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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Commute Stories

Erica contest resized

Over the past month, we've been asking you to tell us about your commute since the pandemic began. 

Whether you're taking SEPTA to work - finding a different way there - or "commuting" from your bedroom to your living room - we wanted to hear about it.

And you delivered.

Below are the nearly 200 submissions we received. Some of you have been riding this whole time. And we thank you for riding and for the essential service you provide to keep our region running during the pandemic. Some of you haven't returned yet but are eager to and shared what you miss most about riding SEPTA. 

The one thing all of your answers have in common is that they are deeply appreciated by us.

First, we'll take a look at those of you who are riding:

Vanessa W - I ride the 17 nearly every day whether it's for work or to go to the grocery store. It's convenient and gets me close to everywhere I need to go.

Sabrina W - Five mornings and five evenings a week, I look forward to my quiet commute between Temple University Station and Elm Street, the very end of the Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line. Like so many others, I was unfortunately and unexpectedly let go from my previous job near the beginning of the pandemic. Luckily, I was able to find new employment with the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library in October of 2020. Because of SEPTA, I am able to reach Norristown and continue my passions for libraries and learning. As a Bookmobile Operator, I drive a library on wheels to deliver books and other needed resources to patrons across the more rural areas of Montgomery County. 

While it is somewhat sad to see the trains so empty during typical peak transit times, I am grateful for SEPTA’s continued service that has allowed myself and other essential workers to travel safely. With social distancing on the trains and friendly conductors ensuring everyone is wearing a mask, I feel safe and relaxed on my commute. I use this uninterrupted time to read (peep my book mask!) or listen to audiobooks. Especially as the leaves were changing colors during the fall, passing through the Wissahickon Valley during my train ride provides a daily source of pleasure on my commute. I also look forward to seeing the regular faces of other riders and SEPTA employees every day. Most of all, as someone who does not own a car and does not plan to in the near future, I am incredibly grateful for the timely, convenient and relatively affordable, reliable way to get to work every day.

Ever since I first moved to Philly as a Temple undergrad, I have been a huge SEPTA fan and rider. From work commutes to leisurely trips around the city to running errands, SEPTA has often provided me with a convenient way to get around town. In addition to living near BSL and El stops, I have been fortunate enough to live near the 47 bus line for the past five years. I love finding a good window seat on the bus or train, exchanging pleasantries with other riders, and settling in for the ride. I can’t wait to once again explore this city I love so much with SEPTA once this pandemic subsides. In the meantime, I will continue sporting my mask (fully covering my mouth and nose) alongside my fellow regional rail riders to get to work!

Lynn P - I take the 45 to either the 21 or the 42 every morning to get to my construction site by 6am. I am a Project Superintendent for a job in W. Philly and live in S. Philly. Without a car (and a license), SEPTA is the only way for me to get around. including grocery shopping, etc. I am so appreciative of it!

Suzanne A - My son takes the 25 or 15 and the El every day to work because it's easy and convenient.  He can meets up with a friend so it's fun too! 

Riannon B - I rely on SEPTA to get me to where I need to go (Dr. Appts's, Work), especially if the weather is too bad for me to walk during or if my destination is too far for me to walk to. It gets me there safely and on time.

Kevin D - Took the 23 bus to temple hospital for a doctor's appointment.

Gregory B - As a longtime public transit commuter via SEPTA EL, Regional Rail and Broad Street Line, SEPTA faces many challenges since COVID-19 but remains committed to keeping public transit reasonable, clean and safe.  

Sandra C - Today I was on the 17 bus up to 8th ST. It was cold and wet raining, but happy people were wearing their masks. Keep doing a great job, SEPTA. May you all be safe and thank you.

Pamela J - I ride SEPTA so I can get to work. I’ve been riding SEPTA for years.

Erica M – I ride the Market Frankford Line or Broad Street Line to get to work right on time. Parking is expensive in center city if you can find parking. Plus it feels good to be chauffeured.

Alanna S - I take the Broad Street Line every day to 15th and Market to my job as a hairstylist in Center City! I have felt that SEPTA has done a good job sanitizing and keeping everyone socially distant during these times!

Tyshea H - I ride SEPTA every day going to and from work.

Janice C - I regularly ride the 57 bus.  It takes me shopping for groceries going Southbound and shopping for just about anything else going North! It takes me to doctor's appointments, dining and entertainment (as it is these days), even gardening, plus, it connects me to other routes/services so I can get just about anywhere!

Stephen C - My commute starts on the chilly but sunny platform of the Berks Station and ends at 69th Street. I generally don't care which train car I sit in, but on snowy days I try to get the front seat of the first car. I love when the train resurfaces in West Philly and you can see the track patterns in the snow and the snowflakes come rushing towards the window.

Jillian G - Heading home from work on the Broad Ridge Spur, from North Philly to South Philly!  I love the convenience of not having to look for parking when I get home.  I haven’t had a car in 8 years!  Thanks for getting me to work safely every day!  I’ve met a bunch of great subway drivers who I always look forward to seeing too!

Brittany T - After riding with SEPTA back and forth to work at the airport with the panic of COVID-19, feel like I am out hiking everywhere when I miss my straight shot to work.

