How many of you frequent Franklin Square or Old City? How many of you live in South Jersey? If enough of you can answer yes to both questions, then it might be time for DRPA (and PATCO) to re-open Franklin Square Station. The real questions to ask when examining whether the station should be re-added to the schedule is how many people will use a re-opened Franklin Square Station, and how many new riders will PATCO get out of it. If the response to either question is negligible, there’s not much of a point in making the train ride for people looking to travel elsewhere in Center City longer.
With this in mind, there’s evidence that a re-opened Franklin Square Station might be well-patronized and attract new riders to PATCO (people who would otherwise drive into Old City). Franklin Square has become a destination for the young (and the young at heart and soul). Old City continues to prove a popular place to live, shop, drink, and even work. Those who shop in Old City could make use of a re-opened Franklin Sq. Station, while those who live there could reverse-commute to work or college in South Jersey.
While the 8th and Market PATCO stop is not too far away, the extra few blocks walk could mean the difference between driving in and taking the train for some South Jersey residents. This is especially true for those with young kids who would be inclined to visit the carousel and/or miniature golf course at Franklin Square. Another argument that’s been made against re-opening the station is the inhospitable walking environment at the intersection of 6th and Race Sts., which would be right outside a re-opened station. While the multi-laned Race St. can be intimidating, it’s only bound to get better for pedestrians. After all, it separates Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center from Franklin Sq. This is an intersection that has to become more walkable.
Of course, DVARP is not going to do any advocating without hearing from you. Would you use a re-opened Franklin Sq. Station? Do you know anyone else who would use the station? Would the station compel you to use the train, when you would otherwise drive in? Let us know your opinion on re-establishing rail service to Franklin Square.
Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers
1601 Walnut St., Suite 1129
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2913
phone: 215-RAILWAY (215-724-5929)