SEPTA has officially completed reconstruction of the 5th Street/Independence Hall Station and is ready to welcome all travelers as the city and region continue to recover from COVID-19. SEPTA, city, state and federal officials, as well as members of the community gathered Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the station.
“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 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 Wednesday, 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 in the city.
“Today’s event formally reopening SEPTA’s 5th Street/Independence Hall Station is an important milestone not just for SEPTA but for all who are working to reopen the City and jumpstart our recovery,” said Rep. Dwight Evans. “The new station is truly a gateway for those commuting to work and visiting our great city. Projects like this are exactly the kinds of transformative investments that are possible when we make infrastructure a priority and invest in building back better.”