Marie B - I've used SEPTA to go to the gym, shopping, run errands... everything. Routes 128 &129 are my regulars.

Christine S - I love SEPTA!   I ride SEPTA ALL over the City when I'm in town. 

Dick F - I used to ride the El and the 44 Bus to work in UCity. Now I walk and take the 21/42 bus to Old City when I'm need a break from looking for a new job online.

Lillian N - I take the XH & 64. I’ve been a rider of SEPTA upon returning from Atlanta Ga I enjoy the service also now since you can’t sit together it’s so much better. They’re doing a great job protecting the patrons from COVID-19.

Paul W - I take the Atlantic City train to Lindenwold, then PATCO to Jefferson station. I love to take the Warminster Reginal Rail Line to Hatboro (where I used to live) to enjoy the shopping and eateries. I enjoy all the SEPTA Reginal Line I have been on - clean, modern, and very relaxing to ride. I just look out the window and enjoy the scenery. Thank You SEPTA!

Ava Z - I’m a Drexel student living off campus. When I’m feeling a little homesick, I go visit my sister in Fishtown. I take the Market/Frankfort Line from 34th St. to Girard Ave. I ride SEPTA because it’s convenient, price-friendly, and it gets me to my destination fast.

Sarah K - I use SEPTA almost every day to get to work at Neshaminy Mall. It is super convenient that I can take either the route 14 or the Direct bus. I love how I don’t have to deal with traffic and usually be there in 20 minutes.

Kim S - Whenever I come into the city to go to a game or the zoo or to visit friends, I always take SEPTA. You get me within a short walk to my destination. This is important because I use either a walker or have my roommate push me in my wheelchair.

Jordan P - As a new homeowner in Fishtown, my favorite line has got to be the Market Frankford Line! Mostly because it lets me get back into Center City so I can shop my favorite groceries at Reading Terminal Market so I can keep cooking up a storm AND keep my holiday gifting local!

Chris M - Started back in July taking El 3 days a week from Frankford terminal to 15th Street and it’s been good. Thank you, SEPTA.

Ashley K - So I traveled from South Philadelphia all the way to Drexel Hill with my 5-year-old before the center closed due to COVID spike. We would take the 47 bus to 8th and Market then take the Market Frankford Line 69th street to take the 101 Trolley to go home. I ride SEPTA because I don't drive and also with the pandemic, I wanted my daughter to be at the center she has been comfortable in before we moved to Drexel Hill.

Anissa H - I take 101 media to 69th street from DH right now to shop and DR appointments. Before COVID-19 when I worked I took the 112 to Lawrence park worked as customer service administration position.  Been doing that for 20 years. Rain snow etc I never have to worry SEPTA gets me where I need to be.  Knock on wood never in an accident either in all my years taking SEPTA.  Since COVID-19 I feel that SEPTA has been doing a great job!!!  I feel safety no concerns. 

Vy T - I travel to temple university using broad street line. I ride SEPTA because it is easier to get to my destination and quicker than traveling by car since I don’t have to find parking and stuck in traffic. It’s also better for the environment when traveling in public transportation.

John G - My fav buses are 20 and the 14. Always available to get me to and from work.

Linda R - As a senior person I take SEPTA often. I walk with a cane and the drivers always lower the steps for me. If it wasn't for SEPTA, I wouldn't be able to travel to the doctors or any other place. Thanks SEPTA!

Kenneth W - Going to 15th & JFK, to pay bills, Route 48, very smooth ride with almost no one on the bus. It’s great!

Mary P - Thanks to SEPTA - I can get where I need to go even when my car breaks down or make my commute to work greener by taking the West Trenton Line up to Ewing NJ where I work AND I don't have the hassle of rush hour traffic or being too tired to safely drive!

Ryan M - I ride the West Trenton Line to the University City Station to watch football games at Franklin Field and basketball games at The Palestra when I am not busy working as a chef.

Liankun Z - I frequently ride the 2 bus between Point Breeze and Center City as a cheap means of transportation between work and home!

William G - I choose to use SEPTA because there is no place in Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs that you cannot reach by a bus, subway, or light rail. My commute has varied over the years, as far from the far Northeast to South Philadelphia to my current shorter commute on the Route 18, formerly known as Route S, from Lawndale to my job as a Special Educator in a Preschool in Fern Rock.

Katrina K - I ride Routes 42 and 40 to my workplace on South St. I ride SEPTA because I want to do my part for the environment! Trains, trolleys, and buses are all better for the environment than personal cars, and I'm glad I can leave my car behind!

Van B - I like riding SEPTA everyday going to church and helping out someone. It would be much better it everyone wear a mask and stay 6ft apart.

Michele B - Normally I was riding either the 21 or 42 from Center City out to West Philadelphia either to Community College West Campus where I am a Research and Reference Librarian, or to the Penn Museum where I am a docent in some of the galleries. Right now, I have occasionally been using the 49 bus from Fairmount to 30th St. Station in order to catch the 9 bus to Andorra so I can visit a friend who lives in Cathedral Village. I can get a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee at 30th St. Station while I wait for the 9.  Double-win!  Anyway, I've attached a photo taken on Drexel Campus when the 21 and 42 were detoured.

