Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties
Public Information Manager
A unique collaboration between SEPTA and the University of Pennsylvania has made navigating the Tri-state region easier via public transit for University City students, residents and visitors. SEPTA's Travel Center at Penn officially opened on Dec. 7 with a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the special occasion.
"We're excited about our partnership with the University of Penn," SEPTA Deputy General Manager Richard Burnfield said. "SEPTA is only part of the transportation in the region and with more than 20,000 students and employees at the University of Penn, the Travel Center provides us with an opportunity to connect with them."
Located on the first floor of the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at 36th and Sansom Streets in University City, the Travel Center is the first of its kind. SEPTA "Travel Consultants" will staff the Center Mondays through Fridays from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. In addition to providing information on SEPTA services, the Center will also offer assistance with all forms of travel in and around Penn's campus and the City, including the University's transit service (Penn Transit), New Jersey Transit, Amtrak, Indego Bike Share and car sharing.
"This Center is not just service for today, but for tomorrow," said Marie Witt, Vice President of Penn's Division of Business Services. "This collaboration with SEPTA will support both members of the Penn community as well as residents and visitors to University City to better understand and utilize the array of transit resources available to them."
The Center is one of several initiatives SEPTA and Penn have been discussing in recent months. Many Penn students are active in SEPTA's Youth Advisory Council (YAC). The YAC members advocate for student needs within Philadelphia's five-county region and recently worked with SEPTA to administer a "College Usage Survey". The goal of the survey was to better understand existing college and university transit use in the Philadelphia region. More than 3,000 responses were received and survey data revealed that 36,500 (6.7 percent) of SEPTA's average weekday riders are college or university students.
Kanishka Rao, Undergraduate Assembly and Penn Transit Advisory Board Member said, "My peers have a tough time navigating public transit. The Center will make navigating public transit easier and will encourage more students to stay on campus."
"The location of the travel center is right in middle of University City and is easily accessible to the huge student population here and the SEPTA Travel Center @Penn offers one-stop shopping for all of their transit needs," Jeff Kessler, Penn Student and YAC Executive Chair said.