SEPTA Thinking About Renaming Our Transit System “The Metro”

from Youtube

At last check, the big transportation news out of Philadelphia was turning the Vine Street Expressway back into a road after several days as a canal.

Here’s another big story, from Michaela Winberg at Billy Penn:

SEPTA is looking to collectively rename its subways, trolley routes and a light rail as the “the Metro” — part of a $40 million effort to make the public transit system easier to navigate.

The rebrand would affect six SEPTA routes: the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, city trolleys, the Norristown High Speed Line and the Media-Sharon Hill Line. In addition to their new collective name, each route will be identified by a new color and a single letter.

“What Metro says is: Frequent, affordable, all-day, flexible rail service,” said Lex Powers, SEPTA’s strategic planning manager. “What we want people to think of is a light rail-style network that you don’t just use for commuting into Center City for an office job. It’s for seeing friends, going to the doctor, running errands.”

The proposed change comes after a year of research revealing that riders just don’t understand SEPTA’s current signage. After interviewing riders and even watching them attempt to decode signs, they realized that the rail transit network was widely misunderstood — and confusing signs were partially to blame.

Hmm… I’ve never really considered this. Is our system confusing? If you live here and work here you know it like the back of your hand. The EL. Broad Street line. The regional rail lines and all of that. But I guess others might bumble around trying to figure out what’s what. Winberg’s article mentions that a priority is to make it easier for new riders, those with physical challenges, and non-English speakers to use the system, which makes a lot of sense.

They’re gonna test the new setup for a few months, with a feedback period. You can tell SEPTA if you think this is a good idea or it sucks. All I know is that the London Tube was the best subway system I’ve ever been on. Was SUPER EASY to figure out. SEPTA should just do whatever possible to make our system as similar to London’s as possible.

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