The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (or, SEPTA) runs near hourly train service to most suburban Philadelphia cities, including also going to Trenton, NJ to make connections on Amtrak or New Jersey Transit. SEPTA Regional train service is a fast, convenient way to get to and from the city of Philadelphia, and in the many times taking it, I’ve never encountered any significant delays.
I boarded the SEPTA train in Woodbourne, enroute to Philadelphia’s Suburban station, which is in the heart of the city by City Hall, just one stop from Philadelphia’s 30th Street station, home to Amtrak.
The train arrived exactly on time. Most regional rail trains consist of only two cars, and you’ll only find them particularly busy during peak times.
I boarded, and took my seat in the carriage, which is laid out in a 3 seat by seat configuration. With this train not being busy, I sat on the 3-person side, with my Tumi backpack and Rimowa suitcase next to me, which gave me space to work on my laptop.
The train makes about 10 stops enroute to the city, each one picking up only a few passengers. To purchase tickets for the SEPTA, you have two options – one is to purchase a ticket at their staffed ticket counters within the city, or the other to buy a ticket onboard the train from the onboard conductor.
Why Use SEPTA?
- The train carriages are relatively clean.
- The fares are cheap, and it’s convenient to buy a ticket onboard.
- Trains almost always run on-time.
- You avoid traffic driving into Center City.
If you’re taking Amtrak into 30th Street, it’s worth noting that holding an Amtrak ticket gives you a free transfer from 30th Street to either Suburban or Jefferson stations, which is very nice, as 30th Street isn’t quite within the “action” of the city itself.
What has your experience been riding SEPTA?
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