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Weastie37 t1_j6hqbfi wrote

Does anyone have anything positive to say about public transit here?

One of the reasons I want to move to Philly was to live car-free, and I thought it was great for that. But recently I keep seeing posts on this subreddit about crime and filth on subways, low frequencies, and Septa refusing to make any changes. I hope there are some good things to say about it.


lapeirousia t1_j6ijk2f wrote

Compared to, say, NYC or London or Paris or Hong Kong or Singapore, Philly's public transit sucks. But it's far better than 99% of cities in the US. Philly is a great place to live car-free, provided you choose your neighborhood carefully. I don't have a car, and I'm very happy here. It's also one of the main reasons I moved here.


demography_llama t1_j6hs6p8 wrote

I mean, I live here car-free and my opinion is that public transit is quite good compared to other US cities. I stick to buses, regional rail, and the trolley system. Philly is also incredibly walkable. I chose to live in a neighborhood where everything I need is within walking distance.

Septa, like many transit systems in the US, is a bit outdated and clunky (we only got key cards a few years ago). Efforts to upgrade are slow.


TheBSQ t1_j6i4vl3 wrote

I moved here right when the key cards were being implemented and saw all the stories about new payment systems and assumed the Key card was the old system that was getting replaced because it was inferior to payment systems that were 10-20 years old in other cities.

Like, even by 1995 standards it’s kinda janky and clunky.


Motor-Juice-6648 t1_j6ifx2w wrote

LOL. You missed the tokens and the paper passes! That was a reality up until a few years ago.


DoGreat_DieGood t1_j6hxgvd wrote

Seconded, avoid the subway (the "el" aka the MFL line) if you can. But buses, trolleys, and Regional Rail are usually good and safe.


ColdJay64 t1_j6i1xgk wrote

It's better than transit in 99% of US cities. You can easily live car free in Philly as it's also one of the most walkable cities in the country. As a frequent transit user (mainly the BSL), I can tell you that I've never had any issues with safety. On the MFL, you might see some unpleasant druggies from time to time, but it's still safe to ride. Most of the people saying how awful things are in the city that are on this sub don't live here, have an agenda, and/or definitely don't use transit.

If you moved to Center City you won't even need to use transit much since it's so walkable. And the bus system is good too btw.


uptown_gargoyle t1_j6ih8ia wrote

Also, even if everybody who posts about a negative experience on SEPTA is telling the unbiased truth, this would still be a bad way of forming an opinion about SEPTA safety.

Nobody who has a good or normal experience on SEPTA posts about it, whereas people who have bad experiences are much more likely to post about it. At best, /r/Philadelphia will not change a person's opinion about SEPTA safety, and at worst it'll make people think it's more unsafe than it is.

If the actual, real answer is "SEPTA is actually one of the safest ways to travel in Philadelphia" OP will not hear that on reddit.


Squirrelous t1_j6n19ml wrote

Exactly. Before I moved here, I was really worried about SEPTA based on the comments here. But my wife had lived in Philly before, and she insisted it was fine. And guess what? It’s more than fine - it’s amazing! When I don’t have to drive for work I often forget where my car is parked because I can just catch a bus or walk a few extra minutes to the El and it’s magical. I’ve never lived in a city where I actually trust the transit before


ninabortions t1_j6hyo5t wrote

I've lived here all of my life and never really had too much of an issue with the El or bsl, people are more bold about smoking wherever and there are more junkies, but it's not unbearable. Develop a good rbf and stay aware of your surroundings.


TheAdamist t1_j6i2sf8 wrote

Buses are cleaner and more incident free in my experience, but they can be infrequent, depending on the route. They also have to deal with traffic. In the septa app you can use the transitview option to see where buses are on the route live.

I take the broad street line and El because they are much faster to get around and fairly frequent. Just be aware of your surroundings for people who might cause trouble. Yeah youll find some addicts on the train but they keep to themselves in my experience.

Your experience will depend where in the city you move to, center city gets more frequent service than far flung neighborhoods.


SgtKetchup t1_j6i09c6 wrote

IMO it's all about having options. If you are living somewhere that you are locked into a single possible route, you are going to have a bad time when that route is delayed or infrequent. If you choose to ignore a route (subway) then you bring that problem onto yourself. SEPTA underserves huge portions of the city, giving them only obvious viable route to get wherever you are going. But you can often find other options... Can you take a bus across to the next RR line along? Bus to subway? RR Transfers? I've started planning my transit along those lines and have found some really cool trip options.


TheNightmareOfHair t1_j6ic1t7 wrote

The trolleys & bus situation is mixed -- the network is pretty dense, but you have to build in extra wait time because you often don't get real-time location updates / arrival estimates. SEPTA has advanced a plan to reduce some bus routes but increase frequency on the popular ones, which I would love given where we live, but a lot of people are up in arms about it and it seems in doubt.

