November 2, 2013

7 Must-Read SEPTA Tricks

Update 5/10/14: We discovered another nifty tool, It's a visualization of transit data published by Septa, not a live representation. Still helpful.

Like most Philadelphians, we have a love (beats sitting in traffic) / hate (don’t get me started on tokens in a bag) relationship with SEPTA.

We've been trying to use SEPTA buses, trolleys and the subway more often to get around the city and avoid paying $10+ in cab fares, especially when we're going out to dinner. In our quest to better understand Philly's public transportation system, we've come across some nifty tips and tricks and want to share them with you.

Photo from
Here are seven SEPTA tools you might not know about.

1. Have you ever stood at a SEPTA bus stop wondering if the bus will ever come or if you missed it? We have! The Transitview icon on SEPTA's System Status webpage is made for you. Just click on thebutton to see the location of the bus with a three minute delay. It's a bit slow on your phone, but still works.

2. Wondering if your train is on time? Use TrainView for the current status of each regional rail line with updated departure times from each station depending on where the train is at the moment. Kristy also swears by a mobile app called Baldwin that lets you enter in a starting point and a destination, tells you the next three trains you can take to get there and alerts you if they are running late.
3. Confused about the new fare changes? Visit the Fare Comparison page to find all changes including the best deals for your travels.

4. Do you rely on Google Maps for all your driving directions? Since SEPTA publishes their data to Google Transit you can get transit directions based on the next scheduled train or bus through Google Maps, too. We use this function whenever we visit major cities and here at home. (Note to techies: the transit data is available for developers to download and incorporate into their own apps and other APIs).

5. Looking for SEPTA social tools? Follow the Twitter handles for each SEPTA transit service for service updates. The iSepta site also has instructions on how to ride, contests, photos and other events.

6. Wish you could take SEPTA to the Mann Center? SEPTA provides round trip service for all summer events at the Mann. See the schedule and pick-up locations here.

7. Do you want a refund when your train is late? The SEPTA Service Guarantee means that the weekday listed rail and transit services will arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time or you will receive a free future trip.

Do you have additional SEPTA tricks or tools to add to the list? Send us an email or leave a comment and we will add it to this post.


Anonymous said...

i clicked..on a good many of them..a box comes up..then no info.. so basically thanks for nothing.. SEPTA info via computer..i think i'd be better off trying to get on the new govt health plan site..

Anonymous said...

I second that