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Philadelphia's Public Transport: What To Know

April 09, 2021
As the largest city in Pennsylvania, of course, Philadelphia will have thriving public transport. How else will the over five million people who live here get around? Not all of them own or even afford cars. And either way, a city as condensed and as urban as this one won't be able to handle that man vehicles in the first place. However, it's because this city is so big, with so many people, and a lot of places to go to that public transport here can get overwhelming and confusing. Here's what you really need to know about all of it!
Philadelphia's Public Transport: What To Know

The Travel Passes To Get

Just like in every other city, Philadelphia offers its won travel passes. These are cards, special tickets, and the like that will make committing easier and faster. They're most suitable if you're often in a rush to get to where you need to be! First up is the SEPTA Key, a reloadable card that you can use for a whole day, week, or month. SEPTA refers to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the leading entity for the city's public transport. There's also the Independence Pass, a one-day pass that gives you unlimited access to Philadelphia's public transport systems. They cost $13.00 each!

Hopping on The Buses in Philadelphia

Perhaps the easiest and most trustworthy public transport system in Philadelphia are the buses! SEPTA runs extensive lines that travel all throughout the many districts in the city. It's borderline impossible that there won't be one that can take you to your destination or, at least, near the location. It also helps that there are several intersections, terminals, transportation centers, and stations all over the city. And any one of them, there will also be taxis waiting for passengers looking for a ride. At night, the city puts out the 'Night Owl' buses, those that run 24/7.

Philadelphia's Public Transport: What To Know
Source: Wikimedia Commons/© Dough4872

Riding The Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop

Speaking of buses, there's one that's practically reserved for tourists (though locals can also ride it if they want to): the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop. This special purple-hued shuttle travels from one Philadelphia tourist attraction to the next, making it easier for visitors to check out all the must-visit hotspots in one go! A single-ride ticket costs $2.00 while children under 4-years-old and senior citizens get to ride it for free. You can also use your travel pass to board the bus or buy its own all-day pass which only costs $5.00! Do note that these buses run seasonally, so they're only available at certain times of the year.

Boarding The Philadelphia Public Transit

It may be far from New York's famous subway but Philadelphia's own public transit system has proven to be efficient over the years. In fact, it's one of the largest in the country as well as considered to be among the top ten of its kind in the US. Just like the buses, the city's transit system has stops and stations throughout most of the neighborhoods in the city. It's impossible that there won't be one that's either right smack or near your destination. You can also make use of your SEPTA Key to pay for your ride.

Philadelphia's Public Transport: What To Know

Getting Around By Bike

Despite such a large city, riding your bike is actually a common mode of transportation in Philadelphia. It's as popular here as it is in Washington D.C. and even a few European cities. After all, around 440+ miles of the roads in the city are dedicated to bike lanes. Not to mention the 140 bike stations all throughout the city. And with so many rental services on offer, you can't go wrong with riding your bike to get to your destination. There's also a lot of benefits from riding your bike around the city, ranging from improving physical fitness to being in total control over your commute!

The Trolleys in Philadelphia

Want a more novel option for public transport? Take a trolley. Just like the ones you see in San Francisco, Philadelphia's trolleys offer a charming, old-world-style mode of public transportation. They mostly operate on street-level tracks but there are some areas where they go underground. Nevertheless, the trolleys cover North and West Philadelphia as well as the city center. Ultimately, because of their nostalgic appeal, the trolleys are more popular among tourists than locals, but the latter still ride them during their everyday lives as well. It's just that, more than their novelty, the trolleys also allow tourists to still see the city while they're in transit.

Using A Transportation App

Finally, when all else fails, you can always rely on a transportation app. This mostly applies to taking a taxi. In a busy city like Philadelphia, it's extremely common to have a difficult time hailing a cab off the street. Most especially during rush hour. At least, with the help of a few popular ride-hailing apps, you can book a ride wherever you may be. It's also more efficient if you don't want to get stuck in all the hustle and hassle of riding the other modes of public transportation. If you need to keep your appearance in check when you get to your destination, rising a taxi (even when you book one online) is the smarter choice!

Philadelphia's Public Transport: What To Know

Here in Philly, public transport is definitely making it easier for tourists and locals alike to get around the city. From buses to trolleys, there are loads of ways you can get to your destination in the largest city in Pennsylvania!

Even in Philadelphia, taking public transport will help you go home to your luxury place a lot faster and much easier!



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