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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Commute Flavors

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To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, our July contest asked what flavor best describes your commute.  We received hundreds of entries and were blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness of your ice cream flavors. It wasn't easy, but we picked one grand prize winner and ten runner-ups from the hundreds of contest entries. Check out all the SEPTA-fied flavors below!

Denise (Grand Prize Winner): Suburban Bourbon Berry Ice Cream (luscious creamy vanilla ice cream with fresh berries inside and hints of bourbon swirl on top of chocolate dipped sugar cone).

Claire: SEPTA Key Card Lime Pie! Ever since I got my Key Card in the original pilot program, my commute has become as sweet and easy as eating citrusy Key Lime Pie ice cream! Only wish the ice cream flavor could auto-reload!

Suzanne: Since the streets department has been doing a lot of work on the bus route that I take almost every day.  They did not do any type of repaving to make the street surface flat and even so it is a bumpy ride for a good portion of the route. So I can only say Rocky Road ice cream.  The bus drivers do a great job of driving along that route.

Joseph: I would say my commute is like Neapolitan ice cream. No matter my choice of service, be it a bus, train, or trolley, I know that I will always see an impressive variety of people aboard. In that, their diversity reminds me of the aforementioned type of dessert because it unites three flavors that are great on their own and blends them into an irresistible mix. Philadelphia is a lively city, and trips on SEPTA prove that liveliness. In other words, a mass transit ride and Neapolitan ice cream guarantee that nobody who samples them will ever be able to find anything to surpass their greatness.  

Helene: Instead of 31, I only need 13 flavors for my ride on the Route 13.  It’s fruity, nutty, crunchy, sweet and salty. 

Name: Lucky 13 (dark chocolate ice cream base)

Walnut, Toasted Almond, Salted Peanut, Cinnamon Pecan, Praline, Dried cranberry, Dark Raisin, White Chocolate chip, banana chip, mini pretzel, granola, Butterscotch, and Chocolate Fudge

Timothy: My flavor: Allegheny Rocky Road (Extra Nutty)

Danielle: Maple Walnut-Locust.

Cherryl: I love the hustle and bustle of Dilworth Park in all 4 seasons specially the summer time. It’s gotta be a City Hall CH-CH-CHERRY KOOL AID from Big Gay Ice Cream. You will be transported into 90s nostalgic moments. Instead of drinking an ice cold Kool-Aid, I am thanking the owners of Big Gay Ice Cream on making it to an ice cream flavor. It literally tastes like Kool-Aid of course in an ice cream form. They even dipped it with a cherry dip. How cool is that!!

John: My favorite commute flavor ice cream is the Market Frankford Mint Chip with A train to Frankford topping and B train to 69th Street Whip Cream and top it with All Stops to Frankford sprinkles and #ISEPTAPHILLY cherry on top. :)

Latrelle: 36 Almondwood Flavors via Tastwick

Viola: A- cai B-erry Train to 69th Street Transportation Center, which would feature various berry flavors such as blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry blended into a creamy, fresh summer treat.

Chris: Rocky Road. Because have you driven in Philly?

Christine: Enjoy a Baltimore Avenue Blueberry Blitz! Delicious vanilla ice cream blended with 34 blueberries in honor of the 34 trolley, topped with 40 pink portal jimmies! This special flavor lasts long after you’ve emerged from the tunnel! It cools you off and melts your heart!

Cleveland: Regional Rail Moose Tracks

John: The best flavor would be called: The Smooth Regional Rail Peanut butter trail. Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter because it is smooth and always interesting

Jericca: SEPTA Key Lime Pie

Joanne: Rocky Road, of course, because this summer it feels like everywhere I go the road has been torn up or just replaced after repairs.  It's a bumpy mess!

Greg: My daily commute is on the BSL. The ice cream flavor that best describes my commute is also the BSL: That's Butter-Scotch Latte flavored ice cream. I imagine it to be a butterscotch/coffee/vanilla blend of ice cream, perhaps topped with an orange-tinted butterscotch topping to match the orange of the stripe on the subway cars. Yum!

