The Borough of Media is located in the central section of Delaware County in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Covering an area of 0.75 square miles, Media is situated approximately 12 miles west of downtown Philadelphia and is bounded by the Township of Upper Providence on the west, and by the Township of Nether Providence on the east.
An interlocking system of highways serves the residents of the Borough with:
- East-West highways: U.S. 1 (Baltimore Pike) and U.S. 1 Bypass
- North-South highways: PA State Routes 252, 320, 352, 420 and 452
The Mid-County Expressway, also known as Interstate 476 and the Blue Route, opened on December 19, 1991, and connects Interstate 95 near the City of Chester on the south with the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the north, traveling just to the east of Media.
Two interchanges of the Blue Route serve the residents of Media Borough:
- Exit 3: the Swarthmore/Media Interchange (via U.S. 1) and
- Exit 5: the Springfield/Lima Interchange (via U.S. 1 Bypass)
The Borough of Media is located on an elevated plateau between the Ridley Creek and Crum Creek valleys. The portion of Upper Providence Township that became Media was chosen as the county seat because of its central location in the county and its relatively flat and prominent perch between the two stream valleys.
The bedrock foundation beneath the Media consists of Wissahickon Schist. Most of the Media lies within the Ridley Creek watershed. Providence Road, along its eastern edge, follows very closely the divide between the Ridley Creek drainage area and the Crum Creek drainage area. Broomalls Run drains most of the runoff from the northern and eastern portions of Media into Ridley Creek, while Gayley Run drains most of the southern portion of Media into Ridley Creek. Together, the two streams carved the western and southern slopes of the table of land on which Media is perched.
The site of Media was chosen as the county seat after a contentious struggle among advocates for various sites. An act of the Pennsylvania legislature in 1848 determined that the new public buildings be no further than a half mile from the county almshouse and the "State road leading from Philadelphia to Baltimore" (now Route 1). By design, Media was the only one that met those criteria. Its central location was emphasized in its name, chosen by leading citizen Minshall Painter to make that very point.