What alternatives do I have to travel from the PHL airport to the University of Pennsylvania campus that would avoid timing problems due to human or technical issues, on the right schedule (plan to arrive around 16:00 Friday, and leave 21:00 Sunday, approx. flight timings)?

I have searched and found the possibility of taking the train, but I don't know how reliable it can be, if I will be able to take my luggage, and if it will be relatively safe (theft?) to take it for a tourist.

Approximate destination: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/39.952999,-75.192299//@39.9527309,-75.1920217,18.75z

  • 1
    You mention "safe (theft?)" - is keeping your property your only/primary concern, or are you also asking about operational safety (crashes etc) or safety from assault etc?
    – CMaster
    Nov 10, 2015 at 13:01
  • the one inside the city @MichaelHampton , and , CMaster , keeping the property is the main concern as i don't believe the others are a possiblity ( i hope).
    – CptEric
    Nov 10, 2015 at 13:07
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    You seem to have a particular knack for asking questions making surprising assumptions. In a large city, you can hardly avoid “human or technical issues”, e.g. traffic jams. It might make more sense to ask what's quicker/how long should I plan using this or that means of transportation.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 10, 2015 at 14:05
  • i like assumptions. for example, i assume that what i'm asking is completely normal. a small resume: what's, on the personal opinion of people living /been traveling by/from X City, the most reliable and failsafe transport option from A, to B, it being able to carry my luggage, and not being a tourist trap. i don't see anything wrong in that.
    – CptEric
    Nov 10, 2015 at 14:11
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    @CptEric The problem we see on this site is that many people assume that everyone else's standards, preferences, and expectations are similar to theirs. They are not, so you need to establish what yours are if you are going use value-laden terms like "reliable" or "tourist trap." What is reliable in India may not pass muster in Switzerland. And I am happy to take some "tourist trap" options because, well, I am a tourist, and it may be more convenient than taking a commuter or local route. I've tried to give a generic answer with links so you can make your own determination.
    – choster
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


Philadelphia International Airport () is well-connected to the city via the Airport Line, one of the Regional Rail lines operated by SEPTA, the local transit authority. This is by far the most reliable way to get from the airport to the Center City area. See SEPTA's Service to Philadelphia International Airport page for more information.

The Airport Line departs every half hour, 7 days a week, and the ride to University City near the Penn campus takes about 20 minutes. On-time performance for the line, at this writing, is 83%. The airport stops are located across from baggage claim

The airport stops are in Zone 4, and University City is in Zone CCP (Center City Philadelphia), and weekday Zone 4 fares are charged at all times.

Depending on your final destination at Penn, another alternative is to get off one stop early at 30th Street Station and either walk or take the LUCY Shuttle bus ($2.25).

SEPTA is a commuter system, and the train cars do not have luggage racks or closets; however, the airport is at the end of the line, so the train should not be overcrowded, and you may be able to find a seat at the bulkhead where there is more space.

This is a busy line and patrolled by the SEPTA Transit Police. Crime is more associated with Philly's subway lines than with the commuter rail, though it is possible as it would be in any transit system in any major U.S. city. (Don't read too much into the heat map that floated around the net a few years ago, as the developer himself warns, and which anyway excludes the airport stops).

  • thank you very much, with all this information in hand, we'll for sure use the train commute line and ,depending on the final pick up location on the campus, either take the shuttle or stop at University City station.
    – CptEric
    Nov 10, 2015 at 16:20

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