Teo O - I’m from Northeast Philadelphia. I ride SEPTA because I love AND it and because I have to. They get me where I need to go. During this pandemic my community has been greatly impacted and we rely on SEPTA to move around to get everything that we need for each other because not everyone can get out to do it.

Jillian L - SEPTA, ya bring me life.

In an effort to reduce my expenses and my carbon footprint I kissed my car goodbye and donated it to the Make A Wish Foundation. I work at Villanova and SEPTA makes it a breeze to make it in to work!

Living in Fairmount, I hop on the trusty 49 and take it to 30th Street Station. From there, I pop onto the MFL and take it to the end of the line at 69th street. I love gazing at West Philly murals along the way. At 69th I pop up the stairs, jog onto the NHSL and take that smooth ride all the way to campus.

While my commute sounds like a lot of transfers, I can make it to Villanova in under an hour. If I’m in a rush I can also hop on the regional rail at 30th street station and trim 20 minutes from my commute, but there’s something nice about taking Philly in by the MFL window.

Even with my transfers commuting is about as fast as driving, I never have to worry about parking, and I have time to catch up on all my podcasts.

Please enjoy this photo from an early morning at 30th street station:

Happy holidays, SEPTA! We ride on!

Eduardo T - I still ride SEPTA and I am so happy they are still running.  I enjoy that time on the bus to the train station then that wait for the train, as I can just decompress and watch a show, read or listen to some music with no real pressures. Working at home can be great, but there is never downtime that way, with the commute I get that and I thank SEPTA for it.

John S - I ride from Ambler to Penn Medicine Station - Lansdale/Doyelstown line on regional rail. I work as a social worker at the Hospital of UPenn! SEPTA helps me ensure I can get to my patients and so my job. Thank you, SEPTA!

Josie C - I take the SEPTA Bus Route 32 to attend classes at Thomas Jefferson University! I also take that same bus to head into the city from East Falls. My favorite is riding the bus with people I know. I love the views of the commute, safety, and the drivers (shoutout Sean!).

Tatyanna W - I enjoy riding SEPTA, I take Routes 109 and 113. Honestly it’s the best route gets me and my kids to where we need to be fast! And it’s a nice ride I can relax for a good half hour and listen to my music.

Erin M - I used to take the 13 Trolley everyday to get to class, and those 20 minutes gave me time to wake up and prepare for my day. Now I just ride the MFL once a week to get to my part time job and that’s the best part of my week because it‘s an opportunity for things to feel normal again!

Amanda S - I ride the 42 bus from West Philly to Old City. Even if it takes longer than the MFL, I like taking the bus because it’s soothing to watch how city changes as we ride through it.

Michelle L - I'm still out here on SEPTA!!! On my commute I get on everything. Mainly the bsl, 53, 56, and 23!!

Joyce H - I catch the 75 which is usually on time and usually have the same driver.  Catch the BSL to Broad and Olney and get the 6 bus. I'm going to take care of my aunt.

I lost my senior pass and called the key card number.  The gentleman I spoke with was kind, courteous and gave me the right info to get a replacement.

Amanda S - I ride the Route 130 to Work (MOD Pizza) so I can give back to my community by serving up smiles and making delicious pizzas for residents and healthcare workers on the frontlines ❤️

Frank C - I ride SEPTA because it gets me to my Doctors appointments, shopping trips, and other needed places during this rough time in our lives right now. I ride on Route 58 Bus, and it is a great bus route indeed. I’m also a passionate, dedicated, loyal, and super fan and customer of everything SEPTA!!!!!!!!!

Heather K - I am an essential worker (speech pathologist working in the hospital setting) and depend on SEPTA to get me to work safely! I take the Broad Street line to Olney Transportation Center, to connect to the Route 70 bus. I appreciate SEPTA getting me there safely!

Shane L - After catching one of the earliest Regional Rail trains from Hatboro, my journey begins as I take the train into Center City before I hop off at Jefferson. From there, I hop on the 11th Street MFL Station and take it all the way west to 69th street. I then take the Norristown High Speed Line up to Hughes Park and skate about a quarter mile to work. At the end of the work day, I do the same trip but in reverse and the entire journey starts again the next morning! #SEPTALove

Maxwell P - I take the l train from Berks to 13th Street to my job downtown. Really value the time I spend on the train listening to music, reading a book, or thinking about life.

Kevin C - My name is Kevin, Pre-Covid19 I would usually take the Chestnut Hill West Line to Suburban Station from Queen Lane Station. Now I would take the Norristown train at East Falls Station to Suburban Station. I ride SEPTA because sitting in traffic is stressful. 

Allen T – I ride to Suburban Station using the Media/Elwyn Line because it’s a quick, easy, and comfortable ride to work!

Carla C - I ride the 15 bus to get to my internship as a therapist! I’m a clinical psychology grad student. SEPTA gets me where I need to go and is always nice and warm :)

John C - I love taking the BSL either to college at Cecil B Moore or to City Hall or from Center City fun or to Locust to work and lastly back to Oregon to go home and rest up! I’ve been known to take the BSL up to 6 times a day! When I’m not riding Broad ST, I’m running it!!! My favorite and the best SEPTA route by far.

Jennifer M - I ride SEPTA Bus Route 5 and 17 everyday to work and back home. I honestly love my commute to work. I enjoy listening to my music and being in the zone.

