EXCLUSIVE: SEPTA platforms could see major change

Imagine a wall of glass doors that separates SEPTA riders and Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line train cars — doors that slide open when the train arrives, and doors that slide closed when the train departs.

City Councilman David Oh exclusively told Metro that a Korean company is interested in erecting these glass-door walls, which the company calls platform screen doors, in as many subway and El station stops as possible to help improve the safety and cleanliness of SEPTA stations.

Oh said the company, TIS, Inc, based in Seoul, Korea, is meeting with SEPTA on Oct. 30 to discuss a possible partnership.

“It’s cleaner. It smells better. It looks better. It’s more efficient. It’s safer. It’s brighter,” Oh said of the screens.

SEPTA Spokeswoman Jerri Williams said the screen doors “are one of several measures we are evaluating to improve safety on the platforms.”

The company, which installed 289 screens in Seoul in a little more than two years, is looking to enter the US marketplace.

“And this company wants to use Philadelphia as a demonstration,” Oh said.

TIS uses a financial model based on advertising. The company would manufacture and install the screens at their own costs, and make their money back from advertising on digital monitors affixed on the screens. And, Oh said, after the company made its money back, it would turn the screens over to SEPTA, which can then profit from the advertising.

The plan would be for the company to build the screens in more than 10 stations as a test, and fill out the rest of the stations if all parties are satisfied.

“And my thing is,” Oh said, “you can do it in our city, and then you could headquarter your operation in Philadelphia as you start to marketing to other parts of the US.”


The screens act as dividers between the cars and the riders. Extending from the platform to the ceiling, the company claims these screens would helpprevent suicides as well as improve safety, lighting, and efficiency. Oh added:”And because the trains don’t have to slow down as they approach the station for safety reasons, the trains circulate faster and more efficiently.”

Underground stations would get full-sized screens, while outside platforms would get partial dividers.Philadelphia workers would install the screens, Oh said.

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