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Open Thread: What would your ideal Philly subway system look like?

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Tell us what you’d like to see

Rendering of the current subway and trolley system
Jake Berman, Fifty-Three Studio

Last week we posted a story on NY-based artist Jake Berman, who has done research on the 1913 plan for Philly’s subway system, some of which came into being, and other parts which were abandoned.

Following his research, Berman drew a rendering of the 1913 plan, which was conceived of by then-Transportation Commissioner A. Merritt Taylor. The Market-Frankford Line was already underway when Taylor created the map, which looked at ways to bring the dense population of Center City, outward.

The 1913 map suggested several things that never came to be, like a split at the north end of the Broad Street Line, with one part going to Olney and the other to Rising Sun. He also proposed an elevated Darby line, which stretched down to Darby on the west side and—eventually—would go into Camden on the east. At the time, Taylor hoped the Broad Street Line would loop around City Hall, making stops at north 9th street and south 10th.

It’s been over 100 years since that proposal went forward, but it got us at Curbed Philly thinking: What would an ideal subway system look like in Philly now?

The MFL and Broad Street Line cover a lot of ground, but there are still big gaps in their coverage that make it difficult to travel as easily as possible to parts of the city, namely the southeast portion and parts of the southwest,

So we’re turning the mic over to you. In an ideal world, what would SEPTA’s subway system look like for you? Maybe you’d like to travel more easily by subway out to Fairmount, and even up to Manayunk. Or would you love the original elevated Darby line? What about heading into Camden? Or maybe you’d benefit a lot from that original loop around Center City.

Let us know in the comments.

  • Map of Philly’s 1913 subway system shows what transit could have been [Curbed Philly]


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