August 15, 2012 7:15 PM Subscribe
Going to Philadelphia for the first time in a couple of weeks and need tips about making the best use of public transportation.
posted by missriss89 to travel & transportation around Philadelphia, PA (36 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I will be stopping in Philadelphia in the middle of a road trip at the end of the month. Even though we will have a vehicle I know driving in the city won't be practical. We both went to school in Chicago so we are both used to trains and buses and find them to be less stressful than navigating traffic and parking situations. However, neither of us have experience with other city's transit systems (save for a childhood trip to DC with my family about 8 years ago.) What tips could any locals or others who have traveled to the city give us to save time and headaches? Especially if you've also been to Chicago and have any comparisons.
We will be staying in University City and mostly doing tourist type stuff for the two days we will be in town. The most important places we have planned to go are the Liberty Bell, Mutter Museum, and Reading Terminal Market among other things. I've plotted everything on a map and I know it's doable but deciphering "foreign" bus & train routes has proved difficult. The SEPTA website has to much information!
The most confusing element seems to be how the fares are calculated differently than I'm used to with the different "zones." Will those matter going between these two areas? I see one day passes- where can they be purchased other than the website? Can they be used for everything? What lines are best to use? To avoid? What times are sketchy? Is there anything that would be worth taking a car to instead of riding the bus/ train?
The easiest way for me to learn these things is by doing (it took me my entire freshman year to learn how to use the CTA [granted I rarely used it that first year]) but two days isn't enough to figure it out. Help me learn from your mistakes!