center) and state Sen. Vincent Hughes far left.