Penn Campus Transportation
Penn's campus is centrally located within Philadelphia, and there are many options for traveling to and from campus. Consider the options as you search for housing in terms of accessibility and the time you will spend in transit on foot, by bicycle, or via public transportation.
Most residences in University City and many of those in western Center City are within at most a twenty-minute walk from Penn. Many students, staff and faculty who live in these areas often walk to campus.
For individuals who feel uneasy walking alone, the Division of Public Safety offers uniformed security officers as walking escorts. Walking escorts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will accompany individuals on their travels between 30th Street and 43rd Street between Market Street and Baltimore Avenue.
Escorts are also available beginning at 10am and continuing through the day and evening until 3am between 30th Street and 50th Street and between Spring Garden Street and Woodland Avenue via the University's partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.
To request an escort, call 215-898-WALK, dial 511 from an on-campus phone or use one of the many blue-light phones located around campus. For the locations of these phones, see this PDF
Many students choose to travel to campus by bicycle. The University has many racks on campus that can be used by anyone who needs a secure location to lock their bikes. A list of bike rack locations can be found here
Penn affiliates are encouraged to register their bicycles with the Division of Public Safety. Doing so reduces the potential of theft and increases the chances of recovery in the event that it is lost or stolen. Students can register their bicycles through their Campus Express account
Bicyclists are also encouraged to read Penn's Share the Road brochure (pdf)
to get valuable information about biking. To learn more about other bicycle-related resources that are available, visit the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's website
Penn Transit Services
The university offers free evening transportation services to valid PennCard holders. Each PennCard holder is allowed to bring two guests with them onto Penn Transit as long as these guests get on and off the vehicle at the same locations as the PennCard holder. All baggage brought onto Penn Transit must fit in the passenger's lap. Penn Transit services stop at ten predetermined on-campus locations. Details about which services operate at each location can be found here
Penn Transit services are not available on holidays when the university is not in session.
Penn Bus East and Penn Bus West are evening bus services that operate on fixed schedules along established routes. Penn Bus will pick up and drop off passengers at any intersection with a stop sign or traffic signal along its route. Click here
for a list of on-campus stops and pick-up points for Penn Transit.
Penn Bus East service runs to Center City and is available Monday through Friday from 5:15pm and 12:30am.
Penn Bus West service runs through West Philadelphia and is available Monday through Friday from 4:45pm to midnight.
for details about the schedules of Penn Bus East and Penn Bus West.
An interactive map of the Penn Bus East and Penn Bus West routes is available here
Penn Shuttle provides "to door" transportation off-campus within Penn Transit's service area every day of the week. There are four different shuttle routes, they are indicated by lighted letters (indicated parenthetically below) on top of the Penn Transit vans. For a map of the shuttle areas, please see the interactive map link above.
East Route (E)
These shuttles operate every thirty minutes between 1am to 3am from Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday they are in operation from 6pm to 3am and run at twenty minute intervals. This service will bring passengers from campus to any address between the Schuylkill River and 20th Street and between Market Street and South Street.
West Route (W)
These shuttles operate every twenty minutes between 6pm and 3am every day of the week. This service will bring passengers from campus to any point east of 50th Street and between Market Street and Woodland Avenue.
North Route (N)
These shuttles operate on an on-call basis between 6pm and 3am every day of the week. This service will bring passengers from campus to Powelton Village between Market Street and Spring Garden Street and between 32nd Street and 42nd Street. Requests for this service can be made by calling 215-898-RIDE.
Xtra Route (X)
These shuttles operate on an on-call basis between 6pm and 3am every day of the week. This service will bring passengers to off-campus areas west of the Schuylkill River not serviced by other Penn Shuttle routes. Requests for this service can be made by calling 215-898-RIDE.
Note: In addition to the services above, on-call transportation is available from 3am to 7am every morning. Requests for pick-up within any of the shuttle areas can be made by calling 215-898-RIDE. Because there are a limited number of shuttles available during these hours, waiting times can be longer.
From Off-Campus Locations
PennCard holders can also access Penn Transit services when they are off campus.
To access Penn Bus services from an off-campus location, check the Penn Bus maps and schedules to find the nearest intersection with a stop sign or traffic signal along a designated route and when a bus is expected to be there. Wait at the intersection and flag down the driver as he approaches the intersection. Have your PennCard available to show to the driver. You will be able to get off the bus at any intersection with a stop sign or traffic signal along the remainder of the route.
To request a van, call 215-898-RIDE. Give your location, destination, and last name to the dispatcher. Check regularly for the van, there will be an X, N or E lit up on top of it. The shuttle will arrive within five to twenty from the time the request is made. It will wait for three minutes outside of the requested location. All passengers must show their PennCard to the driver.
If you are requesting a shuttle from a location in West Philadelphia, the van will take you to any point within the West Shuttle Area. If you are requesting a shuttle from Powelton Village or Center City, the van will take you to any of the on-campus Penn Transit stops.
Philadelphia's public transportation needs are served by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Schedules for all of SEPTA's services can be found at http://septa.org/service.html. To view maps of the various lines, visit http://septa.org/maps.html.
People who are unfamiliar with SEPTA's many forms of transit can utilize the agency's online "Plan My Trip" feature
. This site allows passengers to input their origination and destination point and then outputs the most efficient way to travel between the two locations.
