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‘A station on a major line being closed is only going to hurt the neighborhood.’

Wallace Kemp
Wallace Kemp at Somerset Station in Kensington on March 23, 2021. (Photo by Zari Tarazona)

Wallace Kemp

Mayfair resident, rider on the Market-Frankford line

1. How does the closure of Somerset Station affect you and people in the neighborhood? What challenges may you face in accessing transportation now?

I live in Mayfair, but I want to be here to do what I can to help out. Public transportation is a great thing in general, so a station on a major line being closed is only going to hurt the neighborhood.

2. What are the conditions like at Somerset Station and on the Market-Frankford Line? How do they affect you?

I’ve never had any bad experiences, with maybe one or two exceptions. I want to see public transportation in general do well. The Market-Frankford line is at least as good as any subway line I’ve been on in the four cities I’ve lived in.

3. What kinds of solutions could be implemented to create safe and reliable transportation in Kensington?

First, clean the place and get the elevators working again. But to reopen the station beyond that … it’s tough. We all know the last year has been tough for everybody. In fact, today’s New York Times front page story was on what’s happened with their subway system, which has certainly gone through some tough times in the last several years, as well. 

4. Should there be a community-led advisory board, made up of stakeholders like the City, SEPTA, Kensington residents, civic associations, nonprofits, and businesses, that comes up with a plan for reopening the Somerset Station and provides long term solutions to the problems that led to its closure?

I want to see the community get involved, and for government entities to work for the people. It’s not as if people such as me — who don’t have a car — are going to be able to jump in their cars and go. We need public transportation.

If you would like to participate in future community responses, send us an email at editors@kensingtonvoice.com.

Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters / Designer: Henry Savage

To read more community responses, click here.

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