Charlie: Commuter’s Dream: Strawberry, Cookies n’ Cream - Like the savory smooth ride provided by SEPTA, this train ride treat beats the ice cream headaches of a morning drive into work. A unique blend of strawberry sweetness and cold cookie combo will put you on the right tracks to downtown tasty town...or wherever it is you’re actually heading to? Who cares, it’s delicious!

Joanna: Girard Moose Tracks

Vivian: Salty Caramel Crunch. Being a commuter requires a dash of saltiness and a splash of sweetness.  Philadelphians have bite. 

Sheryl: The flavor that describes my commute is Rocky Road Bump and Sometimes Smooth as Creams, especially during the morning rush commute, but the afternoon commute is Smooth as Cream Sweet Potato Pie.

Veronica Ang: SEPTA Bus 44 Banana Nutella Swirl ice cream.

L'keya: When I catch the G bus to work at 15:00, it's a huge bowl of vanilla bean ice cream with hot fudge on top, and a whole lot of nuts!! Hold the cherry!

Rainah: Because my commute can consist of riding the bus to the subway, my commute flavor would be The Rocky Road to Orange Cream. As we all know, Philly streets can be a bit rough, like a rocky road, but when you make it down the steps of the Orange Line to sit and chill, it's cool and smooth like orange cream ice cream!

Ayana: As I think about the flavor I would like to be it would be Warrior Caramel strong but sweet and smooth. I would love to eat it on these hot days in summer. Warrior Caramel would have pecan swirled with caramel and vanilla chocolate mix. It will be love and first dip.

Sakiya: Super Bowl Champ Carmel Crunch

Emma: Cotton Candy Swirl, since the Manayunk stations are colorful!

Steven: My ice cream flavor would be Riverbend Coffee Mocha.  I usually stop to get a coffee (or iced coffee these past few weeks) at Spring Mill, so what better way to stay cool on the ride in than with a coffee flavored ice cream from Riverbend. Hopefully they make it with Rocket Roast from Green Street, that's my favorite bean.

Catharine: It would have to be Rocky Road.

Jessica: I would have to say my commute is Railway Rocky Road

Aaron: My SEPTA ride would be similar to a strawberry pie crust ice cream from cold stone creamery (marble slab whatever you call it) because it's cool and refreshing but you've gotta pay about $6 for it and wait in line sometimes to get it. But once you've got it, it makes your day a little easier and enjoyable and is very relaxing and refreshing.  By the way I could really use a trail pass, because I take the train from Lansdowne to South Philly all the way up to Berwyn every single day and I only make 12 bucks an hour. Please let me win.

Michelle: Not-So-BORING Butter Pecan. I've had some insane commutes over the past year. From subway to plane to just a few flights of stairs, my commute has never been boring. But my favorite mode of transportation has always been public transportation. It's a time I get to reflect on myself and observe the people who share my city. The Phillies fan, the hard-working immigrant, the busy student—riding through the underground tunnels has opened my eyes to so many types of riders, bringing me a new appreciation in life. So, a commute doesn't have to be a mundane time in your day, it can be the moment you look forward to."

William: Orange Line Espresso... Vanilla ice cream orange sherbet with espresso flavored ribbon of ice cream... Sounds cool as the Broad Street Line

Amberlee: Broad Street Butter Pecan-- not everyone likes it, but it is bearable since it's smooth, cool and sweet, with some nuts along the way.

Gabrielle: My commute is best described as ... Cinderella's pumpkin spice carriage ride (pumpkin spice infused ice cream on a chocolate dipped cone).

Tennille: My SEPTA flavor would be 46th Berry Ttwist.  How about Market-Frankford Coffee Blast.

Maggie: Rainbow SEPTA Sherbet, because off all the different people and lives I get to see riding public transportation! It’s my favorite part of the journey.

Abby: When I’m going to school...Swarths’more. When I’m headed to North Philly? Temple Cherry Garcia! But when I’m headed to work along the Main Line: Vanillanova!

Matthew: SEPTA Key Lime Pie

Abigail: Cecil B. S’more!

