Getting around in Philadelphia can feel pretty daunting when you’re brand new to the city. Traffic patterns, parking nightmares, and figuring out how Philly residents do taxis can take some time and research, not to mention frustrating morning commutes once you start your new job. Fortunately, there are a number of apps, programs, and alternatives to the traditional commuter’s headache that can save you time and money on Philadelphia transportation. Read on, and reap the benefits.
- Ride your bike
It sounds like a dangerous proposition in such a big city, but Philadelphia has an impressive network of bike lanes (more than 435 miles!) and an abundance of scenic bike paths for waterway leisure cruising. And if you’re arriving at the city without wheels? Check out Indego, Philadelphia’s incredibly affordable network of bike rentals. They even have front and back baskets to carry all of your groceries. Check out the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia for information on which routes are the most bicycle-friendly — they’ll even help you map your route to work for National Bike to Work Day (May 15).
- Public Transportation is easier than you think
SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) has become an incredibly user-friendly network of trains, trolleys, and busses that can help you navigate to pretty much any corner of the city. SEPTA’s iTravel Buddy app is a must-have for any Philadelphia commuter, giving up-to-date travel information on routes, schedules, construction delays or other necessary details. If you’re working in the city? Ask your employer about providing RideEco, a voucher you can use to purchase transit tokens, tickets, and passes. Using public transportation in Philadelphia not only helps save you time and money, but it cuts down on pollution and city congestion, too.
- Save money and carshare
If you’re moving to Philadelphia, you might consider leaving your car behind — especially if you’ll be living centrally. But even if you prefer the outskirts, national carshare programs Zipcar and Philly CarShare (now owned by Enterprise) can get you to where you want to go with hourly car rentals and widespread availability. So when the kids need to get to that birthday party, you’re covered.
The social network of taxis and rideshares, Uber remains one of the most widespread networks used within cities large and small. Download the Uber app and immediately have a network of rides at your fingertips who will give you an exact quote for the ride you need, then tell you when they arrive. Could it get any easier?
If you must drive…
Download and get familiar with apps like WAZE and Philadelphia Parking Authority’s (PPA) Parking Locator to help make your city adventures more manageable. If you’re relocating to Philadelphia, both of these apps will come in handy at some point, regardless of your travel methods.
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