SEPTA 30th Street Station exterior with new glass headhouse, canopy, and improved accessibility.

SEPTA 30th Street Station Improvements

Upgrades prepare Philadelphia transportation hub for increasing ridership amid neighborhood expansion

Our Client’s Challenge

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) 30th Street Station, recently renamed Drexel Station at 30th Street, has served riders of SEPTA’s trolley lines and the Market-Frankford Line since 1955. Located adjacent to Amtrak’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, the station is heavily used by commuters transferring to and from Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and SEPTA regional rail and buses. Students at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University and patrons of local businesses and restaurants add to the 25,000 daily users of the station’s transportation services.

30th Street Station was outdated, functionally obsolete, and limited in its ability to serve the surrounding community effectively. Interior and exterior improvements now enhance the passenger experience and support the economic development in the surrounding University City neighborhood.

The enhanced station is essential to delivering riders to the parks, residential, office, and retail spaces being developed as part of the Schuylkill Yards project. The station’s new main entrance at the northwest corner of 30th and Market Streets matches the aesthetics of these dynamic new spaces and provides expanded station capacity.

Our Solution

Gannett Fleming provided services to SEPTA on a task order basis through a general engineering consultant services contract. The work included multiple simultaneous tasks for services, such as:

All work was conducted while the station remained operational to minimize rider impacts.

A new canopy structure and protective enclosures shelters riders entering the station at the new street-level entrance. A new set of stairs and two new escalators leads to the mezzanine level.

The work below grade included reconfiguration of the existing station-level mezzanine spaces as the station’s footprint grew by 2,500 square feet. Work also included the renovation of the station finishes, lighting, and communications systems throughout the mezzanine and platform levels.

Our vertical transportation team provided design and construction support for two new hydraulic elevators, refurbishment of two existing elevators, and two new escalators.

Projects that improve the station’s accessibility include:

  • Continuous detectable warning surface panels at the platform edge.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant signage, stair treads, and the replacement of handrails throughout the station.
  • ADA-compliant employee restrooms.

Stakeholders representing Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, and the city of Philadelphia were heavily involved with coordinating the project design.

Key Features

  • Improvements to station entrance circulation.
  • New and refurbished elevators and escalators.
  • Upgraded wayfinding signage.


  • Interior and exterior improvements provide new opportunities for community, connectivity, and identity.
  • Repairs and renovations bring the station to a state of good repair and meet ADA compliance guidelines.
  • A comprehensive phasing plan eliminated disruptions to operations.

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards. This web part is hidden.


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)


Philadelphia, Pa.


Architecture & Engineering Design, Vertical Transportation Design, Rail System Design

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