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Planning Your Driving “Retirement”

driving-retirementAlthough saying farewell to the car can seem intimidating, the best in everything from entertainment to hospitals are within easy reach in the Philly area—without having to get behind the wheel. From Center City to the Main Line and beyond, here’s how to hang up the keys while keeping your freedom.

Getting to the City

SEPTA’s regional rails are one of the best ways to get into the city. Not only will you dodge traffic, riding without your mind on the road frees it up for whatever catches your fancy, whether that’s catching up on the day’s news or browsing the internet on your phone. The best part? For seniors aged 65 and older, all you need is a valid ID, and you’ll ride free; in fact, you can catch a free ride on SEPTA’s entire network of trains, buses, subways and trolleys.

SEPTA’s Urban Network

While they can be packed and chaotic during rush hours, SEPTA’s two subway lines, the Market-Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line, can get you across the city or to South Philly’s stadiums quickly. To get over the river into West Philly, it’s easy to transfer to a subway-to-surface trolley line at the 15th or 30th St. stations. The subway lines don’t extend into many neighborhoods across the city, but SEPTA’s bus network can help fill in those gaps.

Ride-Hailing Services

If you want to avoid walking too far or are in a time crunch, a ride-hailing app like Uber or Lyft is the way to go. Within Center City, you can often reach your destination in minutes. Both Uber and Lyft also offer a carpool feature where you’re paired with other passengers heading in the same general direction. And don’t forget about taxis.In Philly, they’ve adapted to the iPhone age with an Uber-like app called 215GetACab—great for those who can’t whistle.

Easy Healthcare Access

Retirement communities in the Philadelphia area like Waverly Heights often offer free rides to a medical professional right from your door. If you live independently, SEPTA has a Shared Ride program through which you can reserve door-to-door paratransit in advance in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. Your insurance company can be a good backup— see if they offer affordable transportation or cover expenses for ride-sharing.

Going Beyond the City

If you’re heading to New Jersey, the PATCO Speedline runs from Philadelphia to Camden and beyond. If you’re thinking nationally, there are plenty of train and bus options at 30th Street Station. Amtrak can get you to any major site on the East Coast. While typically slower than flying, many find it a more comfortable option. If airlines are what you’re looking for, a regional rail line, taxis and Uber or Lyft can all get you from Center City to the Philadelphia International Airport.

For more information on making the most of your midlife and beyond, click here.