P.S. Do you bike? We moved here last year, and one of the things we put a big premium on was living reasonably close to the Schuylkill River Trail. That puts us about 15 minutes from center city and lets us visit our friends in the almost-burbs (like Manayunk) -- and crucially, it's safe.


LFKhael t1_j6orfn0 wrote

Do not form opinions about the city based on the subreddit. It is regularly brigaded by people who only watch crime news and the citizen app.

There is also a divide based on gender, and this I understand. What might be fine for a lone guy on the subway might not be safe/safe enough for a lady riding alone.

The El is the main public transit that has problems. It runs through Kensington and that means a lot of opioid addicts use it for both transit and somewhere to shoot up.

The rest of SEPTA is significantly more tame.

You will never hear someone say "oh my ride was so nice" because that's just not how public transit works. The best it can be is boring. You're not flying Qatar Airways.


fritolazee t1_j6hvhyj wrote

I used to take the subway and el all the time. Now unless I am in a hurry and no buses are coming, I avoid them. For what it's worth, the maybe less than ten times I've taken the El or subway in the last year, it has been totally fine and nothing has happened. I just have a lower tolerance for risk since becoming a parent, and almost all of the crazy stories you hear happen on the el and subway. You can also look into getting a bike.


TheBSQ t1_j6i3ui5 wrote

Being a parent really does change things. I remember someone sitting next to me pulling out their dick to investigate their sores.

It’s gross, but as a single young adult, I shrugged it off and went about the rest of my day.

But putting my young kids in a situation where that may happen? No thanks. There’s other ways to get around town.


fritolazee t1_j6il2dq wrote

Yeah I grew up in a neighborhood on the decline and while I definitely have more situational awareness or "street smarts" or whatever, I also know people who grew up without that at all and still are interesting, empathetic, well-rounded people. There are many things in life that kids just don't need so see or deal with at all. There is no prize to be won for being exposed to human trauma at a young age.


thefrozendivide t1_j6oxkoz wrote

It exists, it's better than some other cities without transit at all. If you live in the Center City area and generally don't have to leave the city, it's typically okay but is not nearly as reliable as it should be. If you have to travel out of the city it can be pretty difficult at times depending on where you're going and how much time you're willing to allocate to traveling.


Motor-Juice-6648 t1_j6hxa1v wrote

I moved to Philly in 2006 from one of the boroughs of NYC. It was definitely a positive move for me and I did not and do not have a car in Philly. There were lots of taxis plus Septa back then, plus bikes and Philly Car Share and Zipcar. Since 2021 there are no more taxis, so you’ll need to take SEPTA or Uber or Lyft. The car shares (day rentals) seem to have disappeared.

The first time I went into the City Hall subway station it was a shock. Even coming from NYC it was the most dilapidated station I’d ever seen. I did ride the MFL and BSL up until 2020, the pandemic. I’ve ridden them about 2x since Covid without incident, but in terms of sketchiness and cleanliness, they are worse, and junkies abound especially in any underground station. I ride the bus when I can’t walk and regional rail is fine but the schedules have decreased in frequency since Covid for the suburban rail due to decreased ridership, wfh.


ColdJay64 t1_j6i25tp wrote

I don't take the El much, but there aren't junkies in every BSL station by any means.


UndercoverPhilly t1_j6i7pa8 wrote

True. I haven't gotten off at every station, but at my BSL station,Walnut/Locust, and Suburban and Jefferson (East Market) RR stations there are junkies and homeless people all the time. On the MLF, I've seen them at all the stations through CC and also at 69th St. terminal, but I don't ride either the MFL or BSL much since the pandemic.


lapeirousia t1_j6ikdkb wrote

People on this subreddit are constantly complaining about junkies and homeless people on the subway, but personally I've never encountered any problems because of them. In my experience, the most disruptive transit users, by far, are sports fans.


leninluvr t1_j6i8sxp wrote

There are still taxis. Get the 215GetACab app, it functions the same as Uber and Lyft.


UndercoverPhilly t1_j6iadl0 wrote

I've tried that app and had no success with it. But what about people without a cell phone (not me)? They end up taking the bus, but call for a ride is a model I don't like. If the OP is coming from NYC, where there are still a lot of taxis you can hail on the street, it might be a shock.


TheBSQ t1_j6i4gra wrote

There’s a few components to this. One, the transit system here is pretty disjointed. You have trolleys, buses, subway, El, regional rail, and non-SEPTA transit like PATCO.

The experience can be very different from one to another.

And within a single mode of transportation, (like the El), it can vary depending on which part of town you’re in. (E.g., it gets worse as you enter the part of the city ravaged by opioids).

And Center City is actually not that big. You can walk/bike it.

