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The regional convenience store chain Wawa has long been beloved in its hometown of Philadelphia (well, more technically, Delco). But now, the brand is set to be immortalized — for ten years, at least — as part of the area's SEPTA transit system with the opening of a brand new "Wawa Station."
Yesterday, SEPTA — a.k.a. the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority — announced that when it's newest Regional Rail stop opens in Delaware County on August 21, the station will be called "Wawa Station" thanks to a new ten-year naming rights deal that reportedly cost the popular convenience store brand $5.4 million, according to the local news station NBC10. The new station will serve the borough of Chester Heights which overlaps with the community of Wawa, home to Wawa's headquarters.
Locals looking to take a trip to Wawa Station will be able to hop on the Media/Wawa Line (formerly the Media/Elwyn Line) which will now terminate about 3.5 miles further west than the previous end of the line, Elwyn Station. SEPTA says the new Wawa Station comes thanks to the restoration of train lines that hadn't been serviced since 1986.
"Wawa is thrilled to partner with SEPTA to relaunch the Media/Wawa Line and provide our friends and neighbors a convenient way to travel from Wawa, Pennsylvania, to Center City Philadelphia and all stops in between," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "Located across from the Wawa Dairy that has been bottling and distributing milk for more than 100 years and adjacent to our home office campus, this rail line has meant a lot to Wawa and to our founding family throughout the years. We cannot wait to celebrate its return and look forward to being a part of new history through this new station."
As SEPTA explains, in 1903, a year after George Wood founded the Wawa Dairy, he had a milk depot set up in Center City Philadelphia which received milk shipped in from the old Wawa train station and served as a central hub for distribution to the rest of the area.
SEPTA says the partnership becomes its fifth major naming rights agreement since 2010. "Wawa has supported so many of SEPTA's service and community-building initiatives," Leslie S. Richards, general manager and CEO of SEPTA, stated. "We are thrilled that Wawa is partnering with us to make its hometown station a vibrant part of our Regional Rail network."
SEPTA and Wawa say they are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wawa Station in August with details to be announced soon.