Can I Get a Transfer?

As frustrating as the mixed-mode commuting experience can oftentimes be, the good news is that a number of bike-friendly policy changes are in the works. | Photo courtesy SEPTA

For Delaware Valley cyclists, traveling on trains and buses with a bicycle in tow can often be a rather dicey proposition. Transit agencies are trying to change that for good.

Let's imagine you're a bicycle commuter with a 9-to-5 job outside of Center City, and with a home in Malvern a few miles from the SEPTA Regional Rail station. Even at 8 a.m., the two-wheeled journey from your front door to the Malvern station should be pleasant enough. And in theory, the process of rolling your bike aboard the Paoli/Thorndale train once it arrives, and then completing your trip into town—at which point you'll hop back on your bike and ride to the office—should be equally stress-free. After all, two bicycles are allowed to travel in each car on all SEPTA Regional Rail lines, provided they stay within a designated area. That's just one example of a policy that should make this sort of mixed-mode travel nothing less than a Philadelphia-area bike commuter's dream.

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Accessibility in an App

Illustration by Miguel CoUnlock Philly aims to improve traveling and living in the city for people with mobility issues

Ather Sharif, who had moved to Philadelphia last year for treatment for a spinal cord injury, knows how important it is for people with mobility issues to plan when using public transportation. Though he was impressed with the accessibility of SEPTA's subways and buses, he saw how quickly regular maintenance issues—a broken elevator at a subway station or construction blocking a pathway—could derail travel plans. 

James Tyack, a senior software engineer and frequent SEPTA rider, recognized a need. He created a mobile app called Unlock Philly to help people with mobility issues find wheelchair-accessible SEPTA stations, but, with input from the community it’s poised to become a wide-ranging resource for people with disabilities who live and travel in Philadelphia. 
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