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How safe is SEPTA in general?

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Denver, Colorado
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How safe is SEPTA in general?

I will be in Philly over 4th of July weekend and am staying in the Society Hill area. I would obvioulsy like to check out U of P, the art musuem and other area's, but have been told by multiple people that the subway system is not very safe and that cabs are the way to go. However this is a budget trip and cabs can get pricey. So how true are the rumors? I am a fairly assertive traveler and have taken subways in other cities with no problems. Whats the safest lines to take and is there a time of day/night that i should avoid? Thanks for the help! :)

Doylestown...
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1. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

To get from the Society Hill area to the UofP area, the best bet would be the Market-Frankford El/Subway line, which is perfectly safe. You can catch it at 2nd Street or 5th Street and take it westbound.

Philadelphia
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2. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

If you feel uncomfortable riding the subway, you can also use the bus which travels west on Walnut Street and East on Chestnut Street. I personally prefer above ground transportation.

you can use the SEPTA trip planner here and specify which modes of travel you would like to use.

http://septa.org/

Cherry Hill, NJ
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3. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

Generally speaking, SEPTA is safe during active hours. That said, the usual big city caveats apply. Know where you are going, don't flash valuables, etc. And some of the stations are older and a little dismal, but they are well patrolled. The biggest issue I have ever had is mildly aggressive pan handlers.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

I wouldn't have any hesitation about riding any mode of SEPTA transportation to the places you named during the day or early evening. Some people don't like riding the subway late at night -- but I assume you wouldn't be doing that anyway. I agree with Loonbeam about taking common-sense precautions, as we all should anywhere.

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

I wouldn't rule out the subway simply for safety reasons, but buses give you the opportunity to see more of the city as you go from one place to another. Where in Society Hill will you be staying? That may affect your choice of transportation.

Lynn

Philadelphia
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6. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

As several others have noted, public transit is safe and efficient. I would recommend using Septa to reach U Penn, either train or bus.

Center City is very pedestrian friendly and walkable. You can easily walk to many of the other common tourist sites and areas of interest.

Edited: 29 May 2013, 03:50
Philadelphia...
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7. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

I've been riding the subway for 40+ years with nary a problem, if that's any indication. Of course, it's usually not particularly late at night.

I would say that if you've ridden subways elsewhere, you should certainly be fine. As with any public transportation, of course there is always the possibility of, shall we say, interesting and unique characters, but, as mentioned above, just the normal big-city precautions should be fine.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

Glad to see this subject brought up. I've been to Philly several times before but always with a travel companion and when I was younger. Coming to Philly by myself (I'm in my 60's) alone for several days in September.

I'm a very savvy solo female traveler but one never knows. I was wondering about the SEPTA route from the airport. It's difficult to tell from their website if it's a subway or above ground. Coming in to the airport in the early evening with luggage.

Just for comparison, I take our local subway (BART) in the SF Bay Area regularly with luggage to SFO (which I will be doing to fly to Philly) but, as we all know, it's different when we're used to something vs. when we do it for the first time.

I just figured I could do SEPTA from the airport to downtown (haven't chosen my hotel yet), having read the website. Didn't seem like a big deal, and then I saw this thread and it made me think that I should ask people who have done it. Also, I do travel light. Would be one regular-sized (21") rollaboard and a large "purse-type" bag.

Anything I should know? If I was giving advice to people in my area I would tell them that there are no stairs (that would be nice) but that sometimes of the day it is difficult to stuff yourself on the train, if you have luggage. Will I have to do stairs from the airport onto SEPTA? I'm disabled and can't do that. I can do escalators and elevators though.

Thanks!

Bucks County...
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9. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

marlySF,

The line from the airport to downtown is commuter rail, not a subway. There are three downtown stations- 30th Street, which is a major rail hub with lots of taxis, followed by two underground stations- Suburban Station, and Market East. You should not have any problems. There is an elevator at every location. Once you know which hotel, we can guide you to the best station, and also determine if a taxi from the airport would be better anyway. If you are staying near the convention center, you won't need a taxi, otherwise, you will probably need one from whichever train station.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: How safe is SEPTA in general?

Fantastic. That helps a lot. The last time I was there, I was at the Doubletree (good location) and, as said, I'm semi-familiar with Philly but haven't been there for about 4 years and the older I get, the harder it is and the more I want to stick with a budget. ;=))

Never have taken SEPTA so this information is helpful and I'm glad the OP brought up the subject.