Page 12 - Guide to Greater Philadelphia
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a great place to call home
Greater Philadelphia beckons prospective residents with a favorable cost of living and abundant mass transit.
This is a great place to live, and the secret is out. Between 2010 and 2015, Philadelphia County alone added some 40,000 new residents, according to U.S. Census data.
One reason: For a major coastal city, Philadelphia is surprisingly easy on the wallet. Compared to New York, Washington, D.C. and major cities on the West Coast, you’ll find lower rental and purchase prices for housing and lower costs for the other basic necessities of life. At the same time, easy access to major highways, such as I-95, I-80, I-78 and the NJ and PA Turnpikes, makes for convenient commutes.
Our region’s extensive system of mass-transit options means you’ll never lack for affordable ways to get around. That includes Philadelphia’s official bike-share program, Indego (, which has facilitated nearly 1.3 million bike trips since its inception in 2015.
For those who prefer to walk, Philadelphia is also an excellent place to live and work. Real estate site Redfin ranks the city at number 4 on its index of walkable metro areas — ahead of Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle and Baltimore.
Cost of Living
If you’re trying to get a sense of your possible overall annual expenditures, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — a division of the U.S. Department of Labor — provides estimates on its website. The agency estimates that, on average, households in the Philadelphia-Camden-
Wilmington area spent $60,480 a year on a combination of housing, transportation, food, personal insurance and pensions, healthcare, entertainment, education, and apparel and services. The percentage of their income that Philadelphia-area residents spend on transportation, food and entertainment comes in below the national average.
There is ample housing stock in our 11-county neighborhood, ranging from affordable to upscale. In each of the counties, you’ll find homes ranging from at or below $100,000 to around the $1 million mark. For those looking to rent in Philadelphia, studio apartments
and those with one or two bedrooms are available for between $1,000 and $1,800 on average. Beyond the city, you have even more affordable options. Both in New Jersey and Delaware, rental options below the $1,000 mark are plentiful.
Mass Transit
It’s easy to get around Greater Philadelphia by bus and rail. Here are key options:
Amtrak: 30th Street Station serves as Amtrak’s hub in Philadelphia. Trains departing from the station take travelers as far south as Orlando or as far north as Boston. Major East Coast cities and Midwestern hubs can be reached from the station, and the California Zephyr line even provides daily service to the West Coast. For more information, go to
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA): SEPTA serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties and northern Delaware with bus, subway, commuter rail and other services. The SEPTA website,, provides information on fares, schedules and system status.
Delaware Transit Corporation (DART): DART offers bus service throughout the state. For fare infor- mation, service updates and to buy DART Cards, visit
NJ Transit: NJ Transit provides rail and bus ser- vices in New Jersey and in southeastern Pennsylvania, too. To plan your trip, check for service updates and view schedules and fares, go to
Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO):
PATCO is a rapid-transit system that connects Philadelphia with Camden County, NJ. Known colloqui- ally as the PATCO High Speed Line, it’s operated by the Delaware River Port Authority. For more information, go to
RiverLink Ferry: The ferry system provides cross- river transportation between Camden and Philadelphia seven days a week during the summer (starting at the end of May and ending in early September). For more information, go to
10 | Guide to Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station

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