Last Sunday morning I found myself stranded in Dallas needing desperately to get to New York by Monday morning. My options were very limited and I ended up flying into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
I spent the entire 2+ hour flight from Dallas to Philly worrying about how I was going to make it through three states as the day was quickly turning to night. After a little research on the ground, I was amazed to find that getting from Philadelphia to Manhattan (even on a Sunday night) is a breeze!
Most of the options below begin with the SEPTA regional rail — Philadelphia’s mass-transit train which serves airport. The R1 SEPTA stops at Terminals E & F at :09 and :39 after the hour then continues to Terminal C & D, Terminal B, and Terminal A before starting towards Central Philadelphia. The cost is $7 peak ($6 off-peak), cash only, which is payable onboard. Allow at least 45 minutes for the ride to town in order to make connections.
SEPTA Train-to-Independent Bus Operator: Least Expensive
The trip between Philadelphia and New York takes around 2 hours in minimal traffic.
- New Century Bus Take the SEPTA to Market East Station. New Century buses stop at 55 N 11th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 (map) at least hourly from 6:30am until 11pm and arrive in New York’s Chinatown. Cost: SEPTA $7 +New Century Bus $12= $19
- P2P Circulator Take the SEPTA to 30th Street Station (Amtrak). P2P Circulator buses depart from 30th Street & Market Street (map) and arrive at New York-Penn Station. Six departures daily from 7am until 7pm. Cost: SEPTA $7 + P2P Circulator $15= $22
SEPTA Train-to-Amtrak: Moderately Expensive to Expensive
- Take the SPETA to the 30th Street Station (Amtrak). From the platform go downstairs and walk to the adjoining Amtrak station. Trains run about every 30 minutes and include regional routes (1 1/2 hours to New York-Penn) to the high-speed Acela (1 hour to New York-Penn). Cost: $7 SEPTA + from $43 (regional train) up to $196 (Acela train) = $50-$203
Limo or Shared Ride to Midtown: Most Expensive
There are a number of limo services which make the run from Philadelphia International Airport to Manhattan. Dave’s Best Limousine service makes the trip from Philadelphia International Airport to Manhattan. Prices start at $55 and rise considerably.
My Recommendation: I have only taken the SEPTA to the Amtrak but I was amazed at how easy and it was! I took the (cheaper) regional train which made stops in Trenton, Metropark, Newark International Airport, and Newark-Penn Station before making its final stop at New York-Penn Station, but I still made it home and was in bed by midnight!