Have you gotten to a Parks on Tap location, ISEPTAPHILLYers?
Summer is in full swing, the trees are green, the cicadas are buzzing… and the beer gardens have taken over Philly! This week, Parks on Tap, the roaming beer garden, heads up to the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in West Fairmount Park. In addition to a koi pond, teahouse garden, courtyard garden, and the Sakura Pavilion, soak in the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia.
And then get yourself a beer and a bite from Parks on Tap (and psst… there’s a Perk for that!).
So how can you get to this beautiful corner of Fairmount Park that can offer you rich cultural history in addition to craft beer and great food on these gorgeous summer nights? SEPTA, of course.
If you still have “bus nerves,” fear not! We’ve put together a step-by-step guide so you won’t miss a second or a sip of a summer night, and here, we explain exactly how SEPTA can get you there, and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Which bus is right for me?
To get to view the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, you have a few SEPTA Bus Routes to choose from. Take your pick of the Route 38 to Lansdowne Drive & Belmont Avenue, or Routes 40, 43, or 64 to 49th and Parkside.
The Route 38 begins on 5th Street (north of Market Street) and finishes at the Wissahickon Transportation Center. You can catch this bus in Center City on Market Street (and on JFK Blvd after City Hall) before it turns up the Ben Franklin Parkway and travels behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, towards Fairmount Park. For Parks on Tap, you’ll want to ride to Lansdowne Drive & Belmont Avenue.
The Route 40 travels from 2nd and Lombard Streets to Conshohocken and Monument. This bus is perfect for a Parks on Tap Attendee coming from Society Hill, Queen Village, and University City (it travels through all of these). For Parks on Tap, you’ll want to get off at 49th and Parkside.
The Route 43 will take you from Richmond and Cumberland Streets (around Fishtown and Kensington) to 50th and Parkside. You can catch this along Spring Garden before it turns on Lancaster Ave towards Fairmount Park. Just get off right before the bus’s last stop, at 49th and Parkside!
The Route 64 ends its route similarly, though it starts at Pier 70 – so you South Philadelphians, this is the bus for you! The 64 travels along Washington Ave in South Philly before cutting north (west of University City), and also finishing its route at 50th and Parkside. Once again, get off right before the bus’s last stop, at 49th and Parkside.
Where do I find my bus stop?
Since all of these buses have such different routes (that don’t all overlap), please refer to each route’s maps (the maps are linked above). Once you know your starting location, you can pick which bus is closest to you.
On the maps, you’ll notice directional arrows so you can tell in which direction the bus will be going along the route. The bus will stop on mostly every corner along the route – just look for the bus stop sign or bus shelter. If you don’t see one, walk to the next block along the route; you should find one there.
If you’re using our Trip Planner, select your bus, and then head to your closest bus stop listed in the directions.
Once you’ve found your bus stop, open your SEPTA App for Apple iOS or Android, and click on the Transit View. Select the route, and track where your bus is. Transit View updates every 3 minutes. If you tap the option bar in the upper right hand corner, you can view which color buses are heading in which direction.
If you’re already at the bus stop, you can get the next four scheduled trips texted to you by following these directions:
1. Open a new text message and type 'septa' and the STOP ID number (found on the SEPTA Bus Stop sign).
2. Send the text to 41411 3. Receive a return text with the next four scheduled trips
Remember: always board through the front of the bus. You can exit through the rear door if you choose.
How can I pay?
A detailed list of all of your fare options can be found here. If it’s a one-time bus ride, you can buy tokens at certain convenience stores, SEPTA Sales locations and Stations. The cost of a bus ride with a Token is $2.00. Tokens may only be purchased in packs of two or more. If you want to hop on the bus right away before buying tokens, you can pay $2.50 in exact change onboard.
This is a great opportunity to try out your SEPTA Key Card (or get one, if you haven’t yet)! You can find plenty of places to buy a Key Card here. You can add money to your Travel Wallet, which will be the same value as tokens. Then, just tap your Key Card at our red validators on the bus to pay.
If you already have a TransPass loaded onto your Key, you can use it on ALL bus, trolley, subway or Norristown High Speed Line trips, including this one. Just tap your Key on the validator. The same goes for a paper TransPass. If you’re a regular Rail rider, you’re in luck! A paper TrailPass will also allow you to ride on transit
If you’re just doing urban exploring, you can get a One-Day Convenience Pass for $8, and is valid for up to 8 bus rides in a single day (or 8 rides on any SEPTA Transit services).
If you also plan to include any Regional Rail travel in your trip, then the One-Day Independence Pass is for you. It’s only $12, and allows you unlimited one-day travel on all SEPTA services.
Also, if you have a TransPass, TrailPass, One-Day Independence Pass or SEPTA Key, you get SEPTA Pass Perks!
When do I pull the string to request my stop?
This festival is taking place on Penn’s Landing, which is easier for all of the bus-goers. All of these routes will stop their service on Penn’s Landing, so you can just take any of these buses to the end of the their line. Of course, if you still want to give the string a tug, that’s fine too.
Anything we didn’t cover?
If you still have questions, we have a short How-To video for you on our Destinations page. Simply scroll down below the Search Bar, and you’ll find our How-To videos, including How to Ride SEPTA Bus Routes.
…If you still have questions, well, we can help with that too. Our SEPTA Customer Service team is available through Twitter M-F (7a-7p) and on weekends (8a-6p). Tweet any questions at them and they’ll get back to you quickly with answers. If you don’t have Twitter, you can ask your questions with the Chat Now option. You can also reach them by phone at (215) 580-7800.
If your question isn’t urgent, you can email us at [email protected]
To make your travels easier, we recommend you download the SEPTA App. This helps with more than just your bus ride! Our App provides you with schedules, Transit View, Alerts, Pass Perks, and more. And it’s free.
Our buses are a great way to get to all of the corners of our city, so don’t be nervous! Remember, even the most seasoned rider had to once have their first solo-bus-ride, it’s just a matter of doing it.
Oh, and always be on the lookout for detours. Check our System Status or better yet - ask the Operator when you board.
Now you’re equipped with everything you need to know about riding the bus. So go catch your ride!