Getting to the Philadelphia Zoo might be easier, especially from the suburbs, in the not-too-distant future if zoo officials have their way and get a SEPTA train station.
The zoo recently opened a 683-spot parking garage to deal with traffic from visitors. But, besides the Girard trolley, there is no way to get to the zoo by rail leaving more traffic on surrounding roads, especially on nice days and weekends.
One thing that could provide a huge boost to the Zoo’s growth would be a SEPTA Regional Rail train stop at 34th Street and Mantua Avenue, according to officials.
The idea to put a station near the Zoo’s south entrance is a complex one and will take cooperation between many groups, said Zoo president and CEO Vic Dewan.
“It involves getting the neighborhoods involved in that and being part of that discussion. It involves making sure that in our discussions with SEPTA that we put the right framework on that so that it is both financially responsible but also serves our visitors, our employees and this neighborhood.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 80 percent of zoo visitors currently arrive by car. SEPTA doesn’t have the funding for the station so if it is to be opened the money would need to come from federal or other funding.