Philly’s known for a few things: food, culture and long commutes. As CBS News reports, Philadelphia has the second longest commute time of any city in the U.S. with the average Philly resident driving more than half an hour to get to work. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Several Philadelphia suburbs offer affordable living as well as a quick and easy commute into the city.
1. Drexel Hill
Situated to the west of Philly, in Upper Darby Township, Drexel Hill has a population of just over 28,000. The suburb has several things going for it, most notably its ease of commute into Philly and its lower home prices compared to nearby Philadelphia suburbs like Springfield and Narberth.
One of the easiest ways to get to downtown Philly from Drexel Hill is via trolley and the elevated line. Although getting to the heart of the city from the suburbs requires two trains, the commute is still a quick one. The Route 101 trolley makes several stops in Drexel Hill before getting to 69th Street terminal. All told, trolley travel takes about 10 minutes. Once you get to 69th Street, a 15 minute ride on the Market Frankford Elevated Line will get you to City Hall, smack in the middle of Philly.
Collingswood lies just over the Ben Franklin Bridge in New Jersey. It’s a small suburb with a population of around 14,000 and a lot going on. Collingswood has a bustling main street, full of shops and restaurants. It also has a PATCO station, which offers rapid rail service to Center City. The average trip to Center City takes less than 15 minutes from Collingswood. Trains run all throughout the day and night, and during rush hour there is a train every four to five minutes.
Back in Pennsylvania, the suburb of Glenside is to the north of Philly and has a population of just over 8,000 people. A major attraction in the suburb is the Keswick Theatre, which regularly hosts musical acts and comedians. Glenside also happens to be home to one of the busiest train stations in the SEPTA system. Three regional rail lines stop at the Glenside Station, and trains into downtown Philly run frequently. The trip to 30th Street Station takes between 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the rail line.
Located on the Main Line, Ardmore is another suburb with plenty of transit options, making it an ideal choice if you need to commute into Philly. The Paoli/Thorndale regional rail line stops at Ardmore Station before heading into downtown Philly. The Norristown High Speed Line stops at nearby Ardmore Avenue Station before traveling to 69th Street terminal. From there, you can hop on the Market Frankford Line to get downtown. Several buses also travel out to Ardmore, such as Route 44, which runs through the heart of Center City before making its way west. And if you don’t want to travel into Philly, Ardmore is quite vibrant itself, with great shopping, restaurants and nightlife. In fact, the town just ranked fifth on Niche’s list of best suburbs for millennials in Pennsylvania.
Jenkintown is home to another bustling SEPTA train station. Four different regional rail lines stop at the Jenkintown-Wyncote station, meaning a train leaves from there every 10 to 15 minutes or so. During peak rush hour, trains depart Jenkintown station every few minutes. The trip from Jenkintown to 30th Street Station takes about half an hour. Along with a busy train station, Jenkintown has a lot to offer residents, including a bustling downtown area with a movie theater, cafes, restaurants and shops.
Want to live in an affordable suburb but still be within easy reach of the city? Check out Owners.com to see what homes are available in the Philadelphia suburbs.
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