SEPTA has completed reconstruction of the 5th Street/Independence Hall Station – transforming it into a destination worthy of its location in the middle of the nation’s most historic square mile. Now, the station is ready to welcome all residents, workers, visitors and other travelers as the City and Region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
SEPTA, city, state and federal officials, members of the community and other stakeholders gathered today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and made it clear: Philadelphia is open!
“We are extremely proud of the new 5th Street/Independence Hall Station,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “In my time on the SEPTA Board, we have rebuilt many stations, but this project is truly unique. The station now has everything you need in a modern transportation hub, and the way it was designed fits perfectly into our historic district.”
The station has been fully renovated, with improvements including mitigation of long-standing water infiltration issues; installation of new glass headhouses on the street level; new platform, floor and wall tiles, and LED lighting; and architectural treatments, such as bluestone pavers common in the historical area. A stand-out feature of the new station is the Art In Transit installation, “Portal to Discovery,” by local artist Tom Judd.
“In undertaking this renovation, one of our priorities was to create a space that welcomes riders from around the corner and around the world,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “The art installation really captures the links between America’s most historic neighborhood and the diversity of the population here over the last three centuries. We are thrilled to have this ready in time for the summer tourist season, and we encourage everyone coming to Independence National Historical Park and nearby destinations to sit back, relax and let SEPTA get you there.”
Tuesday’s event coincides with SEPTA lifting COVID-related capacity limits (https://www.septa.org/media/releases/2021/5-17-21.html) on all its vehicles to accommodate more riders. Customers and employees are still required to wear face masks in stations and on all buses, trolleys and trains. In addition, starting tomorrow, June 2, the City of Philadelphia will further relax its COVID restrictions. These decisions are based on increasing vaccination rates, and continued drops in reported cases of COVID-19.
The event also highlights the efforts of Ready.Set.Philly!, a collaborative effort by the City of Philadelphia, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and a broad coalition of employers and organizations throughout the area to encourage and support people to return to Philadelphia for jobs, entertainment, and everything in-between.
“With today’s official grand opening of SEPTA’s 5th Street/Independence Hall Station, we are also celebrating the reopening of the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “With the help of SEPTA and the work of Ready.Set.Philly!, we hope bringing people back into our city for work and play will bring back what we have missed this past year.”
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