U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Wednesday introduced legislation to rename 30th Street Station after his predecessor, Bill Gray. The bill was cosponsored by every Pennsylvania House member, Democratic and Republican, because they’re politicians and politicians love naming things after themselves.
Fattah told the Inquirer he expects swift action on the bill, perhaps by August. And it’ll pass, and 30th Street Station will become William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, and everyone will still just call it 30th. It’s kind of like the N3RD Street of train stations.
Gray served in Congress from 1978 to 1991 and was the first African American majority whip. Plenty of train stations are named after politicians: Wilmington Station is named after Joe Biden, and Secaucus Junction is named after the late Frank Lautenberg.
Those two had connections to transit — Lautenberg got federal funding for the Secaucus Junction, Biden is a noted Amtrak booster — and Fattah told the Inquirer Gray fits in: “His dedication to his constituency knew no bounds, but he was particularly passionate about investing resources in America’s infrastructure, and gave undue time and commitment to making 30th Street Station one of the finest train facilities in this country.”
Pew Charitable Trusts wanted to rename it “Ben Station” after Benjamin Franklin in 2005, but pretty much everyone who heard that idea laughed at it.