PATCO’s Franklin Square station to open later this year

The $30 million project at 7th and Race streets has steadily worked towards resurrecting the “ghost station,” and will include ADA accessibility features.

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The inside of the ongoing construction of PATCO's Franklin Square station, made with bird-safe glass

Inside the new entrance of Franklin Square Station at at 7th and Race streets in Philadelphia, in progress in Feb. of 2024, was built with bird-safe glass. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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PATCO’s Franklin Square station project is 75% complete and is expected to reopen either this summer or fall, according to the Port Authority.

Since 2022, the $30 million project at 7th and Race streets has steadily worked towards resurrecting the “ghost station,” including new ADA accessibility features such as elevators and escalators.

The new entrance will feature a green roof to manage stormwater runoff, as well as transparent walls allowing for plenty of natural light to peek through. Construction has also centered around replacing much of the electrical and mechanical systems, as well as bringing the station’s fire safety features up to date.

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The station has retained classic features, most notably the tiling lining the platforms at Franklin Square, which is mostly intact from when it closed in 1979.

“You’ve got the feel of the old structure with the modern environmental changes as well and also changes that make this station more accessible to people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to traverse the steps,” DRPA CEO and PATCO President John Hanson said. “It’s going to open up public transportation in this area to even more people to connect them again to the things that are important to them.”

PATCO General Manager John Rink was 7 years old the last time he took a ride to Franklin Square station for the Bicentennial Celebration. He said he’s “extremely excited” for the opportunity to “provide a new connection for people.”

“Development around the station above ground is totally different from when it was last open,” Rink said. “All the residential apartments and condos were built, to the new Constitution Center that’s down there and all the work around Independence Hall, including the park… So it’s a great opportunity for people to connect to this location and the changes since it’s last been open.”

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The project is banking on the multiple development proposals taking shape nearby, such as the Chinatown Stitch and 76 Place. Hanson said if the arena is built, people going to games will likely use the station to get there.

“We believe in this project,” Hanson said. “And we’re not the only ones. The federal government is paying for half of the construction here, so the federal government believes in this project as well.”

People will be able to ride from Franklin Square to Lindenwold and back by late summer or early fall.

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