Please help a lone traveler get to a specific place in Philadelphia tomorrow.
October 13, 2011 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Please help a lone traveler get from one place in Philadelphia to another.

Trying to help out a close family member.

He will be going from NYC to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia tomorrow, probably leaving early evening.
He will be taking the Megabus which goes to "30th Street Station" in Philadelphia --

and his destination, the University of the Arts, is on this map:

(320 South Broad Street)

I need to help him figure out how to get from the bus stop/terminal to that school. Will there be taxis at that 30th Street station, just sitting around? This would be easiest, rather than trying to figure out Phila. public transportation in the evening.

Note: He has never before been to Philadelphia and this will be nighttime.

Any help is really appreciated!! thank you
posted by DMelanogaster to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, NY (14 answers total)
I was in your shoes yesterday . . . Megabus stops at the train station, and there will be plenty of cabs there.
posted by agent99 at 4:18 PM on October 13, 2011

Yep, there are plenty of taxis at 30th street station, at all times. The University of the Arts covers several blocks on Broad Street; if his destination is at 320 broad, he can just hop into a cab and ask for "Broad and Spruce."
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:22 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

He should have no trouble getting a cab, as people have already said. 30th Street Station is the main Amtrak station in Philadelphia and cabs are plentiful there.

But for future reference, this is not hard to do with public transit. The 30th Street station of the Market-Frankford Line (the "El" even though it runs underground there, or if you want to sound like you're from out of town, the "Blue Line") is right near where the bus will drop him off. Ride eastward to 15th, then get out and walk a few blocks south on Broad Street. Or change to the Broad Street Line ("subway", "Orange Line") and ride it one or two stops south, but seriously that's not worth the trouble unless he has heavy luggage, in which case he should just take a cab anyway -- the distance is quite short.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:26 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fourthing that your friend will have no trouble taking a cab from 30th street. There will be signs inside the building that indicate which exit has all the cabs.
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:04 PM on October 13, 2011

There will be signs inside the building that indicate which exit has all the cabs.

But Megabus does not stop inside the train station. (Unless they built a road through the train station since last time I was there.)
posted by madcaptenor at 5:05 PM on October 13, 2011

Megabus will stop behind (west of) the train station. When he gets off the bus, turn left, and walk to the end of the block. There will be plenty of cabs visible.
posted by chengjih at 5:51 PM on October 13, 2011

Definitely plenty of cabs at 30th st., and it looks like the Megabus stop is right at the west entrance. He may have to walk around the station to find the cab stop.

Or, if he wants to save money, it is exceptionally easy to get there via subway.

Blue line 30th st. station --> 15th st. Just follow the signs to the blue line or ask anyone.

Walk four blocks south on Broad Street to destination, or transfer to orange line to Walnut-Locust and walk one block south to destination.
posted by eugenen at 5:52 PM on October 13, 2011

Yeah, cabs aplenty. Just tell him to make sure to have cash on hand to pay them - the last (and only) time I took a cab in the city was from there, and his meter was broken. He drove me to an ATM so I could pay him.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:00 PM on October 13, 2011

FYI, this part of Broad Street is very safe, well-lighted, traveled at all hours, plenty of foot traffic from the various theaters and restaurants. But when I'm visiting a city for the first time, I sometimes find it comforting to check out the Google Street view to help recognize my destination.

I encourage paying cabbies in cash, but he needn't be too concerned that a cab won't be able to take his card at this point. DoubleLune, the meter was probably not exactly broken; the implementation of credit cards in cabs here got off to a shaky start from all sides.
posted by desuetude at 6:22 PM on October 13, 2011

Just an FYI, if you take a cab in Philadelphia, the cabbie must accept your card (and have a working credit card machine) or he can't be in service (and therefore you get a free ride). There is contact information for the PPA (who is in charge of the Philly cabs) in the back of the cab if your friend has a problem. I was once in a cab with a driver who refused to accept my card, claiming that his machine was broken, and I called the PPA complaint line immediately. They remotely turned off his meter, called him back to dispatch (so said the PPA woman), and gave me a free ride. Heck, I live for the day I get another free cab ride. Bring it on, cabbies!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]

There will be signs inside the building that indicate which exit has all the cabs.

Right, but s/he can walk through the building to get to the cab area. Not sure how close to the station entrance the Megabus stops, so this might not really be a shortcut.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:04 PM on October 13, 2011

This is going to be super easy so he has nothing to worry about.

Just to be very, very explicit: when he gets off the Megabus, it will be pointing away from 30th St. Station, so he should walk past the back of the bus towards the very large building with the very large columns -- 30th St. Station. It will be completely unmistakeable. There is now an additional taxi queue on the west side of the train station (used to be only on the other side), so as soon as he gets up close to that very large building he'll be able to catch a cab. It will probably also be possible to just hail one off the road even in the very short (<1>
If he wants to take the subway, he should orient himself so he's facing the train station but then turn right at the intersection (instead of crossing the street to the station) and walk in that direction (south) exactly one block. The entrance will be on his right. Unless he wants to buy a bunch of tokens, he'll need exactly $2 in fare; there are no options to pay with a card and I think the attendants still won't give you change for a larger bill. He'll be following the blue signs for the Market-Frankford line (green would work too, but that's slower), going eastbound. He could get off at 15th St (City Hall) and walk south on Broad St. from there, or transfer to the orange line southbound for one more stop (Walnut/Locust). Figuring out what is "south on Broad" when you get out at 15th might be the only complicated thing here, so I'd suggest the transfer.

If it's earlier than, say, midnight, I would happily do any of these alone myself, and I'm a young woman.
posted by ootandaboot at 8:57 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's easy to find your way south on Broad; just listen to the wailing and howling of the damned, praying for release in hopes of the Phillies not choking in the off season again.

(I kid, I kid - I went to college just outside Philadelphia and it's one of my favorite places to be.)
posted by mephron at 4:43 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all. He doesn't have a credit card -- he'll be using cash for the cab. I assume this will be a metered cab and he'll tip 15% as in NYC? This is the young man's first time traveling alone from one city to another, so all of this help is much appreciated!
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:08 AM on October 14, 2011

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