[Photo by TIFFANY YOON]
BY PHILLYGRRL It can be hard for both non-SEPTA and SEPTA riders alike to understand the appeal public transportation holds for a former country girl like me. When I moved here from New Jersey as a child, I was fascinated by the trolleys, trains, subways and buses I saw everywhere. Even now, despite the grime and urine, the inconveniences and hassles, I’m still awed by how accessible everything is to the average Philadelphian. With just $2 in your pocket, you can go anywhere you like in the city, a rarity for your average small-town American without a car. The best part for me (and the worst part for some Philadelphians) is how riding SEPTA gives you a front-row seat into the living rooms of your neighbors. I’ve seen and heard more interesting things on SEPTA than I’ve ever experienced in my years growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood and attending Philadelphia schools. There’s something very intimate about being thrown together towards a common destination on a day-to-day basis with a group of strangers. It can reveal a lot, both positive and negative, about your own prejudices and those of your fellow citizens. In the next few weeks, I hope to share some of the things I’ve learned and continue to learn from my experiences riding SEPTA on a daily basis. I’ll also be taking some routes I don’t normally take, learning the city a little better and highlighting all of those nice conductors out there. Who knows? I may be sitting on your bus.