Amanda P - I love SEPTA, it comes in clutch when I have to travel from Norristown to Fishtown everyday for work. I ride Route 96 to the Norristown high speed line to the Market-Frankford Line to Berks Station then walk to Frankford!!!!!

Brandon G - I travel to Walmart South Philadelphia and I use the MFL and Bus Route 25.  I ride SEPTA because I feel it allows me to have me time and I can listen to music and charge my phone. I enjoy riding SEPTA on a daily. Same amount I pay for TransPass, some people use on gas.  I’d rather use it for a keycard.

Merha S - I ride the Trenton line to Temple University, I ride SEPTA to make the most of zoom school, and work in my studio on campus whenever possible! Here's a photo of a necklace I designed, with SEPTA as my inspiration, of course:

Derrick W - I catch the 11 or 36 and the 64. Also, I love SEPTA!

Brandi W - I love commuting on SEPTA. Ever since I was in middle school at Shaw Junior High I remember the 52 ride every morning with the same driver, and even if I didn't have me school tokens the driver allowed me to ride that's when I fell in love with riding SEPTA. Then it was High School at Parkway Gamma I had to catch that same 52 bus and transfer to the 21 bus and the drivers never were a disappointment. They always were pleasant and took their job serious. I was the type of kid that gave my seat to the elderly the pregnant woman and even the little child. To this day at 35 years old I still give my seat up and respect SEPTA buses and drivers remembering how good I was treated so I return the favor. I believe that I will forever ride SEPTA, it’s the best transportation in Pennsylvania and would recommend and share my story with anyone. I will continue to share my story to everyone. Thank you SEPTA for always being right on time for me and now for my family.

Christian S – I ride Bus Routes 28, Boulevard Direct, and 14. I take SEPTA because there’s nothing that can beat a quick, quiet bus ride where I can charge my phone with free WiFi. And did I forget to mention the fare’s just $2.00?

Carol G - I ride CCT - great transportation for those of us with disability.  Nicest 20 minutes of my day.

John L - I ride the Market Frankford Line (EL) to Center City because it's an incredibly convenient 15 minutes from 69th Street. It's nice to get off at 15th Street Station and walk one minute to the office. In addition, the Blue Line is my favorite route because I get to see the murals along the way and getting to see the sunrise of the city skyline from a distance is a special treat. I ride SEPTA because I don't have to worry about parking, driving in the city, gas money, car insurance, and convenience. Plus, I am helping the planet by making my carbon footprint more sustainable. Thank you SEPTA for your continued efforts on keeping the trains moving and stations clean and sanitized!

Atiya Q - I ride the Market-Frankford Line to and from work Tuesday thru Saturday as well as everyday life.

Kim F - I take the 102 & 126 to get to my job. sometimes I'll take the 109 then the 126 or I can take the 107 andv126 or just take the hour long commute on the 107.  I was soooo happy when SEPTA brought back all their routes back... it was too expensive to take an Uber or Lyft to my job.  thanks for being there SEPTA!!

Miriam R - I ride SEPTA because I do not have a car right now and they are usually on schedule.

Dianna D - I take SEPTA every day, bus 45 on 12th street so I can get the free lunch Seamaac gives out and take the 45 on 11th street back. Thank God for SEPTA and the senior card. God Bless and have a good day.

Catharine V -I take the bus and trolley into Center City everyday.  I mostly miss the schedule because it has changed since the pandemic started.  I have to leave really early in order to get to Center City because of the change.  I hope when this is all over the schedule goes back to normal.

Jennifer S - My son, Tyler is such a fan of SEPTA that we ride for fun.  In the summer of 2019 we set out to ride every regional rail.  Due to the pandemic, we had to cut back and just last week we completed our final line we hadn’t done yet.  Our most frequently ridden line is Fox Chase but we’re looking forward to starting on all Trolley routes and bus routes next.  My son even tells his teacher about all the SEPTA stations.

Lelar B - I travel from west Philly on Route 10 Trolley to connect to the 49 bus towards North Philly, to commute to work as a daycare teacher for pre-K. My commute is a lot different but it’s okay for the most part.

Crystal T - I choose to ride SEPTA because I feel it’s safe and gets to my destination on time. There is no other way for me to get around without asking family and friends for rides but I love my drivers and the daily commute is entertaining as well.  Callowhill drivers are the best and friendly faces I see everyday.

Hilda N - Love riding SEPTA it takes me where I need to go.

Jonathan S - I take Lansdale/Doylestown Line to get out of the city sometimes!

Shaquan P - Center City is my destination. My route is the Route 40 bus. I love riding SEPTA because it’s quick efficient and convenient. I love riding SEPTA just for the ride, riding through the beautiful neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

Michael F - SEPTA's Route 9 and 27 were my daily commute to work prior to the start of COVID.  Since, they still provide me a lifeline into and out of the city as needs arise.  I miss the bus drivers who kept a keen eye out for me as I sprinted to make the bus since my morning routine always ran long.  However, I still love seeing their "smile" (in quotes because I know they have one under their masks now) as I board the bus on time now that there is less traffic.

