This Unofficial SEPTA Map Highlights What Riders Really Care About

SEPTA Frequency Map

In much of the city, SEPTA is already convenient: Just head to the bus or trolley stop and a vehicle should show up soon. Map by Thomson Kao.

Most transit maps show would-be riders where the buses and trains go. Which is fine, as far as it goes — and if everyone were a mere commuter, maps like these would fill the bill.

But transit users in cities are a different breed. They often use transit not just to get to and from work, but also to get around in general, and for them, how often the buses and trains run often matters much more than where they run.

Frequent transit service also benefits the transit agency by boosting casual ridership. If a rider knows that they can simply walk to a nearby bus stop or train station and get on a vehicle in a matter of minutes, they’re more likely to ride and less likely to drive.

Which is what makes Thomson Kao‘s unofficial SEPTA frequency map so valuable. It shows the corridors where riders can just show up and board a vehicle in fairly short order.  Read more »

What Could Have Been: Proposed Rapid Transit Lines for Philadelphia

Image via Philadelphia Studies

Image via Philadelphia Studies (Psssst! Click the image for a closer look!)

GAHH, if only! As a staunch public transit rider who takes both a bus and the El to get from Northeast Philly to Center City (takes anywhere from 45 mins to an hour and a half, depending…well, more on that later), something like the above-pictured rapid transit system would be deeply appreciated by occasionally resentful, but always loyal, commuters like myself.

And no. Much like our Jaw Dropper of the Week home, this is not some silly April Fools’ joke. Rather, it’s a blast from the past found on Michael Krasulski’s Philadelphia Studies blog:

Back in 2002, while on medical leave, I attempted to abstract and post online the annual reports of the Philadelphia Department of City Transit. […] A fellow on the Main Line, whose name I have long forgotten, made this for my website. The map is, mostly, based on the original 1913 plan. He added the airport connection “just because.”

In other words, the map you’re looking at is a modern day illustration of the rapid transit lines proposed by Philadelphia Transit Commissioner A. Merritt Taylor between 1913 and 1915 (except for the airport line, of course). Philebrity notes that when Taylor was drawing up these routes the Market-Frankford Line was still “in its infancy” and the Broad Street Line would not be built for another ten years or so.

Still, as Jim Saksa points out in a tweet, this was all formulated at a time when “we still had streetcars everywhere.” SEPTA went on to acquire these after taking over the system in 1968, but only seven surface lines continued into the early 1970s, “along with the five Subway-Surface Lines that still serve West Philadelphia,” according to Jake Blumgart in this 2012 Inquirer article. Here’s what Blumgart says helped preserve those lines still running in West Philly:

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Bicycle Coalition Maps Four Years of Bike Crashes in Philly



Since 2011, John Boyle of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has been using newspaper reports to keep a map of bicycle traffic crashes in Philly. The map shows 55 crashes in the past four years, and the information it provides is pretty jarring. Get this: Of the 55 crashes marked on the map, a whopping 27 of them were fatal. That’s nearly half, people! And 16 of the crashes were hit and runs.

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The Only Map That Matters: Philly Juice-Bar Map



Warm weather is a comin’, friends. Finally! And along with trading in my Uggs for, well, anything else, I’ll also be trading in my hot-apple-cider habit for a cold-fresh-pressed-juice addiction. Who’s with me?

If you raised your hand, you’ll love our latest creation: A handy-dandy map of juice bars throughout Philadelphia. (We were inspired by the folks over at Well + Good who created this jam-packed map of NYC juice shops.) We’ve included every juice bar we could find in the Philadelphia area that serves fresh-pressed juice, made to order. So, never again will you wander the streets in search of a freshly-squeezed glass of juice: Next time a craving hits, simply head over to this map and find a spot to quench your thirst.

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Mapping the Gayborhood

Courtesy of Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus

As the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, championing everything from the now-famous “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” slogan – the largest gay tourism campaign in North America – to important historical markers at Independence Hall and Giovanni’s Room, the group revealed recently that both would be stops for bus tours by Philadelphia Trolley Works. The Gayborhood is also being added to maps distributed by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The maps previously referred the area as Midtown Village – which became a controversial subject among LGBT-owned business that had long referred to the neighborhood as the “Gayborhood.” And while the Midtown Village name will remain to describe the area just south of Market on 13th Street, the Gayborhood will also be added to the maps, which are released twice a year at local attractions, hotels and the Independence Visitor Center.

To celebrate the anniversary and these new initiatives, the caucus is planning a special event on Nov. 7, (5:30 p.m.) with details to come.

Click here for more information about the caucus or to check out a Gayborhood map.

Got Gayborhood Map?

The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus released a new map of the Gayborhood this week. It gives tourists and locals alike the lowdown from 12th to Broad Streets, and Chestnut to Pine, including where to shop, eat, drink, stay over, get healthy and workout. The map also includes details about important moments in Philly’s gay history and offers a slew of resources.

Visitors and residents can pick up their map of the Gayborhood at the Independence Visitor Center, the William Way Center or any gay-friendly hotel around town. You can also click here to download a copy.

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