SEPTA’s newly renamed Media-Wawa line is now 3.5 miles longer, after three years of construction on a new transit hub near the convenience store chain’s headquarters.
The new Wawa Station, located at 1490 W. Baltimore Pike, is the first expansion of rail service since the 1980s, said Richard Mahon, SEPTA’s chief of railroad operations. The expansion cost $197 million.
“We want to partner with our county, bring some more stars out here because this has really been an underserved region for us,” Mahon said.
Mahon added they are going to have two bus connections coming to the station, Route 114 and 111, so riders can transfer to the trains. The direct route right into Philadelphia is about a 45-minute ride.
The decision to expand the line came after a great deal of public outreach in the area. Mahon said SEPTA found money to extend the line after agency officials found out they had public interest.
Commuter Riche Kapoor said the station comes at the right time because she recently lost her downtown parking spot. “Before this, I had access to a parking lot in the city. Now I don’t have it anymore because I’m changing jobs, so this is pretty convenient for me,” she said.
Tuan Lam brought his son to see the trains come into the station. He said he also plans to switch from driving his car into the city to riding SEPTA because of the station. “Parking is expensive and it will just be more convenient for me because it’s more affordable,” he said.
SEPTA is hoping the station will help bring back some of the riders who haven’t returned since the start of the pandemic. The transit agency is also luring riders with a new two-story parking garage, which will remain free through the end of the year.
The station is sponsored by convenience store juggernaut Wawa, which is headquartered about 1 mile from the station. The station’s walls feature the company’s logos, both past and present. Wawa also handed out free coffee and souvenirs for those riding the rails on the first regular business day the station was in operation.