SEPTA in Center City


Philadelphia Transit on the Roll, July 2013

On the sidewalk, SEPTA's initials are set in cement. Lumix LX3 photo.
On the sidewalk, SEPTA’s initials are set in cement. Lumix LX3 photo.

Philadelphia area transit is provided by SEPTA. The city’s eclectic collection of routes and modes has its origins in the 19th Century. In Philadelphia’s heyday, a myriad of railways laced the city and pulsed with passengers. One hundred years ago, 500 million fares were collected annually on Philly’s streetcars alone.

SEPTA subway.
Market-Frankfort subway at 30th Street, Philadelphia. July 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.

Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Company vied for suburban fares, and both railroads electrified key routes in the early decades of the 20th century. This  foresight continues to benefit Philadelphia to the present.

Sadly, while Philadelphia once enjoyed one of the most extensive streetcar networks in the world, much of this was gradually dismantled during the second half of the 20th century. Yet, a few key streetcar routes survive. Here and there tracks tell of past glory.

I visited my brother Sean in Philadelphia in early July, giving me ample opportunity to experience SEPTA and its buses, streetcars, subways, and railroad operations.

Center City is what Philadelphians call ‘down town’. While SEPTA’s operations reach myriad points across the region, Center City is the focus of most public transport.

Here are a collection of views of Philadelphia and its public transport.

PRR Suburban Station.
The former Pennsylvania Railroad Suburban Station as seen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.
SEPTA.
Pedestrian entrance to Pennsylvania Railroad Suburban Station as seen in Philadelphia. Lumix LX3 photo.

 

Pennsylvania Railroad Suburban Station as seen in Philadelphia
SEPTA train at Suburban Station, Philadelphia. Lumix LX3 photo.
SEPTA Market-East.
SEPTA Silverliner V pauses at Market-East Station in July 2013. Market-East is directly below the old Reading Terminal on Market Street. Lumix LX3 photo.
This mural in the old Reading Terminal depicts the station's former glory. Lumix LX3 photo.
This mural in the old Reading Terminal depicts the station’s former glory. Lumix LX3 photo.
SEPTA Silverliner V.
SEPTA Silverline V heads outbound near the 40th Street Bridge in July 2013. Canon EOS 7D photo.
SEPTA 15 Trolley.
SEPTA’s Route 15 Trolley making turn at 26th Poplar Streets in July 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.
SEPTA is one of the last American cities to issue transfers.
SEPTA is one of the last American cities to issue transfers.
List of SEPTA bus routes at a stop near City Hall.
List of SEPTA bus routes at a stop near City Hall.
SEPTA
SEPTA Silverliner IV outbound. Canon EOS 7D photo.
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