Nadine R - I go to work to & from the Route 84  to Morrell & Frankford Ave& then get to the city loop at Knights Road & Frankford Ave & take the 129 bus to Bristol Pike Bensalem PA to my job. Boy do I love SEPTA because it gets me to work to & from as I leave very early in the morning. SEPTA is the best.

Harry H - I head down to broad ST and Allegheny Ave on the 60 bus to get to work at Temple Hospital.

Jack M - I ride the Trenton Line to Center City/30th street Station because it’s a great commute for South Jersey local commuters!

Susan M - I catch SEPTA to get work early in the morning!!!!  It’s a great way to get to work so I catch a few more zzzz’s, read my books, and not have to deal with the hassle of traffic.

John S - I the Lansdale/Doylestown Regional Rail Line (from Ambler), to the Penn Medicine station. I ride SEPTA because I am a licensed clinical social worker for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and I have patients to serv, and it is vital I am able to get to my place of work regularly - SEPTA helps ensure I am present to assist my patients. Thank you, SEPTA.

Paul R - West Trenton Line.  I ride SEPTA everyday to get to work.  I feel safer than driving in the city.

Janis O - I ride when I go to New York city!

Jonathan B - I ride the 64, 7, 12,47, and at times the MFL to be able to get to work. I ride SEPTA because it's usually cheaper than a rideshare and it's quicker than walking.

Gabriel P - SEPTA has been such a solace to me every morning. Entering the 40th Street Station every day to go to work, I’m very thankful to have a subway system that functions well, is pretty on time, easy to access, and helps workers like me get to where we need to go. I still look forward to the moments of quiet I get in the morning before I get to work, sitting at 40th, and I’m glad to be a rider every day.

Julia M - I’m a nurse. I’ve ridden the 48 (woop woop!) for the past 6 years!! From commuting to nursing school at Drexel, to many years at Hahnemann and now to a community health clinic SEPTA has been there for me, mostly on time :)

Shannon O - I ride the 40 bus to HUP because it’s the fastest way to get to work

Kavita - I ride SEPTA buses, MFL, Broad Street Line, Trolleys, Regional Rail, and Norristown High Speed Line. SEPTA allows me to safely and efficiently commute to and from work each day while saving money with the weekly pass. The SEPTA Key is super convenient and easy to carry around. I love that the SEPTA app allows me to save my frequent routes and track when they will be at my stops so I can plan accordingly. Highly recommend! 

Debra W - I ride the 25 bus most often to go to either the Girard stop or the Spring Garden stop to go downtown to shop or to do business.

Carlo S - I live in Society Hill and commute to University City for work. My preferred route is bus #42 because it goes from door to door! But I have learned to be smart and make route combinations if the 42 is not coming. I don't drive, so SEPTA is my friend to move around in the city and the suburbs. Thank you guys for keeping the service during the pandemic!

Kristin S - Work in Center City. Pre-COVID rode the 66 bus and the MFL. Now just the MFL into town daily.

Joseph L - I use SEPTA market Frankfort line and trolly route 102 to creek road stop. It allows me to take care of where some of my family is buried and to friends and family. 

David M - I ride the Paoli/Thorndale Line to City Hall  because it’s a Philly thing and it’s easy.

Amy Z - I ride the Market-Frankford Line with my students all over Philadelphia as part of our Community Instruction!

Alejandro M - I’ve lived all over Philly 17 years and used all kinds of routes to get around the city. The night owl probably saved my life the most out of any SEPTA line. Being out at night is one of the perks of living in a city, and having public transportation to match that lifestyle is so crucial. I love how SEPTA kept up with that.

Amber U - I was originally hesitant to return to riding SEPTA- I've seen the countless social media posts about maskless riders, but I knew it was the environmentally and fiscally smart thing to do. Also... I was sick of driving into and out of the city after doing so for months on end. So I returned to my beloved Paoli/Thorndale Line to once again have that "me time" on my way to/from Jefferson Hospital for clinicals. Starting and ending my day with a quiet ride, everyone masked up, socially distanced, was a dream come true again. I felt so safe and so relaxed, wondering what took me so long to see for myself? I trust going forward that SEPTA has rider's best interests in mind and my commute can once again be a sacred time before the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital!

Jacob M - Market Frankford line from old city to 34th street!

Amede B - Route: 32, 3 and Regional Rail. Destination: Everywhere. I ride SEPTA because during a pandemic the bus virtually becomes your own personal limo!

Now let's read some entries by people who aren't riding SEPTA right now:

Robert M - Since the pandemic began, I've been cycling to work. As a health care worker, I'm trying to minimize exposure as much as possible. It's nice to get some exercise first thing in the morning, but I do miss being able to read on my commute on the #2 bus!

Brian A - I used to ride regional rail every day to Radnor for work. There is nothing more stress reducing than riding the rails instead of fighting with traffic! Working from home has me missing the views coming back into the city at 30th Street.

Tina P - Missing my commute of over 1 hour each way where I lose myself in a good book!  It’s “my time” and I miss it!  Hope to see you soon, SEPTA!!

Emily G - I usually take the Wilmington Line but now my commute is just outside my bedroom door. I miss my train buddies and the walking!

Stanley J - Until March, 2020, I rode the train from my home in Lansdale, PA, to center city, as I have done since 1995.  (Before that, I rode the 58 bus and the El from Somerton to work, and (with a trip on the Route 15 trolley) to high school at 17th and Girard, beginning in 1974.

