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Say Hello to SEPTA Metro

February 21, 2024

Things are beginning to look different along SEPTA’s subway, elevated, and trolley lines – now known as SEPTA Metro. SEPTA Metro unifies and organizes these vital lines into one interconnected wayfinding system - making it easier and more intuitive for all who ride. 

Right now - these lines are either referred to by formal terms or with numbering - like Market-Frankford Line and Route 11 Trolley. To help standardize communications network-wide - we are working towards an accessible, simplified naming system that uses letters, numbers, colors, and shapes to make it easier for commuters.

We chose letters as abbreviations for our SEPTA Metro lines because letters are short, easy to remember, easy to repeat, and universally recognized regardless of language, literacy, or visual impairment. And as we plan for the future - the use of letters enables us to anticipate any expansion or operational changes that may occur in the system.

Moreover - the use of letters allows us to build upon existing terminology rather than creating a new system from scratch. Letters can be based on currently used nomenclature – like L for Market-Frankford Line – to make the transition easier and retain what makes our system special.

The term “Trolley” is pretty Philadelphian - but there is no consensus on how to refer to the great routes that link the western neighborhoods to Center City with a traffic-bypassing tunnel. Subway-Surface Trolleys? Tunnel Trolleys? West Philly Trolleys? Or if you have a good memory - you can list out the numbers: 10, 11, 13, 34 & 36. Under the new system - they will be referred to as the T lines.

Adding a number to the letter allows us to talk about different types of lines in a consistent and predictable way.

Trolleys routes 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 have typically been thought of as five different lines. Under the new system - we're going to talk about them as one line - the T line with 5 different services: T1, T2, T3, T4, and T5. Adding a number to the letter allows us to talk about different types of T lines in a consistent and predictable way.

Something that won't change under the new naming system for the L and T - the colors. We’re keeping the color green because these trolleys are most commonly associated with the color and the color blue for the L because again - that color is associated with the line and is highly recognized.  

New signage will also refer to the direction of the train consistently. For example - an eastbound L train will always go to Frankford while a westbound train will always go to 69th Street.

For more info - please click here.