Follow along as this Philly urbanist rides SEPTA ... All. Day. Long. - Technical.ly Philly

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Aug. 28, 2019 1:21 pm

Follow along as this Philly urbanist rides SEPTA … All. Day. Long.

And he's live tweeting the whole adventure!
Update: This story has been updated with next-day reflections from Leonard Bonarek. (8/29/19, 12:16 p.m.)

Leonard Bonarek, a regional planner for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, started off this morning like many of us do: waiting at a SEPTA stop.

But Bonarek wasn’t just getting a jump on his morning commute. No, he’d planned a lot more travel — like, a whole day’s worth — riding around the Philly region with three kids in tow.

Bonarek started bright and early with his crew on the Route 21 bus from 48th and Walnut streets in West Philly to the 69th Street Transit Center, where they’d catch the Norristown High Speed Line. Everything went smoothly, he told the Twitterverse.

From the looks of the schedule Bonarek tweeted out, he’s spending time in various neighborhoods, suburbs and has even noted stations and times that will allow bathroom breaks. Ultimately, his travels will bring him home to West Philly by the end of the workday.

By about 1 p.m., Bonarek had been in West Philly, Ardmore, through the burbs of Delaware County and back on a Regional Rail train (that was perfectly on time!) to City Hall. Then, the crew jumped on the Broad Street Line to South Philly, where they grabbed a Route 79 bus to South Philly.

After quick stops in Strawberry Mansion and Fishtown, Bonarek and crew are stopping for lunch in Center City.

###

On Thursday, Bonarek told us how his day of traveling around the city went, saying the idea actually came from his 7-year-old.

“He mentioned taking a certain vehicle he wanted to ride, then asked if we could ride every type of vehicle in a day,” Bonarek said.

Bonarek reached out to SEPTA, explaining the goal, and the department gave him an itinerary. He took a day off work, ensuring that his son could fulfill his mission before heading back to school next week.

“The on-time performance was something I was not ready for,” Bonarek said. “It was magical how well everything worked.”

There was a bit of struggling with some of the pedestrian connections between transit lines, though, he said. A few instances of cars zooming by, multiple crosswalks to make it through and lack of accessibility at some stations.

The favorite line throughout the day was the Route 66 trackless trolley, Bonarek said, as it was the smoothest and quietest experience of the day. Overall, it was a fun experience, he said, and very low-stakes since they weren’t depending on the rides to get to work and could turn back at any time.

“It was a really fun and exhausting experience, and even though this is the hangover day from that, I’m thinking of how to do it again while working in the NJ Transit River LINE, NJ Transit Atlantic City Rail Line, and the Ferry Service (at a Twitter follower’s suggestion),” he said.

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