Today, my commute is much shorter – from one bedroom to another, where we keep the computer I use to work from home.

However, the brevity of that trip highlights what I most miss – the ability to end my workday. 

The break between work and home while riding the train not only allowed me time to read books, without distraction, it also let me distance my mind from work, so that I could spend time with my family free of the worries of the day. 

Now, I go directly from work to dinner, without any closure, much less a mental break (especially not if I have to return to pressing work after dinner).

While I appreciate the ability to sleep later in the morning, without having to catch an early train, I think I pay for that respite in what I have lost at the end of the day.

Jenny Z - Prior to the pandemic, I would take the 11, 13, or 36 trolleys to and from work. Here's a photo of me in March pretending to ride the trolley before I started my workday. Around the holiday season, I always look forward to the Jolly Trolley and I am sad to be missing it this year.

Trudi D - My regular route was the L bus to Olney Transportation, then the BSL to Walnut/Locust. What was at the end of that trip was Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse where I was a volunteer with Philadelphia Threshold Singers (the local chapter of Threshold Choir International). Sadly, during the pandemic, all volunteer activities have been suspended. I hope to return to it once everyone realizes we're in this together.

Joia M - My commute currently involves me walking from my bedroom to my living room. The thing I miss most about riding SEPTA is the people watching.

Tania I - My SEPTA commute once involved Route 23 but now it’s a walk upstairs to the home office. My family and I miss taking the regional rail too, our route is not currently running :(

Anthony S - I miss having the time to read.

Emma L - Used to ride the Norristown Line (Wissahickon to Suburban). I miss the swaying of the train! It was a nice transition into work mode.

Madeline E - My work has moved fully remote, so I'm no longer traveling on SEPTA. Most mornings my commute looks like a ten foot walk from my bed to my desk, and the most SEPTA I get it to watch the 42 but pass underneath my window. I never thought I'd miss a long commute, but I do miss the time I had to myself with others as I rode the bus, El and Regional Rail lines to get to work. Luckily I have a few reminders of SEPTA in my house, including this Regional Rail map hanging in my kitchen, and a BSL map on my front door. Even though I can't be on SEPTA right now, I still get to feel like I'm there.

Makaila D - I miss riding by in South Philly.

Huiying X - It used to be a long but memorable journey from the 47 to MFL at 8th to BSL at 15th OR 47 to BSL-Ridge-Spur OR 29 to BSL. I'm sure things have changed but the memories won't!

Gail J - I don’t ride SEPTA very often but when I do I always take the EL.I like that route because it is closer to my job and sometimes less congested.

Kathie C - SEPTA has been a major part of our families life for three generations.  My mother was a daily rider of SEPTA’s 25 Route and El daily.  During the 1970’s and 80’s she worked in center city and depended on SEPTA.  As a Hallahan student from 1979-82 I depended on SEPTA using the exact same route as my mother to get to school each day.  And for nearly 30 years I’ve been a SEPTA rider going to work.  My 11 year old son has loved SEPTA since he was a baby. He collects SEPTA memorabilia and loves exploring when we take SEPTA now in NE Philadelphia.  Prior to the pandemic we rode SEPTA weekly to do our shopping, taking the 56 bus and the 70 bus to Roosevelt Mall and sometimes took the 66 bus to do our grocery shopping.  Traveling has been put on hold for now due to the pandemic but we hope once it’s safer to travel that we can again travel using SEPTA and explore new locations and bus lines in the city.

Brianna R - SEPTA, oh how I miss you! I’ve lived in Allentown now for about a year now but I miss taking the 20 bus to the MFL and taking it to Jefferson satiation and getting off to head into work as nurse at Jefferson Hospital. The times spent on SEPTA were very fond! Met a very nice elderly gentleman who would always save me “my seat” on the train. I miss that kind of consistency. Until we meet again, SEPTA❤️

Justin E - I am not currently riding, but I will miss taking the SEPTA into 30th Street Station to watch the Mummers on January 1st. I have also missed taking the Broad Street line to the NRG station to watch Flyers, Eagles, and Phillies games.

Laura O - Today, my commute is non-existent and I miss it!  I love the 15 minute ride to and from work as a way to prep myself for the day (or night) to come and to decompress after work.  I can't wait to start going back in person so I can have that peaceful part of my day back!

Melissa R - I no longer have to commute on the SEPTA because of COVID and WFH policies, but when I did, I rode the MFL at Spring Garden to Suburban where I picked up the Regional Rail to Wilmington, DE. I rode the SEPTA for its convenience to get to work on time every day. The thing I miss most about the commute are the conductors on the Wilmington/Newark Line. They were always so nice and it was a great way to start the day with their positive attitudes!

Shari G -I miss getting the regional rail lines to center city this time of year! Visiting the Christmas Village is my favorite thing to do but not this year. So sad.

Margaret W - Big Hello Shoutout to my fellow riders and bus driver on the 58 bus. Though I’m working from home I’m still keeping all of you in my Heart! Take care and be safe!

Joseph R - Moved to Memphis in February and I miss Wawa and SEPTA

Raymond R - MFL to City Hall then BSL to NRG. Not riding as much now as we alternate between home and office work. I can’t wait to be able to take the same route to the sports complex again. Mask Up, People!

