Public Transportation- A Necessary Expense

Public transportation throughout the city of Philadelphia is a necessary expense. Roughly 3.9 million people in and around Philadelphia are dependent on SEPTA daily. SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, lacks competition as it is Philadelphia’s only reliable transportation service. SEPTA is America’s fifth largest transportation system, servicing five counties in Pennsylvania, parts of New Jersey, and Delaware. Various modes of transportation are available including: buses, subways, elevated rail trains, commuter regional rail trains, and electric trolley buses. As technology advances so does SEPTA. Some of these advance updates include wifi access and newer bus models with clear automated voice systems. As a result of allocated public money, these improvements help to advance SEPTA vehicles every year.

SEPTA is a unionized organization with a history of strikes due to failed negotiated contracts. The most recent strike in 2009 lasted for 6 days and people were reminded how nearly impossible navigating through the city can be.  The longest strike occurred in 1983 and the city of Philadelphia shut down, entering a state of emergency, for 108 days.

Written background sources

Visit Philadelphia: Philadelphia’s official visitor and travel site

This is an informational site aimed toward visitors in Philadelphia who anticipate traveling around by public transportation. It provides an updated list of all available routes and the areas SEPTA will service. This source provides visual features ensuring a better understanding of each route. This includes maps for each section of the city, time schedules, and estimated costs and zone fare for each route.

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

This site gives great detail on the history and evolution of Philadelphia’s public transportation system. It gives a great description of the developments for each route, the advancements in the modes of transportation, and the broken barriers between Philadelphia and Camden, NJ. Primarily using streetcars, horse and buggy, and ferry boats, this site gave a thorough report of SEPTA’s expansion and progression.

SEPTA Strikes- History, effects, and what to do during a SEPTA strike

This site gives a timeline of SEPTA’s strikes due to failed contract negotiations. This site references each strike from the 1970s to 2015, the impact it had on commuters, and the overall effects on the city of Philadelphia.