You can catch a bus any where in this city. For schedual information call the numbers below or visit the web site. Septa rules this town. As always be careful of strangers here! This is a great way to get around town.
Yep, Philly's got a decent subway system. I take it quite often since I live in the city and so does my sister. Many people who live in Philly are without vehicles of their own and the subway is usually their savior.
It's run by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), and tokens can be purchased from machines or ticket booths inside the subway stations.
As of April, 2004 the prices were as follows:
$2 for a single trip token
$2.60 for a pack of two tokens
$5.50 for a DayPass
We used the subway alot that day. It was raining so we would walk awhile and use the subway awhile.
Originally designed for tourists, the DayPass is a perfect fare option for shoppers, students, or anyone making several transit trips in the same day. For only $5.50, customers can use the DayPass for unlimited travel on any bus, trolley, or subway route for a single day.
DayPasses are also valid for a one-way ride on any Regional Rail Line, with the exception of service between Center City Philadelphia stations and Trenton, N.J. The Regional Rail trip must be taken within 24 hours of the time that the DayPass is used on transit vehicles.
Well, I live in Fairmount (near the Art Museum) and while it's very close to Center City, the subway does not connect with my neighborhood. For me, the bus is a great solution. Operated by SEPTA, the bus is $2 a ride and offers service all over Philadelphia. Check out the site below for a complete schedule.
Philly's bus system is cheap, extensive and easy to use. We bought day passes, $6 a person and just hopped and off buses as needed. Especially easy to do in Center City where there is basically a bus line on every north-south street or east-west street.
I've lived in the Philly suburbs for over 15 years and public transit here is woefully lacking when compared to New York or just about anywhere in Europe.
The system works well if you are traveling within the small area of Philadelphia known as "Center City" or a few miles north or south or west of there.
It gets a little flaky but is still usable if you are traveling from the suburbs to the city using regional rail lines. Trains run well during the rush hour, but too infrequently in the evenings.
Reverse commuting, that is going from the city out to the suburbs in the morning, or into the city in the afternoon, is very difficult. Trains are infrequent without any express service.
Between suburbs, commuting by rail is barely possible. For example, to go from Bensalem PA along I95 just north of the city to Malvern PA west of the city you would plan to spend 2 hours commuting with a multiple rail connection. That trip takes an average of 1 hour by car.
The sad thing is that we've known how to improve things but we are up against powerful interest groups, specifically a few auto dealerships, that lobby to shut down mass transportation services in the suburbs. I'm not just making this up - I was given this information directly by SEPTA officials. This opposition is in addition to state lawmakers from rural areas of the state who don't care about what happens in our cities and don't want to approve mass transit funding in the budget.
In addition, other interest groups and state lawmakers are concerned that creating effective, low cost, regional transit between Philadelphia and New York will force Philadelphia to compete with New York wages for workers. This is why we still don't have any low cost express commuter service between Philly and New York.
I suspect that the realization that global warming is not just an enironmentalist fabrication will finally break the status quo on this, but unfortunately not quickly enough.
I was staying in New Jersey. I had seen NY too many times without having focused enough on Philly. So I made the decision I wanted to day trip to Philly.
I caught an Amtrak to Trenton (from Metropark), and then the local train to Philly. All it took was about 2 hours. I left the hotel at 8am, and arrived back at 9pm. And I had about 8 hours in Philly.
Of course I could have taken the express Amtrak to Philly from NY. It's quicker, but at nearly twice the cost for half an hour saving I was happy with the suburban train from Trenton. In fact this method of transfer was popular with those in the know.
So heads up 'You don't need to take the express to get to Philly from NY. Just take a NJ Transit and then a SEPTA.'
The switching of trains is easy. You have plenty of time to purchase a ticket at Trenton for the local train. The trains are clean and very safe.
Philadelphia seems to have a good commuter rail network. It's called "SEPTA," and I think it means Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. (It has nothing to do with either Septic Sewers or the number 7.) I took the SEPTA train out to Merion when I went to see the Barnes Foundation. I boarded the train at the Market East Station - it was just a little tricky figuring out which platform the train I wanted left from. Then it took about half an hour to get out to Merion.
The SEPTA system is by far one of the most pathetic systems I've ever travelled. It's the only one I've ever seen that includes it's extortionately priced regional rail as part of it's subway system. There are literally two directions you can go: North/South or East/West, if you want something in the Northwest quarter of the city then you'll have to rely on the buses, and SEPTA has a reputation for always threatening a strike.
Unlike other systems in the world, you will not find a cross-section of the city riding the rails. And if you don't like the smell of urine, then you'll want to stay out of the concourse.
The SEPTA System, not to be confused with a septic system (though it does have a similar function), services 3.8 million people in the Metro Philly area with its bus, subway, elevated rail, regional rail, light rail, and electric trolley bus lines. SEPTA moves nearly a million people a day, making it the sixth busiest regional public transport system in America.
My only trip on the SEPTA was the R6 light rail from Manayunk to downtown's Market East Station. The cost wasn't too bad at $6 per person for an off-peak round trip ticket. It is kind of odd that there is a ticket guy on each train who punches about a million holes in each ticket (OK, they punched 10 holes in my outbound ticket and 5 holes on the same ticket for the return route). Maybe an electronic system like in Washington DC would be helpful?
Overall, the system is convenient with its 280 stations, 450 miles of track and 196 routes--where doesn't SEPTA go? The off peak prices are comparable to other cities, though I'm not familiar with their peak prices. The maniacal ticket puncher guys are asses, claiming they don't know how far it is from one station to another; I hope they make minimum wage for how helpful they are.
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