Jeffrey: My SEPTA commute is like Rocky Road... The nine will pick me up and drop me off but on the way we have to dodge potholes, traffic, double parked cars, tow trucks, accidents and everything else the city has to throw. In the end it’s a sweet ride on SEPTA.

Jennifer: Chocolate Cherry Cordial Is my all-time favorite... I eat whenever I am sad happy and anywhere in between. I'd really appreciate a pass so I could get put some. Like to Penn’s Landing and downtown.

Cinnamon: I take my weekly commute to lil baby's ice cream shop on Baltimore avenue, I love the smoked cinnamon ice cream, with hints of liquid smoke, chipotle and brown sugar,  not only is it my name, it's the best flavor ice cream in Philly.  Enjoying this sweet day, down to Cedar Park. We Love SEPTA!

Cynthia: Regional Rail Rum Raisin (4R's)

Francie: Rocky Road! Three buses and lots of potholes but I still get where I need to go. Sweet!

Ray: Black n white milkshake when I'm riding the L because the city is diversified with culture and the trains make me shake.

Kim: Just plain chocolate or butter pecan is my favorites. I love a chocolate cone with jimmies or a chocolate marshmallow sundae with Chocolate and butter pecan ice cream!!! Makes for a happy day!!!

Antoinette: Lavender ice cream is the most unusual and delicious flavor ever.


THE BSL (Broad St Line) or Butterscotch Love

- Sweet cream ice cream with Butterscotch swirls and lumps of butterscotch cookie bits!

To Trenton With Love

- Mint Chip ice cream with caramel swirls, marshmallow chunks, and chocolate covered waffle cone bits!

SEPTA Key To My Heart

-Strawberry and sweet cream swirl ice cream with shortbread cookie bits and ooey gooey chocolate and caramel fudge.


-Coffee cream ice cream with peanut butter swirls and cookie crunch!

45 Jive

- Red Velvet ice cream with cream cheese swirl and marshmallow core!

Tia: It's my Mocha-Morning Espresso!  Espresso-flavored coffee with chocolate swirl that will give a jolt to your morning commute and get you through your day.

Connie: It's soft, like the night time view from a railcar window. Speckled with candied walnuts, like the tokens I hand to the friendly booth worker. The base is buttermilk--familiar, like the long stretch of Broad St my commute covers every day. And it's bonded together with caramel--sweet and resilient with a complex flavor profile, just like our city of Brotherly Love. And in a tribute to the TV show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this flavor is called: "The Gang Rides SEPTA"

Jessie: I am just strawberry swirl because I swirl around on SEPTA all the time.

Mariel: Pistachio! There is so much greenery along the Paoli Thorndale RR line.

Suzanne: Flavor Title: Neighborhood Mish-Mash. Flavor Inspiration: Traveling through several sections of the historic, elusive, beloved city of Philadelphia - my commute takes me from Queens Village through Society Hill to Old City and north of Spring Garden to Temple University. I am always curious of what I might see next, and what might make me smile, or laugh, or cringe. Dirty rain water and bumpy asphalt, cars with major dents or crushed tail lights, uninhibited bike commuters, to 100+ year old homes and churches with stained glass windows and extremely imaginative and colorful murals describing the people and history of our city. This place - our city, is ever changing, but always quirky yet inviting and familiar. Flavor Description: a-la Neapolitan - vanilla, chocolate and orange ice creams with ribbon swirls of Oreo cookie crumble, rainbow gummy bears, and chocolate covered peanuts and pretzels folded in.

Jamie: My commute from Rittenhouse to Chinatown has been marked by extreme heat in the past couple months, leaving me drenched in sweat when I arrive at the office every day. The rays of brutal sunshine and thick, hot air evoke the taste and mouth feel of sharply spicy Chinese chili peppers and numbing but fragrant Sichuan peppercorns. However, riding the 17 bus brings a much-appreciated cool and relaxing respite from the relentless urban summer. It reminds me of the cooling and sweet chrysanthemum tea enjoyed by Southern Chinese to fight off the humid, sweltering summers of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Thus, I employ the principles of yin and yang in combining the heat of chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns and cooling properties of chrysanthemum flowers in my flavor Arch Street Floral Heat. With a sweet cream base infused with chrysanthemum and Sichuan peppercorn then sweetened with honey, and finally blended with a pinch of chili pepper, this flavor is sure to bring traditional Chinese balance to your summer ice cream treat!

