PHILADELPHIA NEWS: SEPTA and Wawa Announce Station Naming Rights Agreement
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Wawa Station to Open Aug. 21
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, DELAWARE COUNTY (July 27, 2022) – SEPTA’s newest Regional Rail station will bear the name of a hometown institution thanks to a naming rights agreement announced today. The new Wawa Station will officially open for service on Sunday, August 21.
This announcement represents an important milestone for SEPTA’s multi-year project to restore more than 3.5 miles of Regional Rail service west of Elwyn to the new Wawa Station. SEPTA trains last served this area in 1986. The Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line will now be called the Media/Wawa Line to reflect the new terminus of service.
The partnership with Wawa is SEPTA’s fifth major naming rights agreement since 2010. As with the other agreements, this collaboration will further SEPTA’s commitment to generating new sources of revenue, which is critical to ensure the Authority can continue to recover from the pandemic.
“With this station naming rights agreement, SEPTA continues to be an industry leader in finding innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver enhanced services for our customers,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. "We are grateful to Wawa for recognizing SEPTA’s value to the region and for lending the Wawa name to our newest station.”
“From the Hub of Hope to our new SEPTA Key Advantage program, Wawa has supported so many of SEPTA’s service and community-building initiatives,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “We are thrilled that Wawa is partnering with us to make its hometown station a vibrant part of our Regional Rail network. We look forward to launching this new service and improving transportation options for those living and working in Middletown Township, Chester Heights, and surrounding communities.”
Construction on the Elwyn to Wawa Service Restoration Project began in 2018, following earlier slope stabilization and substation work, and is nearing substantial completion. The new Wawa Station building is fully ADA accessible with a pedestrian underpass and restroom facilities. It features a 600-space parking deck and signalized access to Route 1. The station has multimodal access with connections to SEPTA Bus Routes 111 and 114.
“Wawa is thrilled to partner with SEPTA to relaunch the Media/Wawa Line and provide our friends and neighbors a convenient way to travel from Wawa, Pennsylvania, to Center City Philadelphia and all stops in between,” said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. “Located across from the Wawa Dairy that has been bottling and distributing milk for more than 100 years and adjacent to our home office campus, this rail line has meant a lot to Wawa and to our founding family throughout the years. We cannot wait to celebrate its return and look forward to being a part of new history through this new station.”
Well before SEPTA trains last served the area in 1986, this rail line played a critical role in Wawa’s history and growth. In 1903, just one year after George Wood founded the Wawa Dairy, the Pennsylvania Railroad opened a station at 32nd and Market Streets in Philadelphia, then known as the West Philadelphia Depot. Soon after, Wood had a local architect design a “Milk Depot” across the street at 32nd Street and Woodland Avenue, which served as an office and distribution center. This enabled Wawa milk to be quickly and easily transported from the dairy farm to the city via the Wawa train station. After arriving at the “Milk Depot,” Wawa milk could then be delivered directly to customers throughout the area.
“The restoration of SEPTA service from Elwyn to the new Wawa Station will give Middletown Township a second train station for our vibrant Township and provides an additional access to transportation for residents who live in, the business community who works in, and those who visit Middletown Township,” said Middletown Township Council Chair Mark Kirchgasser. “Wawa is a valued partner in Middletown’s past, present and future, and we are pleased that it has chosen to invest in this project for our residents.”
“The long-awaited return of rail service to residents of Chester Heights is an exciting development for the Borough, and we are pleased that the sponsorship of Chester Heights' very own Wawa, Inc. will help tell and celebrate our mutual history,” said Chester Heights Borough Mayor Ginamarie Ellis. “The new Wawa Station will be a convenient amenity for our residents and those traveling to and visiting this area. We look forward to the end of construction and the beginning of service next month.”
SEPTA and Wawa will celebrate the opening of Wawa Station with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August. Service and schedule details will be announced soon.
SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) is the nation's fifth largest transit system, with a vast network of fixed route services including bus, subway, trolley, trackless trolley, and Regional Rail, as well as ADA paratransit and Shared Ride programs. This network provides service in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties with connections into New Jersey and Delaware. SEPTA is also one of the region's largest employers, with a workforce of approximately 9,500 employees. For more information about SEPTA, please visit septa.org, follow @SEPTA on Twitter, or download the official SEPTA app.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for freshly prepared foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services and surcharge-free ATMs. Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The stores offer a large fresh foodservice selection, including Wawa brands such as custom prepared hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, specialty beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks. Forbes.com Ranks Wawa as #29 of America’s Largest Private Companies in 2021 and #12 on Forbes 100 Halo List in 2022.