As of January this year, University City Station has been renamed Penn Medicine Station. This is a part of a 3.3 million dollar deal and business partnership between SEPTA and Penn Medicine. The name change is an effort to advertise the hospital The Pavilion, which is set to open in 2021. The changes to the station also include name changes on maps, signage, and digital screens.
Penn Medicine Station is one of the many stops along the Media/Elwyn Line, which is currently the only line that runs through Swarthmore Station. It is a popular stop among students wishing to attend classes, lectures, and events at the University of Pennsylvania. Penn Medicine services not only the Media/Elwyn Line, but also the Airport Line Regional Rail, Warminster Line Regional Rail, Wilmington/Newark Line Regional Rail, and the West Trenton Line Regional Rail.
The name change has caused some confusion among travellers, as it did not immediately translate to digital navigation services such as Google Maps. Up until Feb. 7, the name change was not updated on either Google Maps or Apple Maps, which lead to navigational difficulties among Swarthmore students, with some of them almost missing the stop entirely. Kiran McDonald ’23 experienced some confusion while he was travelling to Penn Law School in order to attend a conference hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s South Asian Law Student Association.
“I didn’t know about [the name change]” he stated.
Lack of awareness appears to be a leading issue regarding the name change; as of February, there were no announcements made on the Media/Elwyn Line addressing it.
McDonald also had opinions on the choice of name: “Penn Medicine seems too corporate,” he remarked. “I liked University City [as a name] better… It just had a better flow.”
The 3.3 million will be paid to SEPTA over a five-year period, and travellers should expect to see this revenue directed towards the day-to-day running of the transit system. The other stations’ names remain unchanged.
Photo courtesy of Princeton Huang of the Phoenix