Gregory: Definitely Rocky Road. It’s not as bad as it first seems: it’s sweet; it’s predictably good; but it has a few nutty surprises thrown in to keep it interesting. Like now we’re transitioning to the new key card system. I’m sure SEPTA’s newly trained ambassadors will make it a smooth as cream transition but there will be a few nuts to make it a challenge.

Mildred: Chocolate & Strawberry and mix them together LOVE IT you should try it if you haven't already

Kelly: The flavor that best describes my commute is Regional Rail Rocky Road because of the nutty passengers that I have to deal with on a daily basis along with rocky old train cars along with the marshmallow being the smooth silence of the quiet car that I enjoy riding in on my way to/from work. 

Jamie: Rocky Road - every bite is different just like every day, but you love them all when you ride SEPTA!

Katharine: New Jersey Bound Blueberry for when I go to Trenton monthly to visit family in NJ.

Garima: My SEPTA flavor would be “blueberry +raspberry” (SEPTA colors!)

Walter: Mine would be Trolley Praline Trail.

Jennifer: My commute is Route 43 Vanilla...familiar and smooth, but every once in a while there are some nuts mixed in.

Eric: Moose Tracks Frankford Line

Tina: Doylestown End of Line Pillow. Chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered pretzel sticks (railroad ties) with swirls of cushiony marshmallow to soften the blow when we get to the end of the line. 

Tyler: By far, the flavor that describes my SEPTA commute is Road Runner Raspberry. Sometimes it feels like all I do is "run the roads" like the famous Road Runner. However, my road running is only possible with SEPTA, especially the BSL and MFL. Without them, I would be the worst Road Runner - always late and never getting anywhere. But, with my SEPTA commute being as easy as it is now with the SEPTA Key cards, I feel more comfortable eating Road Runner Raspberry ice cream, because I know I am one - thanks to SEPTA.

Anissa: My favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip ice cream.  So I would call it "TrailPass the Mint Choco Chip.”

Cassandra: Tropical Transit Toffee.

Dorothy: Coffee is my favorite flavor ice cream! Coffee also puts pep in my step as I walk to my bus stop and make my way through 69th Street to catch my second bus. Winning the Trail Pass would really help me out!

Megan: Trenton Line Triple Chocolate Oreo

Tim: 84 Flavors. We can’t just pick one since the 84 bus is our ride into the city. Otherwise we’d have a Rocky Road. 

Autumn: Okay, no one believes me about this story, like ever. I wish I took a picture because every time I talk about it, people doubt me. But I swear, this happened. This is related to my ice cream answer, hang tight. One time I saw an entire crab on the subway. Like, a WHOLE ENTIRE CRAB. Someone just left it. On the floor. Now, I don’t know if it was alive or not. I’m going to safely assume it was dead. But I don’t know that for sure. It could have very well been alive. I imagine if that little dude was still alive, maybe he’d go around snipping at people’s shoelaces. But it didn’t move. So maybe it was dead. But who even leaves a crab on the subway? Anyways, my ice cream flavor would be crab flavor. Yeah, that sounds NASTY. But we already have crab fries. Why wouldn’t we have crab ice cream? Would I eat it? No. Someone would. Maybe someone from Maine. Or someone from a real foreign place. Like Bucks County. Yeah. Crab ice cream.

Rebecca: I think my commute is best described as the 34 Baltimore Brownie Blast. I have the pleasure of taking the 34 trolley up Baltimore Ave, which means I have a pretty view on the trolley before I head into the tunnel. I had to keep up some alliteration, so why not throw in some brownies?!

Mia: My Commuter Flavor would be called “The Philly Special” made with Butter Pecan & Chocolate Strawberry (chocolate with real diced strawberries 🍓)

Jennifer: West Trenton Chai Tea Gelato — creamy smooth, cold and occasionally a little spicy!

