Yesterday, I had to commute into University City for my 9AM Nutrition class at Penn. My commute, which usually takes about 50 minutes one way, took 1 hour and 45 minutes. I know I’m not the only one experiencing travel delays. Here’s to all the people making the trek outside in the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas, the people shoveling to clear the train tracks and roads, and those of you who may have been smarter to stay home.
I left my dorm at 7:45AM to catch the 8:08AM SEPTA R5 express from Bryn Mawr straight to 30th Street Station. The train didn’t come until 8:28AM and ran all local stops. I tried to Lyft it to class, but a driver canceled on me because I had made the pick up too soon while I was still on the train. Another driver canceled because I was too far. I rode the LUCYGO bus for the first time (which you can ride free with a Penn card). But I knew I made a mistake when the bus got stuck in traffic on the slushy streets, and people were faster walking on the sidewalks. I finally made it to class around 9:30AM. Thankfully, my professor was understanding about it. Surprisingly, I decided to take the R100 back and experienced no delays compared to the R5.
I write this post as a warning for those of you traveling on the SEPTA these next couple days. Snow delays are real.
Here are my tips on how to get around Philly in times like these:
- Leave an hour earlier.
- Transportation runs slower when the tracks are covered in snow.
- Sometimes walking is faster.
- Prepare for crowded trains/buses.
- Know your alternatives: R5, R100, Lyft, Uber.
- Check the SEPTA System Status to see if your route is running.
- Stay safe!
On another transportation note, I quite like the R100 compared to the R5. Although the R100 train stop is further from campus than the R5 (a 15 minute walk compared to a 5 minute walk), the R100 (depending on where you are going in Center City) is actually FASTER & MUCH CHEAPER. A round trip on the R100 costs $6.10. A round trip on the R5 costs $11.50. The R100 train also reminds me of the Totoro Bus. I think it’s the comfy brown leather seats and the view through the Mainline suburban countryside.