Jefferson to pay $4M for SEPTA station naming rights

Stephen Klasko, president and CEO of Jefferson Health System, describes the renaming deal in which Market East Station becomes Jefferson Station. SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey is at right.
Stephen Klasko, president and CEO of Jefferson Health System, describes the renaming deal in which Market East Station becomes Jefferson Station. SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey is at right. (PAUL NUSSBAUM / Staff)
Posted: September 06, 2014

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals will pay $4 million for a five-year deal to put the Jefferson name on SEPTA's Market East commuter rail station in Center City.

For an extra $3.4 million, Jefferson can keep the naming rights for an additional four years - a decision it will make at the end of its initial term.

SEPTA will get 85 percent of the money, and its New York-based advertising agency, Titan Worldwide, will get 15 percent, officials said.

The new Jefferson Station name was unveiled in ceremonies Thursday morning at the 30-year-old subterranean rail hub.

Stephen Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, said the name would raise Jefferson's presence in the region and demonstrate its desire "to provide access to everyone."

Jefferson, the hospital, is just two blocks south of the station.

Thomas Jefferson, the person, wrote the Declaration of Independence four blocks east, at Seventh and Market Streets. His iconic silhouette is featured on the train station marquee, as it is on the hospital signs.

Jefferson Health System will position shuttle buses on 10th Street between Market and Filbert Streets to transport patients from the train station to the hospital, Klasko said.

SEPTA will use the Jefferson money to make customer improvements at the station, including upgrading entrances and restrooms, SEPTA assistant general manager Fran Kelly said.

The station opened as Market East Station in November 1984 as part of the underground Center City Commuter Connection built to link the separate rail networks formerly operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad and inherited by SEPTA.

Market East replaced the aboveground Reading Terminal station, which is now part of the Convention Center.

The naming deal was not SEPTA's first, and it probably won't be its last.

In 2010, SEPTA sold the naming rights for Pattison Station on the Broad Street Subway, rechristening it AT&T Station. That five-year deal cost AT&T $5.4 million, of which SEPTA received $3.4 and the advertising agency Titan got $2 million.

"We're open to talk to anyone about any station any time," said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. But she denied reports that SEPTA had a deal in the works to rename Suburban Station, also in Center City.


pnussbaum@phillynews.com

215-854-4587 @nussbaumpaul

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