Alexander I - This time of year, the thing I miss most about SEPTA is the Jolly Trolley. Each year, seeing it for the first time meant the holidays had arrived, and I inevitably would see it pass a few times before I actually got to ride it. Here's a photo I took from my first ride last year. These days my commute is just from my kitchen to our spare bedroom. No excitement or holiday cheer in that! Looking forward to a time when I can ride the Jolly Trolley again:

Carmen P - I miss the normal hustle and bustle of the commute and being able to interact with others. I loved being able to just sit and enjoy my route down town on a daily basis my favorite thing being that everyday was an adventure not one day was alike on SEPTA.

Shums L - I used to ride SEPTA everyday in conjunction with riding my own bike. These days I’ve had to extend the portion of my commute on bike to 100% of my trip. Miss those El train naps 🖤.

Joe O - I miss riding SEPTA to all of the sporting events (Temple Football, Phillies Baseball, Army/Navy Game, Villanova Basketball) - The Broad Street Line is a great way to connect with other fans for a pre-game per rally!

Kyle M - My commute today is from my bedroom to my dinning room table.  I miss taking PATCOP to 8th and Market to get on the MFL.  People watching and staring out the EL window were my moments of Zen.

Jason C - I miss riding SEPTA!  My current commute is downstairs to my basement but i used to love riding the Glenside combined line! 

Bill R - I rode the Warminster Line, to Temple University for college! I don't ride now due to Zoom lectures, and I graduate in May!

Elena A - I am an occupational therapist who used to enjoy riding the BSL daily to Hahnemann, and then Jefferson, where I was working per diem, up until the pandemic. I started working full-time at Crozer Chester Medical Center on March 2nd, right before the shut down. I really miss not having to drive to work and getting to hang out with my awesome co-workers on the subway! Please stay safe everyone.

David W - I rode the 1,14, or 20 to the 70 or 77 to get to school, but now I don't even go outside much. I just do school online now.

Alan O - As an adjunct teacher at Drexel University, I used to take the Trenton Line from Northeast Philadelphia to 30th Street. Now, I work remotely from home, doing many Zoom meetings. Before, I also supervised High School Math student teachers and used the bus, El and train system to get around town to their schools.   I miss those days.

Matthew P – I used to ride the 34 trolley, the best line. This pandemic has been hard on everyone.

Selena H -   I used to ride the MFL to York-Dauphin. Now, my commute is downstairs to my laptop! I miss taking the El into center city for yoga, dining out, and culture.

Mary S - I used to ride from Elwyn Station to either Center City to go to concerts, plays or restaurants or all the way to Temple to visit my grandkids.  And I will again.  Best way- no parking hassle, or driving in the city. 

Isabella D - My commute is currently bicycling several miles in the rain while I wistfully yearn for the days of nice warm bus rides through Philadelphia.

Corinne M - I used to take the route 13 trolley and then transfer to the Market-Frankford Line to 5th street, and I loved seeing the trolleys and trains and having the time to myself on my commute - now, my commute is a walk down the stairs, and I can't wait to be back on that trolley!

Hugo B - My commute currently is me walking down my steps, but I do miss the scenic bus ride into the city.

Chris E - A Regional Rail Warminster line rider for years, job location changes had me in my car for a few years before returning to the rails. While I’m now “commuting” to another room in the house, when the time comes to be back in the office, I’ll enjoy the opportunity to read, listen to music and often watch the transition from city to suburbs from the train window...if I’m fortunate to snag a window seat.

Gregory S - I have been working from home since March 2020 and it took me several months to figure out what was missing. It was my daily 25 minute ride on the Paoli/Thorndale line. I always rode the “quite ride car” and listened to audio books. This decompression ride allowed me to destress before coming home. Now I walk away from my computer and sit down at the dinner table. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to leave all the stress behind so my family had to bear “the grumpy ol’ man” syndrome. I think this is something to be studied.

Devan S - As the only two staff members of a small nonprofit organization, my coworker and I searched and searched for the right location for a new office. The most important criteria? Close to a SEPTA line. We were thrilled when we found the perfect little spot right off the Broad Street Line. My daily commute was super simple, and we could spend the travel time together talking through the highs and lows of our week. Even though I now have two beautiful and bright windows to work next to at home, I miss ending my day with 45 minutes on the train to wind down.

Stanley J - I miss the independence that riding SEPTA Regional Rail to college gave my son. He has autism but commuted without problem from our home in Lansdale to Penn State Abington on the Lansdale line. He had to transfer at Glenside to a different line to get off at Jenkintown, where he caught the PSU shuttle bus. He used a monthly cross county pass.  Although he certainly misses the other PSU Abington students, I think he also misses the pride of managing a somewhat complex commute on his own. (I began taking him on the Regional Rail when he was an infant, and he is now comfortable riding it without us.)

Erik F - I work from home now but I miss my SEPTA time. No matter if it was the El, the bus, the trolley, I could get into the heart of the city in no time. And I never had to worry about parking, gas, car repairs. SEPTA makes it easy.

Samantha E - I miss riding SEPTA! It was my time every morning on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line to read a book or listen to a podcast. It was also so fun running into old friends on the train I hadn't seen in a while! I miss those connections and that time to myself.