SEPTA operates 126 different bus routes throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Three of these routes service University City and connect it to Center City and other parts of Philadelphia.
21: This route runs between 69th Street Terminal and Penn's Landing. It travels east on Chestnut Street and west on Walnut Street. This route operates approximately between 6am and 2am daily, with less frequency on the weekend.
40: This route connects University City to Center City in the east and West Park (near Fairmount Park) in the northwest. In University City it runs along Spruce Street between 38th Street and either 34th Street going west or 33rd Street going east. Between these streets and the Schuylkill River the route runs along Walnut Street going west and Chestnut Street going east. This route operates approximately between 6 am and 2 am daily, with less frequency on the weekend.
42: This route runs between the Wycombe section of West Philadelphia and Penn's Landing. In University City it primarily runs along Spruce Street. It also runs around the University of Pennsylvania hospital. This line features Owl service and therefore operates 24 hours a day, with less frequency overnight and on the weekend.
This line includes a series of routes that provide trolley service from West and Southwest Philadelphia and parts of Delaware County to Center City. In the West, these routes run on rails in the street, but they operate underground in their own tunnel between 40th Street and Juniper Street (near the intersection of 13th Street and Market Street).
10: This is the only Green Line route that does not travel through the 40th Street Portal. Instead, this line begins and ends its aboveground journey at 36th Street. It travels north along Lancaster Avenue to the Overbrook area of Philadelphia. This line features Owl service and therefore operates 24 hours a day, with less frequency overnight and on the weekend.
11: In West Philadelphia this route travels along Woodland Avenue to the Darby Transportation Center. This route operates approximately between 4:30 am and 2 am daily, with less frequency on the weekend.
13: This route runs along Chester Avenue to the Darby Transportation Center. The line features Owl service and therefore operates 24 hours a day, with less frequency overnight and on the weekend.
34: Travelling along Baltimore Avenue to the Angora section of Philadelphia, this route operates approximately between 5 am and 2 am daily, with less frequency on the weekend.
36: This route runs along Elmwood Avenue to Eastwick in southwestern Philadelphia. The line features Owl service and therefore operates 24 hours a day, with less frequency overnight and on the weekend.
Blue Line (Market-Frankford Line, "The El")
This line provides east-west service from 69th Street Terminal through Center City to Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia. While parts of the line operate on elevate tracks, in University City the line runs underground below Market Street. Between midnight and 5 am, Owl buses operate instead of trains.
Orange Line (Broad Street Line, "The Subway")
This underground rail line provides both express and local subway service from the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia (Pattison) through Center City to Olney and Fern Rock in North Philadelphia. The line runs below Broad Street (located between 13th Street and 15th Street). Although this line does not directly serve University City, it is Philadelphia's primary north-south public transit artery. Passengers can transfer to this line for free from the Blue Line or the Green Line at the City Hall Station (15th Street). Between midnight and 5 am, Owl buses operate instead of trains.
The base cash fare for a ride on any of the above forms of transit is $2 and must be paid with exact change. Tokens are available for $1.45 at locations throughout the city.
Token Purchase Locations in University City:
Moravian Cafe Food Court, 34th and Walnut Streets
Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street
Penn Bookstore, 36th and Walnut Streets
Fresh Grocer, 40th and Walnut Streets
30th Street Station, 30th and Market Streets
For frequent transit riders, SEPTA offers weekly and monthly TransPass options (http://septa.org/fares.html). Single-day convenience passes for visitors are good for eight trips on city transit within 24 hours. Within University City, these passes can be purchased at 30th Street Station (30th Street and Market Street). They are also available online at http://shop.septa.org/.
UPenn students can purchase a semester TransPass (PennPass) at a discounted rate from Penn Transit (http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/transportation/partnership/).
As of March 2010, SEPTA is considering a 6% fare increase
, effective July 2010. If this increase is implemented as currently proposed, it will apply only to the cost of tokens, transfers, and passes. The $2.00 base cash fare will remain unchanged.
SEPTA's Regional Rail system includes thirteen commuter rail routes servicing over 160 stations throughout Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery). Routes also travel to West Trenton and Trenton in New Jersey and four stations in the state of Delaware (Claymont, Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing, and Newark). The R1 Airport Line provides quick, economical service to Philadelphia International Airport every half-hour, seven days a week. A detailed and interactive map of the Regional Rail system is available at http://www.septa.org/maps/click_map.html.
All trains stop in University City at 30th Street Station (30th Street and Market Street) and in Center City at Suburban Station (16th Street and JFK Boulevard) and Market East Station (10th Street and Filbert Street). These stations connect with many city transit routes.
Regional Rail Fares
Fares for Regional Rail trips are determined on a zonal basis. For a list of stations and their zones, visit: http://www.septa.org/fares/stations_zones.html. Passengers may purchase their tickets at the station or pay for them in cash on the train. In the latter case, an onboard fee may apply.
LUCY (Loop through University City, LUCY Loop)
This shuttle service is managed by the University City District and operated by SEPTA. Originating at 30th Street Station, shuttles leave every 12-35 minutes and run through University City. The service is available Monday through Friday, from 6:10 am until 7:00 pm (except on major holidays). Riding on LUCY is free for valid PennCard holders. Otherwise, the fare for each ride is $2.00 or a TransPass swipe.
LUCY includes two routes: the Gold Loop and the Green Loop. Maps and schedules for both routes are available from SEPTA