SEPTA Wants More Digital Billboards at Subway Stops

Because the world has an endless capacity for junk.

Photo by Jared Brey

Photo by Jared Brey

SEPTA is hoping to install a few dozen new digital billboards at subway entrances ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer.

On Thursday, a bill was introduced in City Council to let SEPTA build the new signs, a number of which already exist. The bill was sponsored by Councilman Bobby Henon on behalf of Council President Darrell Clarke. It lays out rules for how big and bright the signs can be, and prohibits them from displaying any animated messages.

A list of future locations and “possible future locations” contained in an exhibit attached to the bill includes almost every stop along both the Broad Street and Market-Frankford rail lines. The exhibit refers to the signs as “Urban Panels,” recalling to mind the nightmarish 3-D billboards known as “Urban Experiential Displays” that City Council approved last year

Compared to those embarrassing monstrosities, the existing subway billboards look relatively tame. Compared to the absence of digital billboards, of course, they look like actual trash.

A SEPTA spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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