Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

SEPTA How To: Eastern State Penitentiary – 7, 32, 33, 43, and 48

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ISEPTAPHILLYers, it’s that time of year to get spooked! We know that the weather has yet to comply with our need for pumpkin spice and scary stories, but fear not, because the coolest (no pun intended) haunted house in Philadelphia (and the largest in the country!), Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, is back!

We promise that your “bus nerves” won’t interfere with the nerves that will be rattled by ghouls, ghosts, and darkness. And so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that explains exactly how SEPTA can get you there, and should answer any questions you may have along the way.

And psst… you’ve got a Perk at Terror Behind the Walls! Save $3 on tickets as a loyal SEPTA rider!

Which bus is right for me?

To get to the Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, you have your choice of SEPTA Bus Routes 7, 32, 33, 43, and 48.

The Route 7 covers ground from Pier 70 on the Delaware River through South Philadelphia and Graduate Hospital, then up through Fairmount, Brewerytown, and Strawberry Mansion, ending at 33rd and Dauphin.

The Route 32 starts in South Philly at Broad and Carpenter. It travels north through Center City, wrapping around City Hall and heading towards Fairmount and the Art Museum. From the north, this route begins in Manayunk/Roxborough at Broad and Lyceum.

The Route 33 travels from Penn’s Landing through Center City, before cutting north through Fairmount. The other side of this route begins at 23rd and Venango.

The Route 43 starts its journey at Richmond and Cumberland Streets between Fishtown and Kensington, traveling across Spring Garden (past Fairmount) before heading up Lancaster Avenue and finishing in Parkside.

The Route 48 begins its course at Front and Market, traveling down Arch, turning north on 22nd Street towards Fairmount. If you’re coming from the north, this route begins on 27th and Allegheny and will travel south on 29th Street through Strawberry Mansion and Brewerytown before it gets to Fairmount.

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. 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 $9, 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 $13, 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?

Since this festival spans so much of the neighborhood… it’s up to you where you want to get off! The map for the festival can be found here. Anywhere in the vicinity of 24th to 20th Streets, and Lombard to Christian Streets will put you in walking distance of the festivities, so we recommend that before you go, you check out their events and stage schedule and decide where you want to be!

When it’s time for you to pull the string, you’ll want to pull it when your block is the next block. That will let the Operator know that you plan to get off.

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.

Now you’re equipped with everything you need to know about riding the bus. So go catch your ride!


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