The public transportation system in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA is known as SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Association). Part of it is the Broad Street line, which runs almost the entire length of Broad Street, hence the name. Don't be fooled, however, no one from Philadelphia actually calls it that, instead they refer to it as the Orange Line. This is because everything associated with it is orange. Everything, from the trains, to the seats on the trains, from the dirty cracked panelling in the stations, to the peeling paint on the support pillars. Everything.
The subway is fast, it's relatively inexpensive and it does something to help alleviate the traffic problems. On the other hand, it's dirty, it smells bad, it's loud, it has rats, and far too many people travel on it. Like most city subway systems it can be quite a horrifying experience. Sometimes you'll convince yourself that the man sitting opposite is going to kill you, or at the very least demand all of your money. There are also the homeless that frequent the underground trains, begging for money, food, or whatever you can spare. As they pass from car to car, passengers do their best to keep their eyes glued to the broken packet of mustard smeared on the floor.
In order to take the Orange Line, you must first be aware of where you are and which way is north and which way is south. After you've worked this out, you can conclude which direction you must travel to get to where you want to go, and you must be on the appropriate side of Broad Street to do so, because the northbound train takes one side of the street, and the southbound train on the other. Reading the signs is helpful in this case, as there are many of them, and they will prevent you from experiencing any type of panic or stress attributed to paying your fare and realising you are headed in the wrong direction. Once you pass through the turnstiles, you cannot get your money back, and to get to the other side of the station, you must exit, take the steps back to the street, cross the street, go back down the steps on the other side, and pay another $1.601 fare.
The train will stop at all stops, unless it has green or amber lights on the front of it. These are the express trains and if you catch one of these ther's a good chance of missing your stop and having to go all the way to the end of the line and back again.
The stops are at what are considered to be convenient points throughout the city for stopping and getting to places of interest - home, work, or other transportation systems heading in different directions. The Orange line begins in North Philadelphia at the Fren Rock Transportation Center, and ends in South Philadelphia, at the Broad and Pattison stop, which is home to the sports stadiums and FDR Park. In between you will find the stops as follows:
- Hunting Park
- North Philadelphia
- Cecil B Moore
- Spring Garden
- City Hall
Most stops are identified by the name of the street they are located on, ie, the Olney stop is located at Broad Street and Olney Street. The most common, and therefore the busiest, stop for people to get on and off at is the City Hall stop. This is located underneath City Hall in Center City, and offers a free interchange to other transportation systems, such as the Market-Frankford subway (the Blue Line), and the subway/surface trolly lines (the Green Line).