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Taking a Ride on SEPTA

  • Jennifer Brown
Posted on March 22, 2017
Around Philadelphia

There was a time, dear reader, when I had no idea how to ride public transportation. I did not grow up taking a subway or catching a public bus. The closest experience I had was riding on a school bus during primary and secondary school. Facing the prospect of taking any public transportation when I was growing up ensured that I would be as awkward as possible during my interaction with the transit systems. I am here today to tell you that if you also feel this way about public transportation, have no fear. There is a cure: Actually riding on public transportation.

I know some of you out there may shake your head and mumble something along the lines of, "She's ridiculous," or, "She's crazy." Although I cannot argue with you on those statements, what I will say is that my cure is absolutely worth it for anyone traveling or living in Philadelphia. I can promise you that your interactions will never be as awkward as mine, where I had not one, but at least two different SEPTA employees chuckle at my naiveté.

So my challenge to any new transplant to Philadelphia is to ride on one of the SEPTA lines. It can be regional rail, subway, trolley, or bus. Jump on the subway with a nifty token and travel down to 2nd Street to visit the restaurants and cobblestone streets of Old City. Take the number 34 Trolley heading west down Baltimore Avenue this summer for the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll. Or catch the bus heading east into the city to explore the eccentric Mütter Museum on 22nd Street. And if you have already ridden SEPTA, then choose a line you haven’t gone on before, like the trolleys. They go below ground but also ride right on the street – how can this be? Take the trolley and find out.

If you become an expert on riding around the city on SEPTA, you may want to graduate to a monthly pass, which students can order through Drexel University for a 10% discount.

Riding public transportation is an important part of the city experience – without it, you’re only getting half of the city. Half of the people.

So make your first trip today, and you’ll learn why here in Philadelphia we "SEPTA Philly."


Jennifer Brown is an Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel University. In her free time, she watches movies, reads fiction, and writes nonsense.

Jennifer Eichorn Brown

Jennifer Eichorn Brown

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