PHILADELPHIA - SEPTA will be reopening the Market-Frankford Line's Somerset Station in Kensington Monday after a two-week closure to address safety, security, and infrastructure issues.
Officials say the closure was necessary to conduct emergency maintenance and repair work that was needed to "mitigate damage from urination, human waste, discarded needles and other debris."
Repair work was focused on reinforcing key structures like stairs and passenger crossovers, and new enhanced lighting was installed. New signage and paint were also added to the station after a deep cleaning.
SEPTA says work to restore the elevators will likely continue beyond Monday's reopening.
"SEPTA looks forward to welcoming customers back to the Somerset Station," said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. "Closing a station is an action of last resort, however, it was necessary to ensure we could address these critical needs and provide a safe environment for customers and employees."
SEPTA also says Transit Police officers will be assigned to the station throughout the day, and there will be a new street-level police booth. They say the officers will work closely with social outreach specialists who will be assigned to the station to connect those in need with substance abuse or behavioral health treatment and other services.
"These are extremely complex societal issues that we are all grappling with," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "The City is committed to working with SEPTA and our partners in the community to make meaningful changes along the Kensington Avenue Corridor."
Officials say SEPTA will replicate some of the upgrades and changes made at the Somerset Station at other stations where there are similar issues and challenges in the near future. Inspectors have already been dispatched to Allegheny Station to assess what work would be need at that location.
In addition to the changes at stations, 60 security guards will be added on the Market-Frankford Line by next week, according to SEPTA.
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