So, the unfortunately non-simple answer is it really depends on where you live and which part of public transit you’re taking.


sureskinsoldier t1_j6j8s71 wrote

the worst experiences i've had with public were on the EL or the broad street line. buses, pretty great (except my particular bus was sometimes not on time or just didn't show) trolleys always fine and on time in my experience.

i avoid the underground interchanges whenever possible.

edit: i was in a bad emotional state, but once i sat in a car on the el with one other person, and the car smelled like someone just shit in it. i did this because everyone who came into the car immediately left. i didn't want to be around people. also check the cloth seats before you sit down


templestate t1_j6nrzlp wrote

It was alright ten years ago but it’s fallen pretty far, especially since COVID. Everyone I know just does Uber or Lyft around the city now. Sucks but it is what it is.


courageous_liquid t1_j6op4yk wrote

Yeah man my packed subway cars every morning and evening really mean everyone is using rideshares.

It's aggressively fine.


sandwichpepe t1_j6hwp7v wrote

you can absolutely live car free, but it’s not gonna be fun or convenient. it’s very nice to have available though, but your points are correct lol


SubjectMindless t1_j6iqicx wrote

Just applied for a spot in Fishtown! Excited for the move in April.

I know parking is a nightmare there. I’ve tried to find some parking garages/lots for monthly rentals. Do those just not exist in Fishtown?



Dryheavemorning t1_j6iz1qn wrote

Believe the lot just south of Front and Master does monthly.


jos_one t1_j6js93q wrote

Good luck! I was on the wait-list for a spot here for over a year. Put your name on the wait-list now. Don't wait until you move.


Dryheavemorning t1_j6jueep wrote

Dang, imagine they keep the monthly spots tight since they make so much more from hourly. At this point in the neighborhoods' development hopefully they'll bury a garage there and build on top soonish.


[deleted] t1_j6kbc22 wrote



s_rock t1_j6mud65 wrote

We only got luck doing this by adding it on to a larger project. It was about a 2000 add on and the wall they went out of to our backyard was very easy access. We used MCG construction and they were fantastic every step of the way.


paradox1c t1_j6i7gib wrote

Seeking fellow kpop people in Philly.


TheOneTrueBuckeye t1_j6likz5 wrote

Any good complexes with parking & laundry in unit that anyone can recommend (or recommend to avoid)? Don't mind being a few miles out of the city.


MkzLive t1_j6iwrpb wrote

How much do you tip Amazon Fresh and Instacart Drivers? If you're a driver, what do you consider a good tip? Do you do straight percentage/amount? Do you adjust by degree of difficulty?

I order about once a month, usually with heavier stuff I can't lug back easily--a case or two of diet coke, for instance, and paper goods. I know they're using their own cars, they're driving in from the burbs to CC, and not getting rich from the job.

Instacart suggests 20% which in my case is usually $15-20 on a Costco order--I feel okay with this. Amazon, which I use for smaller orders, suggests $5 (I do min. $10 cuz my neighborhood is PITA to drive in).



Hour_Form5859 t1_j6jo121 wrote

Any experience around 18th/Norris or 18th/Berks?

I am looking at apartments and have some safety concerns regarding the location. Does anyone have any experience living around these corners? Thanks.


crush0322 t1_j6kpqqa wrote

I need furniture delivered to my new apartment. Any suggestions where I should order from that includes delivery?


facethecrowd t1_j6nqa74 wrote

My girlfriend and I are considering moving to the Philly area from Cleveland. What are good suburbs for LGBT people? we’re looking to rent somewhere under 2k/month


Dryheavemorning t1_j6ofpz2 wrote

The suburbs are massive. Do you need to commute somewhere? Any reason you're not considering the City? The towns along the PATCO line like Haddonfield and Collingswood are nice, progressive, and have easy City access.


SemiFeralGoblinSage t1_j6oje1f wrote

Hey guys. Looking to move to the area from Los Angeles this summer, and I was hoping for some advice on where to look.

I’m 35, mixed race Latino with a white partner and hoping for a place where we don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Looking for someplace probably working class, not really hipster or anything, not really into super gentrified.

Budget probably around 1500 a month for 2 bedroom but cheaper is good too.


strawboy4ever t1_j6ormvx wrote

any philly online ticket exchanges for events/concerts??


psychoanalyzed7 t1_j6oiutq wrote

What is the cheapest parking garage in Center City (around South 13th St)? Does anyone have any recommendations? Thank you!


JulesOnFire t1_j6p0xsa wrote

Does anyone know how to pay a parking ticket without the ticket number? I was driving to work on a rainy day and didn't see the ticket on my windshield until I was already on the highway...and it instantly blew away in the wind :( I thought it would be no big deal because I could pay by plate, but apparently that option no longer exists as of May 2022. Any help would be greatly appreciated.