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Old 03-18-2009, 10:53 PM
 
72 posts, read 190,060 times
Reputation: 81

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Just curious as to how well Philadelphia compares to other cities that have good public transportation systems.

I graduate in a year and I am torn between moving to Chicago or Philadelphia. I prefer Philadelphia's slightly warmer climate and its proximity to rolling hills and other northeastern cities.

I spent a week in Chicago last Winter and was very impressed by the subway system they have. If I moved there, I really would not need a car, and I love that idea!

If I moved to Philly (I'm not sure what neighborhood I would rent in, but it would be within the city limits or inner suburbs) would I need to own a car, or would I be able to rely on buses and subways to get me to my destinations swiftly?

This is a very important issue in my choice, because I got into an accident recently and my insurance is going to go through the roof. A car is not in my future for the next few years.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:19 PM
 
Location: stuck
1,323 posts, read 2,205,935 times
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if you live and work in the city you can definitely get by without a car. the subway system is not much, but you can balance that out with buses and other trains. www.septa.org check it out. they have a map of the system.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,754 posts, read 11,835,233 times
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Chicago's mass transit system may be somewhat more extensive but Philly has very good coverage as well, especially within the city. It really depends on where you plan to live and work.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Lancaster County, PA
1,503 posts, read 2,649,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgadams View Post
Just curious as to how well Philadelphia compares to other cities that have good public transportation systems.

I graduate in a year and I am torn between moving to Chicago or Philadelphia. I prefer Philadelphia's slightly warmer climate and its proximity to rolling hills and other northeastern cities.

I spent a week in Chicago last Winter and was very impressed by the subway system they have. If I moved there, I really would not need a car, and I love that idea!

If I moved to Philly (I'm not sure what neighborhood I would rent in, but it would be within the city limits or inner suburbs) would I need to own a car, or would I be able to rely on buses and subways to get me to my destinations swiftly?

This is a very important issue in my choice, because I got into an accident recently and my insurance is going to go through the roof. A car is not in my future for the next few years.

Thanks for the feedback!
Chicago and Philly both have excellent train systems but I think Philly has the edge with buses and their overall transportation network. Outside the city it's a different story.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:26 PM
 
Location: PA -> Denver, CO
205 posts, read 523,851 times
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I wish the subways ran later, and that they went up further in the northeast and northwest, but the buses aren't too bad.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:18 AM
 
308 posts, read 532,345 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgadams View Post
Just curious as to how well Philadelphia compares to other cities that have good public transportation systems.

I graduate in a year and I am torn between moving to Chicago or Philadelphia. I prefer Philadelphia's slightly warmer climate and its proximity to rolling hills and other northeastern cities.

I spent a week in Chicago last Winter and was very impressed by the subway system they have. If I moved there, I really would not need a car, and I love that idea!
!

I'd just like to speak to this point for a second. Its a bit of a misconception. Most people seem to think Chicago's public transportation is excellent. Now, I'm not saying Chicago's public transportation isn't good, it is, just as Philly's is, but I am saying its not NYC. It does not get you everywhere, it does not always make things easy or convenient (its not fun to take 1 1/2 hours to get to X when it would take 25 minutes to drive). If you were to move there you'd find that most people have cars. They use public transportation a lot, especially to get to work, but they have cars to do stuff as well. Just wanted to point this out, its better to have a realisitc view of what its like there. The good news is, in either place, you will be able to do most things by way of public transportation, and you will have friends with cars who can bridge that gap.

Public transportation can get a check in the plus column in both cities, I'd say you should focus on what other aspects you like of the cities. Many people get around in both places without access to cars and using public transportation exclusively.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:03 PM
 
72 posts, read 190,060 times
Reputation: 81
Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Glad to know you can get around in Philly without a car. I currently live in downtown Tampa. The public transportation here is so awful! My one commute everyday is to get to the University of South Florida for my classes. Using Tampa's PT, (which consists only of busses and a trolley in Ybor City), it would take me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to school!

To Jasmine:

I am aware that Chicago's metro doesn't have the efficiency of New York's metro. In fact, according to this list that I found -
List of rapid transit systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
Chicago's metro isn't as efficient as D.C's or San Frans metro's either, given that those cities metropolitan populations are half what Chicago's is and the metros cover the same milage. Never the less, I was impressed by the 'El'. As long as the public transportation can get me to work, a mall, my favorite bars and back home again in an efficient manner I will be quite satisfied. : )
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:44 AM
 
308 posts, read 532,345 times
Reputation: 121
cgadams, I was just trying to give you knowledge from personal experience. Looking at a list is nice, but they rarely take into consideration the realities of traveling on public transportation on a daily basis and the challenges it poses. I have personal experience with all of the public transportation systems you've mentioned, that you have mentioned (I would order that efficiency chart differently) and none of them are as efficient as you wish they were all the time to all areas, and certainly not as efficient as they can be portrayed (except NYC). That's all I'm making you aware of. Best of luck.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:05 PM
 
54 posts, read 162,777 times
Reputation: 51
For an American mass transit system, SEPTA is great. Sure, we all have our complaints, like you can't get change for a $5 or the subway is not as extensive, but in reality that's not much to complain about. As for efficiency, SEPTA has a trip planner, which tells you which bus or train to take and when it is running. The better aquainted you are with the buses, the more efficient the buses tend to be.

As for the suburbs, the Septa's regional rail does go out there. Nevertheless you will still need a car, because much of it is still sprawl. But it does serve as a convenient way to get into the city.
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