Trolley Portal Gardens is the culmination of years of fundraising, planning, and construction to transform the 40th Street Trolley Portal into a welcoming, inclusive neighborhood amenity. Enjoy our native plants, pull up a seat, or head to Renata's Kitchen for a meal or beverage! 

Trolley Portal Gardens


Through a unique public-private partnership with SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, and neighborhood stakeholders, UCD 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 transformed 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.
Trolley Portal Gardens serves as a beautiful gateway for West Philadelphia trolley passengers and a welcoming public space for neighbors. 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 improves pedestrian circulation while using cutting-edge stormwater management techniques that replace impervious surfaces with lush wildflower meadow-like mounds planted with native species. The overall aesthetic improvements enhances the commutes of nearly 60,000 riders who pass through the Portal each day. Green City Works, UCD’s full-service landscaping social venture, maintains the space, ensuring that the neighborhood’s beautification is tied to growth and opportunity for local residents.   


Join University City District and Gretchen Elise for Pop-Ups at The Portal - Thursdays, May 11 through June 15th (5PM to 7PM)! 6 weeks of *FREE* all-ages interactive music at Trolley Portal Gardens (40th and Baltimore)

Performances will move inside Renata's during inclement weather. 



Thursday, May 11th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Gretchen Elise at Trolley Portal Gardens

May 11 from 5PM to 7PM, check out the music of Gretchen Elise. Enjoy Philly fusion music & an open mic! Jazz-based fusion music bursting with improvisation and crowd interaction. Fun, funky and fabulous, Gretchen Elise will get you involved. Performance followed by open mic with the band. 

Check out Gretchen's music on her website, Instagram, and Facebook. 



Thursday, May 18th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

Zay Money and Friends 

On May 18 from 5PM to 7PM, check out the music of ten-year-old Zay Money and Friends! Zay Money sings and dances with a positive message. The young prince of Phiiladelphia, backed by DJ Smooth Rod, and joined by friends including Tre Da Dancer, Le'naya and JPD, builds unity among his peers while DJ Smooth Rod brings everyone into the party. 

Learn more about Zay Money and check out his Instagram and Facebook. 




Thursday, May 25th from 11:00am 

Ants on a Log

On May 25, Ants on a Log brings music for children and childlike people to Trolley Portal Gardens. Ants on a Log’s fun music inspires kids to face challenges with joy and justice. With their signature mix of humor and harmony, Ants on a Log’s new songs address poignant issues such as inclusion, consent, feminism, racism, and environmentalism in joyful and accessible ways. 

Check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook



Thursday, Jun 1st from 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

Pierre Paloma & M.O.M.

On June 1, prepare to take flight as DJ Pierre Paloma and M.O.M. (Music Over Matter), headed by master percussionist Jan Jeffries, lead you in a participatory drum jam. 

Get excited to drum along by checking out a preview here. Visit Jan's Instagram and Facebook for more beats! 




Thursday, Jun 8th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm  

AfrVbz & DJ ACube

On June 8, Afrobeats dancer Rasaq of AfrVbz will lead the crowd in an all-levels dance class for any age and experience level. Prepare to dance, clap, laugh and meditate followed by a live DJ set from DJ ACube. Part dance workshop, part dance party, ALL FUN!! 

Check out AfrVbz's Instagram and Facebook and DJ ACube's Instagram and Facebook




Thursday, June 15th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm 

Gretchen Elise featuring The Authentic

On June 15, Gretchen Elise and The Authentic fuse positive hip-hop with Jazz-based fusion music. A fun, interactive performance and hip-hop cypher and open mic with the band. Jump in! 

June 15th is also the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll - so continue your evening up Baltimore Avenue for $1/$3/$5 deals from local participating businesses. 

Visit Gretchen's website, Instagram, and ; The Authentic's Instagram and Facebook. 







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


Watch a video of the transformation of the site:


To learn about sponsorship opportunities or to host an event, contact Margaret Starke at 215-243-555 x227 or [email protected].