Apex and New Century are two companies that connect Philadelphia with New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. The Chinatown-based companies depart from different points on 11th Street between Arch and Vine streets. New Jersey Transit stops at the Greyhound terminal and offers service between Philadelphia and Atlantic City and other New Jersey destinations. There is also now a Bolt Bus service, offering service from 30th St. Station to New York's Penn Station from $10-12.
You may purchase long-haul bus tickets with cash, traveler's checks, or major credit cards.
Apex (202/380–3129. www.apexbus.com.)
Bolt Bus (boltbus.com.)
New Century Travel (215/627–2666. www.2001bus.com.)
New Jersey Transit (800/772–2287. www.njtransit.com.)
Buses make up the bulk of the SEPTA system, with more than 110 routes extending throughout the city and into the suburbs. Although the buses are comfortable and reliable, they should be used only when you're not in a hurry, as traffic on the city's major thoroughfares can add some time to your trip.The distinctive purple minibuses you see around Center City are SEPTA's convenience line for visitors, the PHLASH. The 21 stops run from the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway through Center City to Penn's Landing. Since a ride on the PHLASH costs $2 for a one-way ticket (seniors and children under five ride free), consider the handy all-day, unlimited-ride pass available for $5 per passenger or $10 for the family (two adults and two children, ages 6–17). These buses run daily from 10 am to 6 pm from May 1 to October 31. There's service every 12 minutes.
The base fare for subways, trolleys, and buses is $2, paid with exact change or a token. Transfers cost $1. Senior citizens (with valid ID) ride free during off-peak hours and holidays. Up to two children (less than 42 inches tall) ride free with each paying adult. Tokens sell for $1.55 and can be purchased in packages of 2, 5, or 10 from cashiers along the Broad Street subway and Market-Frankford lines and in many downtown stores (including some Rite Aid pharmacies). You can also purchase them online at shop.septa.org.
If you plan to travel extensively within Center City, it's a good idea to get a SEPTA pass. The Day Pass costs $7 and is good for 24 hours of unlimited use on all SEPTA vehicles within the city, plus one trip on any regional rail line, including the Airport Express train. A weekly transit pass costs $22.00. Tokens and transit passes are good on buses and subways but not on commuter rail lines.
You can purchase tokens and transit passes in the SEPTA sales offices in the concourse below the northwest corner of 15th and Market streets; in the Market East station (8th and Market Sts.); and in 30th Street Station (30th and Market Sts.)
PHLASH (215/389–8687. www.gophila.com/phlash.)
SEPTA (215/580–7800. www.septa.org.)