Simplifying inter-college travel

Without access to a car, commuting to visit friends at other colleges can be costly if students get stuck with pricey bus fares. But Pennsylvania has several forms of public transportation that can make the inter-college commute possible, for less. Featured below are some suggested transportation options to make travels to some of Temple’s surrounding universities on a student-friendly budget.

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

SEPTA’s Regional Rail extensively covers transportation needs for Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. Students looking to head into Wildcat territory can travel to 30th Street Station and then take the Paoli/Thorndale Line to Villanova Station. After exiting the train, students should walk through the tunnel beneath the tracks and follow the walkway to the center of Villanova’s campus.

Purchasing tickets in advance online or at one of SEPTA’s ticket offices can knock a few bucks off the price offered if bought directly on the train. Also, traveling during off-peak hours instead of peak hours can save passengers some money.

30th Street Station to Villanova University
Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Fare: $5.50
Transportation: SEPTA Regional Rail

WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY

The 69th Street Terminal can be reached by riding the Broad Street Line to City Hall Station, then transferring and riding the Market-Frankford Line to 69th Street. Once at the station located at 69th and Market streets, students can take bus route 104 to the corner of Church and University avenues.

This is the 10th and last stop on this bus route. When possible, this is the cheapest method of travel, costing only $3.10 for two subway tokens for roundtrip fares.
Buses, trolleys and subways accept SEPTA tokens, or the cash equivalent of $2. The use of tokens is preferable, because they provide a slight discount at the cost of $1.55 per token. The 7-Eleven on Temple’s Main Campus sells tokens in packs of five for $7.75.

69th Street Station to West Chester
University
Time: Times vary depending on the
time of day
Fare: $4 one way or two SEPTA tokens
Transportation: SEPTA bus route 104

FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE/MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY

To reach schools that are beyond Philadelphia’s suburbs, Amtrak train routes departing from 30th Street Station offer a variety of times, allowing travelers more flexibility with their departures.
From 30th Street Station, take the route toward Lancaster. After the hourlong train ride, travelers will exit the station and walk a few blocks through the city of Lancaster to get to F&M’s campus or take a bus to Millersville University

30th Street Station to Lancaster
Time: One hour, 10 minutes
Fare: $15
Transportation: Amtrak

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

While other transportation is available for those traveling to Pittsburgh, the Megabus is a good option for students on a tight budget.
Megabus departs from 30th Street Station. Its bus route to Pittsburgh makes only one stop in Philadelphia per day and the departure times vary. What Megabus lacks in convenience, it makes up for in savings. The trip to Pittsburgh takes five hours and 40 minutes and costs $39. This is $11 cheaper and approximately two hours faster than taking Amtrak.

30th Street Station to Pittsburgh
Time: Five hours, 40 minutes
Fare: $39
Transportation: Megabus

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

When traveling by Megabus, traveling earlier in the day can save money. Routes that depart between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. are approximately $10 cheaper than routes departing at 12 p.m.

From 30th Street Station, take the Megabus to the Southwest corner of the Walmart parking lot on North Atherton Street. Penn State has shuttles to take students from the parking lot to its University Park campus.

30th Street Station to State College
Time: Three hours, 50 minutes
Cost: $14 to $25
Transportation: Megabus

Haley Kmetz can be reached at haley.kmetz@temple.edu.

1 Comment

  1. THANK YOU for pointing out how to avoid the ridiculous surcharges SEPTA imposes on riders who aren’t familiar with the system or who can’t get to a sales outlet before boarding. But that information needs to be front and center for _all_ students in the region. As a former Temple grad student and instructor at another university, my experiences have been that some SEPTA employees deliberately single out college students for extra charges.

    Sometimes it’s suggesting a more expensive route (the Regional Rail trains vs. the subway or light rail), other times it’s simply “forgetting” to inform riders about tokens and transfers. Two drivers actually told me they resent the so-called privileges that students have so they felt that fare-gouging was justified!

    It might be interesting for a couple of Temple News reporters to test the system by acting as if they’re new users. An associate and I did that some years back and at that time about half of the people we spoke to at SEPTA tried to charge the highest possible fare. I wonder if any of that has changed.

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