Margaret: Strawberry Shortcake.  Steps to the train, one short ride we’re in town. Sweet!

Taryn: The Slow and Steady Chocolate Fudge

Marsha: Allen’s Lane Candy Apple Crunch Cream.

Kim: I take the White Chocolate Raspberry Warminster line from Willow Grove to Cherry Garcia (with Jimmies!) Jefferson Station, and then hop on the Mango Market Frankford Line to the Red, White, and Blue Bell 5th street Independence Mall stop.

Jordan: My commute has a few parts, so it only makes sense to describe it through a Philly-based sundae. Scoop 1: Little Baby's Smoked Cinnamon. Since I start in Fishtown, only makes sense to rep the neighborhood, and this flavor is as smooth and aromatic as my first cup of tea in the AM, just as the sun is peaking out! Next scoop is always reliable - Bassett's classic vanilla. Jefferson Station is no-nonsense, but I like that as my spot for transitioning. Third scoop is Weckerly's cookies and cream. Seemingly a standard flavor, then WHAM delightful cookie bites - these are my sweet and friendly conductors, staff, and fare collectors who make a sometimes-challenging 1.5 hour trip much better!

Michele: My ice cream would be Rainbow Swirl With Nuts. The rainbow would be for the variety of people that I ride the 66 and El with and the nuts are for the entertainment some people supply on my ride.

Matt: Under the Seat Bubblegum Sherbet

Don: My commute flavor is Curtis Parker Vanilla Fudge Twirl.

Tommy: Monday Morning Moose Tracks. For when I'm dragging my feet to get to work and forgoing SEPTA 's much more convenient, cooler, and quicker Market-Frankford Line."

Joe: My commute flavor is Moose Tracks since I travel away from the city to Horsham everyday - through the tree lined roads like a moose on the loose!

Marina: At the moment I'd call my commute "Oat of this World" (of Ben and Jerry's pint flavors) because I have many options. The #11 and #36 have both been routed onto Chester along the same route the #13 travels, so now I have three options there, as well as still being a short walk from the #34. Also, once the trolley Blitz begins, I'll probably catch the #64 to and from the MFL. So yes, totally Oat of this World.

John: The ice cream flavor for my commute, trolley from Baltimore Ave to University City: The UPenn Ten Outta Ten Moose Tracks and Fudge Ripple Cookie Dough Bite Frozen Delight.

Mary: Broad Street Line Almond Butter Smooth

Idalia: Rail Rolling Raspberry, smooth like the ride on the El and the Broad Street Line

Linda: Manayunk Chocolate Chunk.

Tellis: My flavor is South Side Party Mix because when am on the Broad St. bus number 4 going south sometimes it`s full of surprises just like a party.

William: Fern Rock(y) road....

Edisnajda: I always love cookies and cream most of the time because i love the cookies of crunch and vanilla ice cream mixed in between that make it so delicious and yummy every time Ii go into a restaurant like any kind of pizza stores or other stores i visit often to get fast food i have been eating cookies and cream ice cream since I worked at Friendly’s restaurant when i was a teenager at Clifton, NJ in 2001 and there i was an ice cream scooper and i tried many different types of ice cream including cookies and cream which was my all-time favorite and still is to this day.

Dorothy: Coffee ice cream! Coffee puts "pep in my step" and so does my commute! I gotta be FAST to get through 69th Street in order to catch my connection.

Abigayle: The ice cream flavor that best describes my commute would be the Route 34 Triple Mocha Explosion. This beautifully made up flavor encompasses the energy jolt I need in the morning on the way to work via the delicious and rich coffee flavored ice cream. Coffee fuels Philadelphians and Septonians everywhere. The ice cream is then matched with both a swirl of chocolate ice cream and chocolate chunks encompassing the celebratory feeling of being done with a hard day. As commuter on SEPTA, we should all kick back with some needed chocolate infusion on our way home to west Philly for the night. The 34 Triple Mocha Explosion will be served along Baltimore Avenue at our esteemed beer deli's and corner stores for a reasonable price to be enjoyed by all West Philadelphians, much like the route it takes its name from.   

