SEPTA has been awarded $56,050,000 in federal funding to improve station accessibility on its Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and members of Pennsylvania’s southeast Congressional delegation announced. The funding is the first grant awarded through the FTA’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), which was created in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law last November.
ASAP grant funding will allow SEPTA to construct accessibility improvements at five Broad Street Line Stations – Chinatown, Erie, Fairmount, Fairmount (Broad-Ridge Spur) and Snyder – and 11th Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line, which were all built at least 50 years before the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The stations are currently only accessible via stairs, preventing individuals with disabilities that require the use of a mobility device, people with strollers or anyone who is physically unable to use stairs from traveling to and from these destinations.
“Station accessibility is a core part of SEPTA’s capital program,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “I am proud of the Board’s commitment to investing in projects that make our stations and vehicles easier to use, and I am extremely grateful to our Congressional delegation for working to create this program to support our long-term accessibility goals.”
Currently, 25 of 28 Market-Frankford Line Stations and 12 of 25 Broad Street Line Stations are fully accessible, and SEPTA’s 12-year Capital Program includes SEPTA’s commitment to make both lines fully accessible by 2034. Following the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, SEPTA amended its FY 2022 capital budget to initiate design on nine Broad Street Line station accessibility projects to be better positioned for funding opportunities and accelerate construction timelines.
“The ASAP grant, for the first time, provides dedicated discretionary funding for legacy systems like SEPTA to invest in station accessibility projects, and we are excited to be able to make these improvements for our customers and the communities we serve,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “SEPTA stations are gateways to opportunity but only if they are accessible. Thanks to ASAP grant funding, we are closer to reaching our goal of ensuring that all customers can access and benefit from SEPTA service.”
With funding, SEPTA will bring all six stations into full compliance with the ADA. Each station will be retrofitted with elevators to take customers between street level, and station mezzanines and boarding platforms. Additional accessibility enhancements will include the construction of ADA-compliant ramps, curb and sidewalk modifications, the creation of accessible paths of travel, and the reconfiguration of cashier booths to ensure that each station is fully accessible.
“When public transportation isn’t accessible, seniors and people with disabilities can’t get to work, the grocery store, or their doctor’s appointments. Thanks to my All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) in the infrastructure law, SEPTA plans to make six stations on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines fully accessible,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), who co-sponsored the ASAP legislation. “More than 30 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the infrastructure law is helping to fulfill its promise to build a more accessible world for Philadelphians.”
“Investments in public transportation accessibility are investments in people and communities,” said U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-03). “I applaud SEPTA for their commitment to accessibility, and I am pleased that this vital federal funding that I worked to include in the Infrastructure and Jobs Act will make SEPTA more accessible and easier to navigate.”
“With the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we have made a significant down payment on America’s future mobility and economic competitiveness,” said U.S. Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02). “Funding will now be going to critical needs across the entire infrastructure spectrum, and I am proud that we made transit accessibility a priority. The ASAP grant directs funding to where it is needed most, and I am pleased that SEPTA is investing in the stations that serve my constituents.”
“In January, I stood with SEPTA officials at Snyder Station to highlight the types of investments that would be possible through the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”, said U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05). “I am pleased to see that less than one year later, federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is being used to improve accessibility at Snyder and five other stations, giving our transit-dependent communities the accessible and reliable transportation they need to thrive.”