When Korey was looking for jobs in Pennsylvania, I had one requirement above and beyond the Philadelphia-centric geography. No matter the job that eventually, inevitably ended up hiring him, we had to make sure that we lived near a SEPTA regional rail or a PATCO station. As in, close enough for a brisk walk or a sub-5-minute drive. On the cusp of our move to Wayne, Pennsylvania, we’re posed to do just that. Maybe I sound spoiled or demanding, but there are actually a few major reasons that this requirement was central to our relocation.
1. Certainty of Transit-Related Expenditures
It sounds fancy, but it isn’t. Living next to a SEPTA regional rail station means that a trip into the city costs the same amount each and every time. SEPTA raises fares only every three years, and those increases are often between 25 cents and a few dollars. Gas, on the other hand, increases and decreases almost every day. It’s not uncommon for gas to go up by a dollar or more over the course of a few days or a few weeks. This uncertainty takes a major toll on financial planning and recreational pursuits.
2. Easier Commuting into the City
Wayne is centrally located for vehicular transit, with nearby on-ramps for the Schuylkill Expressway, the Blue Route, US-422, and US-202. The one thing that brings these disparate highways together? Congestion hell, spurred by the large and growing nature of Greater Philadelphia. Guess which mode of transit doesn’t get stuck in the left lane, signal on, unable to merge, unable to take the next exit? Rapid transit. SEPTA regional rail. From Wayne to Suburban Station in Center City, the trip averages just 28 minutes. Every single time. And the train shows up at the same time every day.
3. I Actually Care About the Earth
Sure, my parents and gradparents might not be exceedingly concerned about the planet. After all, the worst-case global warming scenarios probably won’t involve them. I, however, plan to be 125 years old when I die along the Pennsylvania coastline. Yes, the Pennsylvania coastline. It’s gonna happen. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take the train, significantly reduce my carbon footprint, and shave a few millimeters off that sea level rise.
4. Unplanned-For Conveniences
The train that stops right by our future apartment also runs right to Downingtown, dropping passengers off less than a mile from the town’s public schools. This actually allows Korey to “reverse commute” to work via train if he so chooses, especially during inclement weather or if gas prices go through the roof for some reason. Furthermore, this same train line can take me right home, and it enables my family and central PA friends to visit without accommodating the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s quirks. Win, win, win.