30th Street Station?

Shout out to the lazyweb…

Now that I’m in Southern New Jersey, the closest & best Amtrak station for me to take to Washington, DC is 30th Street Station in Philadelphia (according to Google Maps, about a 42 minute drive from here). So good that I have an abundance of trains to pick from. Bad that it’s not as close as the Princeton Junction train station was.

I just booked a trip for September 22nd. I’m a little nervous about how the parking is at the station. Is there a decent and safe lot for overnight parking? Easy to find spots? How much?

The station’s web site doesn’t give a lot of info.

This lot looks promising, but I can’t tell if I’ll spend an hour driving around surfing for a spot.

If I can’t get the lay of the land in advance, I’ll pony up for a car service for this first trip. I have a feeling that for anything longer than a 2 or 3 night trip, the car service will be a better deal anyway.


5 responses to “30th Street Station?”

  1. I’m not personally familiar with this, but depending were you live, you may be able to take a Patco (NJ train service) line into the city to the 30th street station? Sorry I never took it myself, but many people take a local train line into the city from S. Jersey- just something to look into. Good Luck

  2. Considered it. But want to see if I can park at the station first. Nearest PATCO station is 35 minutes away. 30th Street Station is about 45 minutes away. Doesn’t seem worth it, and the smaller commuter stations tend to be harder to park at than the big ones.

  3. I think that must be the new Cira Center lot, which would be a good option: here are some more detailed directions to it. It’s a multi-level indoor lot, physically attached to the station. You come into the station from the lot on the SEPTA regional rail platform, and there’s a ramp down to the Amtrak area.

    One option would be PATCO -> SEPTA Market-Frankford -> 30th, if you’re good with a rolling suitcase. It’s a shame PATCO doesn’t connect to regional rail better, as the transfer from Regional Rail to SEPTA is easy, but from subway to Amtrak it’s kind of a pain.

  4. Judi,

    I train in and out of Philadelphia’s 30th street station a lot and end up renting cars from Hertz there and have to go in and out of the parking lot.

    Candidly, it’s not very user friendly with the construction and rather seedy/run down look.

    My advice these days are car services. While the cost about $85-100 dollars the benefits outweigh the costs.

    1. You get work done while going to the airport or train station

    2. You don’t put wear and tear on your car

    3. Usually the good drivers have updates on traffic delays and reroutes in case of any detours or incidents

    4. You don’t have to park, walk and worry if you’re cutting it close or the hassle of a lot being full.

    5. If you need to make phone calls you don’t need to draw down on earphone power

    6. Most of all, you don’t find your car got dinged by some idiot (like I found once or twice) and have to spend time going to the body shop and back twice, once for the estimate, and then for the repair.

    Unless your car is a beater, the cost of a car service far outweighs the price of driving.

  5. Andy, I already came to the same conclusion. I made a reservation with a car service the other day for my trip to DC at the end of the month. It’s $100 each way, but given that overnight parking seems to be around $20-30 per night, not counting mileage the benefits do outweigh the cost.

    Plus I have a trip coming up in November where I’ll be taking a flight out, but coming home by train so using my car makes no sense.