In many ways, the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop™ remains one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
The service has been around since 1994, and hit its all-time high for ridership last year. Yet, there are still plenty of visitors and locals who are not aware of all that the PHLASH has to offer.
Even if your ride was among the 314,000 the PHLASH made in 2016, you probably aren’t taking advantage of everything the service has to offer. Here is our list of the top reasons to ride the PHLASH:
Top 5 Reasons to Ride the PHLASH
1. Excellent Customer Service: Did you know that the Independence Visitor Center Corporation began managing the PHLASH in 2012? That means we apply our same high standards of customer service and attention to visitor needs to the transit service.
2. “Park & Ride” Discount Program: For anyone driving into Philadelphia, PHLASH’s “Park & Ride” program offers a discounted rate at the following Philadelphia Parking Authority facilities for those who present a PHLASH pass:
Stop 2, AutoPark at 2nd & Sansom Streets, 125 S. 2nd Street: $8.00
Stops 3 & 21, AutoPark at Independence Mall, 5th & Market Streets: $11.00
Stop 4, Parkade on 8th Street, 801 Filbert Street: $8.00
Stop 4, AutoPark at The Gallery, 10th & Filbert Streets: $8.00
Stop 20, AutoPark at Jefferson, 10th & Ludlow Streets: $8.00
So leave the stress of city traffic to the professionals—park your car and ride PHLASH for the day!
3. Clean + Comfortable Vehicles: In 2014, the PHLASH service transitioned from using trolleys to state-of-the-art New Flyer MiDi buses, operated by Krapf’s Coaches. The buses are large, seating up to 32 passengers comfortably, with large windows for great city views. They are air conditioned, ADA compliant, made in the USA, and use the latest in clean diesel technology. The PHLASH vehicles provide such a pleasant riding experience that the PHLASH was even named one of “10 Places to Mooch Free Air Conditioning in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia Magazine!
4. Exclusive Route: Like everything else about the PHLASH, its route is designed with the visitor in mind. The PHLASH travels from the Delaware River Waterfront to Fairmount Park, making 22 stops located near popular destinations and attractions, including: Penn’s Landing, the National Museum of Jewish American History, The Barnes Foundation, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Perelman Building, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, National Constitution Center, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Reading Terminal Market, the Shops at Liberty Place, the Please Touch Museum, the Philadelphia Zoo, One Liberty Observation Deck, and the brand-new Museum of the American Revolution.The PHLASH is the ONLY public transit route that travels along Philadelphia’s iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, providing access to the city’s Museum District.
5. FREE Rides: At just $2 per ride or $5 for an all-day pass, the PHLASH is the most affordable way to travel around the city for everyone. But for many, the PHLASH is completely free! Among the groups who can always ride PHLASH for free: SEPTA Pass and Key card holders, seniors 65 and older; and children 4 and under.
If you haven’t yet experienced the benefits of riding the PHLASH, you’re in luck because daily service for the season resumed on Monday, May 1!
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Fusco for the IVCC