Can You Live in Philadelphia Without a Car?

Downtown Philadelphia is condensed enough to navigate on your own without a car easily. There are a number of options to make your way around the city.

  • Walking: Center City is compact enough to manage on your own two feet.
  • SEPTA Public Transport: Buses, subway, and trolley are all viable options that can get you to any location within the city.
  • Bike Riding: The city has designated bike lanes meant to keep cyclists safe on the road.


Philadelphia is a manageable city to live in without a car. If you only need to get around downtown and not the suburbs, you can walk to get wherever you need to be. Not only do you save money, but you get exercise every single day by navigating around the city.

Public Transport

SEPTA is the public transportation in Philadelphia, and it is a terrific resource for those without a car. Rides are available seven days a week, typically occurring every several minutes. The Regional Rail trains have three primary stations throughout the city, and are able to take people to the Philadelphia International Airport and access Amtrak trains as well.

The train is quick and convenient, transporting its passengers to all areas of Center City. Philadelphia’s subway system is used by thousands of people each day and is another frequently used means of transport for residents in and around the city.

SEPTA also has eight trolley lines that run underground and at street level, with the trolleys stopping downtown as well as in neighborhood commercial corridors. Buses are also a means of ground transportation to get around the city. There are several SEPTA options to choose from all of which present their own advantages depending on your location and destination.

Bike Riding

Riding your bike is quite common in the city. There are designated bike lanes on the roads, but it is beneficial to avoid streets with trolley tracks. Be sure to stay alert and pay attention to what is occurring on the road. Just a few years ago, Philadlpeha was named the 9th most bike-friendly city in the U.S.

Philadelphia is a city you can manage to live in without a vehicle. Not having the expenses of a car saves you a lot of money, and encourages you to get out and make the most of the opportunities Center City can provide.

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