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Old 05-09-2008, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,485 posts, read 8,318,272 times
Reputation: 2375

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Glad to be of help, ChicagoRon.

I think the biggest negative with Philadelphia area public transit is SEPTA has not really updated their fare collection systems. I don't think they are too problematic for weekly/monthly riders, but for people visiting Philly for say 1-3 days, the lack of some sort of electronic fare card collection (whether it be magnetic strip like the CTA Chicago Card or the New York MTA Metrocard or a contactless fare card, like the Washington WMATA SmarTrip Card) is a real pain. SEPTA does have something like a day pass, the Convenience Pass (good only on heavy rail, light rail, and buses, but not Regional Rail, PATCO, or NJ Transit), but because it does not have electronic collection it is misnamed IMO. Probably the other big negative is SEPTA does not have a truly useful, FREE system map. They do have a pocket map showing the entire rail system (both heavy/light rail and regional rail), but that map doesn't show streets or landmarks for reference. The comprehensive system maps SEPTA does have (city map and suburbs map), which genuinely are very comprehensive (showing all SEPTA rail and bus routes, plus PATCO, the NJ Transit RiverLINE, and the small transit system in Pottstown), cost $10 each.

One other thing I'll note - if you take Amtrak to/from Philadelphia (to/from any origin/destination), you can use your Amtrak ticket stub to travel to/from 30th Street Station to/from either of the other 2 Center City Philadelphia stations on the Regional Rail system (Suburban Station and Market East Station). On the other hand, the SEPTA R7 Trenton train stops at all 3 stations on trips to/from Trenton (and as was noted by others above, you can do a cross-platform transfer to the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor Line at Trenton to get to New York Penn Station; the SEPTA and NJ Transit trains that are "connected" are timed to facilitate the transfer).
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Philly
165 posts, read 769,772 times
Reputation: 83
The public transportation system is okay, but it is frustrating because it could be great.

It is in major need of an overhaul - mostly transfers, payments and other integrations that really need to happen. I hope Philly gets the Olympics because they would invest the money in the infrastructure it needs.

The Chinatown bus to DC/ Boston/ NYC rocks! $10 to NYC - leaves every hour non-stop.
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