The Greater Derby Chronicles:
69th Street Transportation Center
July 5, 2018
The 69th Street Transportation Center, seen to the right in this photograph,
is connected to a pedestrian bridge that allows individuals to cross Market Street in a safe manner.
The 69th Street Transportation Center opened on March 4, 1907. Since that day, this building – known by a variety of names through the years – has been the hub of activity in Upper Darby Township. From this one building, travelers are able to connect to buses and rapid transit lines that provide direct access to locales in 5 counties in 2 states.
The words may be different – trolley lines and streetcar routes, light rail lines, railways, a high-speed line, and an elevated-subway line – but whatever names are used, the transit lines that converge at the 69th Street Transportation Center have helped guide the development of Upper Darby Township and many communities in Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
Sometimes, we pass a building many days without thinking about its importance.
Its impact on the lives of people.
The opportunities available because of its location.
The 69th Street Transportation Center is such a building.
Utilized for transport by thousands of people each day, this transit center provides major opportunities to residents of and visitors to Upper Darby.
From this one site, people can travel directly to educational institutions, medical facilities, retail centers, governmental offices, tourist attractions, employment centers, and transport facilities to locales throughout the United States and beyond.
The Brandywine Campus of The Pennsylvania State University is located in Middletown Township,
Delaware County. This campus is directly connected to the 69th Street Transportation Center
by way of four bus routes, the SEPTA 110, 111, 114, and 117 Bus Routes.
From the 69th Street Transportation Center, travelers have direct access to a number of institutions of higher learning, including The Pennsylvania State University Brandywine Campus, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, three campuses of the Delaware County Community College, Villanova University, Cheney University, Swarthmore College, Saint Joseph’s University, and West Chester University.
In addition, within blocks of transit from 69th Street are Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Rosemont College.
With one transfer, you can get public transit directly to Temple University, Montgomery County Community College, Ursinus College, Immaculata University, and Lincoln University.
Direct access to the Philadelphia International Airport is available from the
69th Street Transportation Center via SEPTA Bus Route 108.
The King of Prussia Mall is directly accessible to the 69th Street Transportation Center by way
of SEPTA Bus Route 123. Other transit combinations with one transfer are also available,
including travel from Upper Darby via the Norristown High-Speed Line to Gulph Mills
and then taking SEPTA Bus Route 124 or SEPTA Bus Route 125. Other one-transfer
combinations are also feasible to get to King of Prussia.
A number of retail centers are directly accessible from Upper Darby, including the King of Prussia Mall, Springfield Mall, Suburban Square, and Lawrence Park, among other commercial centers. Retail corridors along 69th Street (of course), West Chester Pike, City Avenue, and dozens of other communities are directly connected through public transportation from the 69th Street Transportation Center.
Main Line communities from Ardmore and Bryn Mawr to Paoli and Wayne are directly
connected by public transit into the 69th Street Transportation Center. This photograph
shows an entrance to Radnor Township along Lancaster Avenue at its intersection with
Sugartown Road and Eagle School Road. SEPTA Bus Route 106 takes travelers along
Lancaster Avenue in this area. The stone monument to the right in this photo indicates
that this site is 14 miles to the center of the City of Philadelphia.
The Chester County Justice Center is located directly across the street from the
West Chester Transportation Center. Travelers from Upper Darby are able to
get to this location by way of SEPTA Bus Route 104.
Governmental centers for four of the area county seats are accessed from 69th Street, including Delaware County offices in Media, Montgomery County offices in Norristown, Chester County offices in West Chester, and offices for the City of Philadelphia in Center City. In the case of the City, there is a transit station and concourse that connects directly with City offices. In the case of both Delaware and Montgomery County offices, travelers need not walk more than two blocks to get to the Courthouses for these two counties.
Tigers are among the animals visitors can admire – from a distance, of course – at the Philadelphia Zoo.
This tourist attraction is able to be reached from the 69th Street Transportation Center with
one transfer from the Market-Frankford Line to the Philly PHLASH or to the SEPTA Trolley Route 15.
SEPTA Bus Route 38 is also a transfer option for travel to the Philadelphia Zoo.
Tourist attractions that are within a couple blocks from public transportation stops that directly access the 69th Street Transportation Center include Independence Hall and Penns Landing. With one transfer, additional tourist attractions are directly accessible, including Valley Forge National Park, the Please Touch Museum, The Philadelphia Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Zoo, among other sites.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby is one of a number of medical centers
that is accessible by public transit from the 69th Street Transportation Center
in Upper Darby. This hospital is reached via SEPTA Bus Routes 113 and 115.
A number of medical centers are within a couple blocks of transport lines from Upper Darby, including Bryn Mawr Hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Crozer Chester Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Wills Eye Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn Presbyterian Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, Springfield Hospital, Community Hospital, Taylor Hospital, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Riddle Hospital, Jefferson Frankford Hospital, and Paoli Hospital.
The Corporal Michael Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center is accessible
to travelers from the 69th Street Transportation Center either directly by way
of SEPTA Route 30 or with one transfer to SEPTA Route 42.
With one transfer from transport routes originating at the 69th Street Transportation Center, other medical centers directly accessible include Temple University Hospital, Hahnemann University Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Eagleville Hospital, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, Suburban Community Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital, Pottstown Hospital, Corporal Michael Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Norristown State Hospital.
The headquarters for the nationally-known consumer products manufacturer
Scrub Daddy is located 2 blocks from a stop on SEPTA Bus Route 115.
Beyond all of the employment opportunities at the retail centers, governmental offices, medical facilities, the Philadelphia International Airport, and at the other types of sites accessible via transit from Upper Darby noted in this news column, dozens of additional employment centers are directly connected to the 69th Street Transportation Center - from South Philadelphia to Folcroft and from University City to Center City Philadelphia.
In the early years of its operation, the 69th Street Transportation Center helped lead to the development of Upper Darby Township and neighboring communities. The 69th Street retail corridor developed directly because of the transportation lines in the area.
Today, while a substantial number of people pass through the terminal to transfer from one SEPTA transport line to another to go elsewhere, there are a number of people that utilize public transit to come to work and shop in Upper Darby.
In future years, these transportation systems could be utilized to bring far more people into Upper Darby if additional employment, retail, and educational facilities were in place in the Township.
In the next edition of The Greater Derby Chronicles, we’ll highlight some photographs of the 69th Street Transportation Center through the years.
The top image of the 69th Street streetscape is courtesy of Google, 2017.
The photograph of the entrance to the Brandywine Campus of
The Pennsylvania State University is courtesy of Google, 2012.
The photograph of the King of Prussia Mall is courtesy of Dough48725 via Wikipedia, 2017.
The photograph of the entrance to Radnor Township is courtesy of Google, 2016.
The photograph of the Chester County Justice Center is courtesy of Google, 2017.
The photograph of the Philadelphia Zoo is courtesy of the Philadelphia Zoo, date uncertain.
The photograph of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital is courtesy of Google, 2012.
The photograph of Corporal Michael Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center
is courtesy of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, date uncertain.
The image of the logo of Scrub Daddy is owned by the firm and
is displayed here courtesy of Scrub Daddy, 2018.
The photograph of the Scrub Daddy headquarters building is courtesy of Google, 2017.
The image of the map of transit routes at the 69th Street
Transportation Center is courtesy of SEPTA, 2018.
Do you have questions about local history? A street name? A building?
Your questions may be used in a future news article.
Contact Richard McDonough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2018 Richard McDonough