Work at the 40th Street Trolley Portal site slowed in December due to the holidays and the frigid temperatures, but progress continues and improvements to the public space are now approaching the finish line. Construction activity has not interrupted trolley service, and we are moving forward in creating a dynamic public space for local residents, employees and commuters.

The all-natural wood siding on the future Trolley Portal Station Diner has been installed, giving a preview of how the building will look when completed in the spring of 2018. Hardscaping elements like the Pennsylvania bluestone boulders and new trees have arrived on the site and paving continues when the temperature permits.

 We are particularly excited that our custom donor pavers – a visible testament to the community’s support for this project - have arrived and will be installed this month. The construction is on target to be completed on schedule.

Although the site will undergo significant physical transformation, SEPTA trolley service will not be disrupted by the construction. The area will remain open to pedestrians for safe access. Construction of the new public space and restaurant, Trolley Car Station, is expected to take approximately ten months to complete.

Check back here for more updates as the project progresses.

40th Street Trolley Portal Gardens


Through a unique public-private partnership with SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, and neighborhood stakeholders, UCD has raised $2.1 million to transform the 40th Street Trolley Portal, the busiest at-grade rail station in the city. By combining great urban design, infrastructure renewal and community engagement, UCD will transform the space from an unsightly expanse of concrete into a vibrant and social space featuring beautiful landscaping, movable seating, and a new restaurant that serves as a community asset for thousands of neighbors, commuters and local employees.
When completed, Trolley Portal Gardens will serve as a beautiful gateway for West Philadelphia trolley passengers and a welcoming public space for neighbors. The new establishment, Trolley Car Station, will be an eastern anchor on the fast-growing Baltimore Avenue business corridor, where tens of thousands of neighbors, commuters, university students, and employees from the nearby VA Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia converge.
The site design emphasizes safety and comfort for the estimated 5,000 riders who board or exit trolleys at the Portal each day. The project will improve pedestrian circulation while using cutting-edge storm water management techniques that replace impervious surfaces with lush wildflower meadow-like mounds planted with native species. The overall aesthetic improvements will enhance the commutes of nearly 60,000 riders who pass through the Portal each day. Green City Works, UCD’s full service landscaping social venture, will maintain the space, ensuring that the neighborhood’s beautification is tied to growth and opportunity for local residents.   

Thank You!

This project would not be possible without the support and collaboration of the neighborhood. UCD is excited to realize the dream of upgrading this area into a magnificent public space for thousands of neighbors, commuters, and local employees


To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Sarah Davis, Director of Development at 215-243-555 x226 or [email protected].