Marcia: Pot-hole Pizazz!  A flavor filled with surprises such as deep crevices, dark alleyways and sharp curves.  This combo flavor has rocky road (pun intended), cookies and cream, banana (because this route requires caution just like the yellow banana) and, of course, birthday cake with rainbow jimmies, just because.  My commute, just like Pot-hole Pizazz is full of flavorful surprises with bursts of color for flavor!  Enjoy and take your time, because you can't rush creativity or a Philly commute!

Matt: Regional Rail Rocky never know if you're train will be on time, or possibly leave ahead of schedule, or even stop in the middle of the trip in extreme heat for two hours!

Stanley: Given the condition of many Philadelphia streets, the only choice has to be "Rocky Road". (I am lactose intolerant, but couldn't pass up the contest, especially since I have relied on SEPTA since 1974.)

Gina: Regional Rail Rum-Raisin

William: Huckleberry Holmesburg Junction ice cream describes my commute on the Trenton line

Angela: My daily SEPTA regional rail commute reminds me of cookies & cream ice cream. The cookies are the people that I see every day, starting with my Melrose Park station attendant, Jack. Always pleasant and sweet. Then, the same morning passengers and conductor/train attendant on the last car of the 6:53 am train going to Philly. All of these sweet cookies added into the smooth ride (cream) make my commute fantastic. 

Rachel: Melon Magic Rush. A sorbet in mango or watermelon. In the spirit of summering on SEPTA.

Jillian: I would say SEPTA Salted Caramel (which really is my favorite flavor!).  Sometimes, especially when it is this hot out, I feel salty walking to the Broad Street Line, because I have a 25 minute walk, but then my train comes right away, & it's a ride as smooth as caramel to my final stop for work!

Catherine: Market-Frankford Rainbow Sherbet because there are so many people from all walks of life commuting downtown every morning and night.

Brooke: Chocolate Peanut Butter - sweet, but a little nutty!

Susan: My flavor of ice cream is Bus Ride Mint Sundae Bus 106. I start my ride with Peppermint Ice Cream and go on to Mint Chocolate Chip. The next part of my ride would be Spearmint and to finish it off with Wintergreen Mint. This delicious Mint Sundae is topped with Hot Fudge, Candy Mints, Whip Cream and a Cherry on top. Bus 106 is a great ride just like my mint sundae is satisfying.

Amy: Lately my bus rides have been a "Detour Ahead Blend." I mostly ride the 45 or the 47 and there is always a detour due to streets getting worked on.

Erin: Caffeine Cruncher. This Ice cream has little chunks of chocolate to represent the rocky roads of North Philadelphia. There’s chocolate drizzled throughout representing the constant construction going on around every corner disrupting the smooth flow of traffic. All this goodness is nestled into coffee ice cream because without that good caffeine, no one would ever make it through a Philly commute.

Waltrina: My commute flavor would be Trackless Trolley Banana Cream

Adiel: My commute now consists of "Jefferson Station Strawberry," but in my heart will forever be "Chunky Monkey Market East!"

Samantha: The ice cream flavor that best describes my commute is Market Frankford Mint Chocolate Chip. Mint Chocolate Chip is delicious because it is soft and melts in your mouth with little brown chocolate chips. I like taking the market Frankford line because the El goes very fast, and stops all the way to 69th Transportation Center from the Frankford Terminal.

Cynthia: My flavor of my commute would be Croydon Crunch.  Butter Crunch and I use SEPTA from there. I love your trains!

Ryan: My morning commute to and through Philadelphia is a scoop of Medi-Yum/Elwyn Lime and a Market-Frankford gELato.

Geraldine: Chocolate fudge ice cream with chocolate fudge & pieces of Goldenburg Peanut Chews & pretzel nuggets coated with a hard chocolate shell with nuts in it on a stick! You can also make an alternative with vanilla ice cream for those wimpy people who can't take all the chocolate! Call them "The A Train" and "The B Train."

Missed the contest but have an ice cream idea? Comment below! 

Check out our contest page for your next chance to win!

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