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Philadelphia Public Transportation - Ultimate Getting Around Guide

Philadelphia Public Transportation [2024] | 🗺️ Ultimate SEPTA, PHLASH & More Guide

Last Updated on: 11th January 2024, 08:27 pm

Everyone who lives in the area knows that learning the ins and outs of Philadelphia can take a bit of time and practice. But with dependable Philadelphia public transportation options, this process is much easier than you may think.

With services that include SEPTA and PHLASH, it’s a good idea to learn the most effective ways of getting around Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Bus, Subway, & Trolley Service | SEPTA

Known locally as SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority handles the majority operation of Philadelphia public transportation including buses, a trolley network, and the city subway. The various routes and options can make getting around Philadelphia confusing until you get used to them. Anyone moving to Philadelphia will want to take some time to learn more about the city services to see which transit system is best suited for their needs.


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Routes & Service Area 

Depending on where you’re going, you’ll have three SEPTA options for getting around Philadelphia:

SEPTA buses travel to and from local Philadelphia neighborhoods with routes that run 24 hours per day. These options include Route 6, 14, 17, 20, 23, 33, 37, 42, 47, 52, 56, 60, 66, 73, 79, 108, 109, G, and R.

Locals also have the option of two nearby SEPTA subway lines, one that runs north to south along Broad Street and another elevated train that travels east to west known as the Market-Frankford line. These Philadelphia public transportation options typically run between 5 am to 1 am the following morning.

If you’re looking for an alternative mode of transportation in Philadelphia, you can also consider the trolley. It has routes that run 24/7 across various parts of the city as well.

Fares & Monthly Costs

The pricing to ride any of the SEPTA options depends on how you choose to pay.  Locals who plan on using any of the routes consistently may want to get a Key Card that can be reloaded with funds as needed. These can be bought at your nearest SEPTA  Sales Location.

The Key Card can be used interchangeably on buses, subways, and trolleys.

Fares for SEPTA include multiple options:

  • One Day Pass = $9
  • Weekly TransPass (up to 56 rides) = $25.50
  • Monthly TransPass (up to 240 rides) = $96
  • Seniors 65 years of age and older ride FREE

Contact Information for SEPTA

Getting Around Philadelphia by Bus | PHLASH

Another popular option for public transportation in Philadelphia is the use of PHLASH buses. These recognizable transports are a deep purple and follow one set route covering many of the most common parts of town. And since the entire trip around the Philly PHLASH loop takes only about one hour, it is easily one of the most popular ways of getting around in Philadelphia.


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Routes & Service Area

PHLASH buses follow a single, designated route around downtown Philadelphia. New buses arrive every 15 minutes as they travel through their 18 scheduled stops along the way. You can catch a bus and get around Philadelphia using this option at any time between 10 am and 6 pm.

A look at the PHLASH route map shows the convenient locations you can reach using this Philadelphia public transportation method. It will take you to popular destinations that include the Liberty Bell Center, the Rodin Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Fares & Monthly Costs

The steps for understanding how to use Philadelphia public transportation may seem intimidating at first but it can be smooth and simple once you learn the system.

As one of the most affordable ways to get around Philadelphia, locals can ride PHLASH buses for $2 per person per ride. A one-day pass only costs $5, while you could also get a two-day pass for $8. Children under the age of 4 years old and seniors over 65 are always free.

Individuals with active SEPTA Key Cards can also ride PHLASH buses at no additional charge.

Contact Information for PHLASH

Other Options for Getting Around in Philadelphia

While learning how to get around Philadelphia, you’ll find plenty of additional ways to travel through the city beyond the buses or subway. A couple of the other convenient choices are bike-sharing services, local taxis, rideshare programs, and even walking. Getting around in Philadelphia is a breeze as you get the hang of these many options.

Bike Sharing & Scooters

With more than 500 bikes across the city, Indego is the best choice for anyone interested in Philadelphia bike-sharing. They can easily be found at over 60 locations around town and offer another affordable form of public transportation in Philadelphia.


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Monthly memberships start at $17 per month with an option to pay annually for a discounted rate of $13 per month (totaling $156). Riders can choose between classic bikes or electric bikes each time they rent.

Taxis & Rideshare

If you’re looking for a more flexible way to get around in Philadelphia, you also have the option to contact either Phila Taxi Service or Streamline Taxi Service for an on-call taxi. They can take you anywhere you need to go in the Philly metro area.

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Philadelphia, giving an additional means of public transportation.


Although Philadelphia spans a large area of about 142 square miles, the central part of town is considered walkable. If you prefer to take the foot-traffic route, downtown is easily navigated with directional signs that lead to local destinations. Whenever someone feels lost, they can always look for a goodwill ambassador in their trademark teal uniform to grab a map of the city.

Philadelphia Public Transportation to Top Destinations

Getting to exciting attractions in Philadelphia is as simple as knowing the right route and the best public transportation option. Keep yourself up-to-date on route schedules to make sure you know where you should be and when.

Philadelphia Museum of Art: This amazing museum can be reached by taking your nearest PHLASH bus. If you’re not close to any of their stops, you can also get there by taking SEPTA bus routes 7, 32, 38, 43, 48, or 49 as well as on the subway.

Liberty Bell: The Liberty Bell is stop number 17 on the PHLASH route. Or travel on the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line until you reach the 5th Street & Market Street stop.

Independence National Historical Park: Spanning about 40 acres, visitors to the Independence National Historical Park can take the same routes as to the Liberty Bell.

Philadelphia Zoo: Reaching the local zoo is as simple as hopping off at PHLASH stop number 12. You’ll also be able to get there by taking SEPTA routes to the corner of 34th Street and Girard Avenue.

Reading Terminal Market: Among the most popular attractions in Philadelphia, you can reach Reading Terminal Market by taking the Market-Frankford line to the exit at 11th Street Station. It is also the fourth stop on the PHLASH bus route.

Philadelphia Transportation FAQ

How do I get from Philadelphia International Airport to downtown Philadelphia?

Although it may not be the fastest route, the most affordable way to get from the Philadelphia International Airport to downtown is by taking the SEPTA Airport Line Regional Rail train. It is $8 per person during the week and $7 per person on weekends.

Philadelphia International Airport street sign

The main alternative is to take a taxi, which costs a flat rate of $28.50, plus an additional $1.00 per person.

What public transportation is in Philadelphia, PA?

  • Indego
  • Phila Taxi Service
  • Streamline Taxi Service
  • Uber or Lyft
  • Walking

Do you need a car to get around Philadelphia?

As you can imagine, a car would make getting around in Philadelphia much easier. But with many affordable forms of public transportation in Philadelphia, it certainly isn’t a necessity to own a vehicle. You can use SEPTA, PHLASH, or other various alternatives to easily find your way from place to place.

Philadelphia Public Transportation Makes It Easy to Get Around

While there is a bit of a learning curve to getting around in this large city, it can be a simple process once you get the hang of it. Reliable public transportation in Philadelphia is easily found on every corner of the city, leaving you with plenty of options for getting where you need to go.

Learning more about Philadelphia public transit because you’re getting ready for a transition to the area? Here at Suburban Solutions, we have a crew of professional Philadelphia movers who are fully prepared to assist you with that. Contact us today by calling (610) 314-6868 or complete the Request a Quote form on this page for a free moving estimate!


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