The SEPTA Commuter’s Guide to Biking and Running to Work
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a SEPTA strike happening right now. Scratch that — unless you’re 16 hours deep into a 24-hour Netflix marathon (we don’t judge), you’ve definitely heard. In a word, the SEPTA strike, which means no Market-Frankford or Broad Street subway lines and no buses or trolleys running in the city, is inconvenient. (But hey, that’s kind of the point, right?)
But not to fear, my subway and bus-loving friends! (Fine, no one loves the subway. Maybe subway-reliant is the better way to put it?) There are other ways to get around town. Our friends over at Philly Mag’s news team put together a roundup of all your alternative options for commuting, but naturally, the options that appeal to us over at Be Well Philly HQ are the active ones, namely biking, running and walking. (We did help start Run to Work PHL, after all.)
Walking to work is pretty straightforward — running or biking to work can be a bit more tricky. So below, some tips to help newbies get going. Your boss can thank us later.
IF YOU’RE BIKING TO WORK
First off, you’re going to want to take a look at the map (below) that the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia put together specifically for biking the strike. It shows you where bike lanes are in the city, where Indego bike share stations are and where the coalition will be hosting bike commuting trains from tomorrow morning. (It’s always easier to start something new with friends by your side, right?)
If you don’t own your own bike, you’ll want to track down the closest Indego station to you (rides will run you $4 for a walk-up or $15 for the month) and figure out where the closest station to your job, where you’ll drop your bike off, is. And note, Indego is offering surplus bike availability and unlimited parking at certain stations during peak hours.
Next up, before you hop aboard for your two-wheeled commute, we’ve got some required reading for you.
First up, “21 Tips for Riding a Bike in Philly.” This post is from when April 2015, when Philly’s bike share launched, but the info here — always pass other cyclists on the left, avoid streets with trolley tracks — is still very much relevant, especially for inexperienced cyclists.
And next, “How to Bike to Work and Make It There in One Piece.” This one, written by Be Well’s Emily Leaman, a longtime bike commuter, comes with some seriously smart tips (think: plan a route) for getting to work on two wheels.
Okay, done reading? We wish you luck. And our last bit of advice: Be cautious. The rush hour traffic out there is worse than usual and drivers are more frazzled than usual.
IF YOU’RE RUNNING TO WORK
Seeing as how we help organize Run to Work PHL, a day when tons of folks skip SEPTA and cars in favor of a running commute, each year, we have some pretty good run-to-work tips. You can find a how-to guide to run to work every damn day — SEPTA strike or not — here. Just ignore the advice to stash your SEPTA token in your pocket. Clearly, that won’t help you get home at the end of the day. Instead, plan your return trip carefully. If running twice in one day is so not happening, track down the closest Indego station and bike home or Uber. Hey, at least you’re only paying for one way and not two, right?
Now, there you have it friends: All the tips we have to help make your SEPTA-less active commute as easy as possible. Once you get the hang of it, you just might find yourself swearing off SEPTA for good. After all, a little wind in your hair and an endorphin rush totally beats a stranger’s hair in your face and a claustrophobic episode at 8 a.m.
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