Chris M - My normal commute is Paoli to 30th street.  Been working from home since March, while it is nice, I do miss the ride home on the quiet car and getting a lot of reading in or just seeing the scenery go by at dusk.  Kind of don't get that hour break right now to relax!  Here is what it looked like the day after Christmas last year in the morning at Paoli, very peaceful.

Jennine M - I rode Regional Rail or the 9 bus for 8 years.  I also rode the bus for 4 years while in high school at Hallahan.  I'm working from home now and I miss the quiet time I used to get on the bus or train when I could read the newspaper or do some thinking on my way to/from work.

Jeffrey P - I’ve been a SEPTA fan/rider for years. I was a heavy rider on the 27, 35, 61, 62, and sometimes the Manayunk Regional Line. As I have been working from home for the last 9 months, I miss SEPTA more than anyone. I am a huge fan of SEPTA and the mission to transport people safe and securely to their destination. I miss the bus drivers, train conductors and the SEPTA workers I interacted with everyday. It would be awesome to win this prize. I have a classic SEPTA transit map above my desk to remind myself of the good old SEPTA days!

Scott K - Today, my commute is a dull 17 steps from my bedroom to my staircase—far inferior to the feeling of jogging up the steps at City Hall and feeling the fresh breeze in your face!

William M - I used to ride Trenton line but mandatory work from home is still going on so I will make the best of it until it is safe to enter the office again.

Daniel B - I am rarely riding anymore due to the pandemic but I miss joining my friends on the BSL to City Hall for our internship trainings. The internships are and now we’re in the final stages of our career training. It cannot believe how fast it has gone. We’re so close! Hopefully we will be taking the BSL to work soon.

Kyle S -  I rode the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line and Subway Surface Trolley lines and I really miss riding SEPTA in the morning whenever I used to go to high school and to my Temple University college campus for in person classes.

Shane B - I grew up in Wyndmoor and used to miss the school bus so I had an excuse to take the train. Now I’m stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawai’i, and despite the beautiful beaches, it’s hard to not miss SEPTA when you’re sitting in traffic. Can’t wait to come back to my home in Manayunk to take the 27 again.

Louise J - I rode regional rail from Jenkintown station to visit my granddaughter in south Phila!  Missing her, can’t wait to start visiting again!❤️

Mary M - Market-Frankford Line to 30th Street for class (before COVID!)

Mark M - Here's a picture of my commute today... I swear SEPTA buses get smaller and smaller. Thank you to SEPTA workers, can’t wait to get a vaccine and be on the El or bus every day again.

Molly S - I used to ride the Chestnut Hill East Line to work. I’m driving now and I miss reading on the quiet ride car.

Kyle J - I ride SEPTA to cut down on my carbon footprint and my commute stress level. During COVID-19, working from a home office. Otherwise Patco to MFL.

Claudia D - Pre-pandemic I spent my life on nearly every SEPTA line. I would start on the Wilmington/Newark Line into the city after a weekend of visiting my parents, jump on the Market/Frankford Line to Girard, then the 15 bus home! I am a (graduated now!) Temple student who used the Broad street Line daily from Temple to Center City to work! I have lived and breathed SEPTA for nearly 6 years now! SEPTA has brought me to my childhood home, my job as a teacher, my first date to the hospital during my boyfriend’s chemo treatments, and back home in the city. I owe SEPTA everything for always being there for me ❤️ I don’t ride SEPTA much these days while working from home, but I can’t wait to get back to riding the El and teaching in person again!

Emily B - I don't ride SEPTA right now. Now I ride Indego bikes for my errands and enjoy the fresh air. I miss sitting on the BSL and seeing the same people ride with me every day.

Eric R - Not riding now because of the virus, but I miss being able to read or relax on the sub without the worry of accidents, road rage drivers or traffic.

Jake M - Before the pandemic, I rode SEPTA to work, and used it to travel to the Wells Fargo Center for hockey games during the season. I live in Old City and work at Drexel, so my commute was a brisk walk to 2nd and Market to hop the El to 34th Street.  If I were heading to a Flyers game after work, I’d take the El to 15thStreet, and switch to the Broad Street Line to NRG station. I’m working from home now, so my commute is bedroom to kitchen, then I “switch lines” and move to the home office.

Brad L - I miss riding the West Trenton line home with a pastrami sandwich from Hershel's.

Ross W - My first bus route love was the 33, taking me to the Gayborhood whenever I needed a drink after a stressful workday (so I took it often). Now I've moved to South Philly, and the 17 bus fulfills the same necessary route for me. The pandemic has made me miss these regular bus trips to see my friends, but when I'm vaccinated, I'll hop on SEPTA as fast as I can. Walking is fun, but it can tire you out after a while...

Kayla D - Pre-Covid, I took the Warminster line to Center City to get to my office in Old City behind Independence Hall. I’ve been working from home since March, and I miss easing into the day on the train, hot coffee and a good book in hand for the 30-minute ride. Now my commute is only a few seconds down the stairs to my home office. Though it’s nice to be home in such uncertain times, I miss the city and the view from my office there. Hoping to see it again (and the inside of a train!) in the new year.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Keep an eye out for our next contest!



Safety 2017