I’m back in Philly! So far I’ve taken the El and a few buses, but I’ve yet to set foot on the ol’ Broad Street Line. Will that hinder my ability to properly review Tasker-Morris Station in South Philadelphia? Uhhh…doesn’t matter, because there’s no turning back – I gotta get through my backlog!
There are four entrances to Tasker-Morris, two at Tasker Street and two at Morris Street. All of them are…discrete, to say the least. I mean, the staircases are really tucked away next to buildings. This is more or less the standard for South Philly, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan. Also, there are no elevators, which means that this is one of the many Broad Street Line stations that’s not wheelchair accessible.
The two Morris Street entrances can only be accessed by walking down these long, twisty hallways. They both have strange mirrors on the corners that are used to…peek around, I guess? Also, one of the hallways requires passengers to go a few steps down to access, even though it’s taking them above ground. That’s just annoying!
Tasker-Morris has a similar bike situation to Snyder: the bike racks are underground, and passengers can bring their bikes to lock them up in the station. SEPTA at least acknowledges the presence of these spaces on its station page, unlike with Snyder, but it says there are only 16 racks – in reality, there are 20. Also, Snyder’s special bike stair ramps didn’t exist, but they are here, on both of the Tasker Street exits! There’s just…er…one slight problem: the ramps stop midway up the stairs to make room for the gates to close the station. Hey, at least they still cover, like, 85% of the journey…
As usual, the mezzanine for this station is just a giant place with way too much space for its own good. I mean, look at how much room there is here! There’s really no excuse to only have three fare gates and two fare machines. SEPTA, you have to use your space better than this! Why not put in some new fare gates closer to the exits, since at the moment, you have to walk down to the center of the mezzanine to enter the station? They would be unstaffed, but ideally the cashier would have a security camera view of each one to potentially catch fare dodgers.
Another classic SEPTA element of Tasker-Morris is the waiting area just beyond the fare gates. It has a few benches within sight of the cashier, as well as some maps and wastebaskets. Multiple staircases lead from here down to the platform, while the signage directing passengers towards exits and buses is pretty good.
There isn’t much to say about the platform, since it’s what you would expect. It’s a center platform with benches and wastebaskets all along it, and that’s about all there is to it. Everything is as aesthetically meh as you would expect from a Broad Street Line station.
Oh right, we have to talk about the bus connections. I gotta say, the bus stops here make a lot of sense. The 4, which runs straight up Broad Street, essentially has four stops here, two each at Tasker and Morris – all but one of them are signs, which is really all the 4 needs. The 29, meanwhile, is the crosstown route along Tasker and Morris Streets. Even though both of those are tiny one-ways, the route gets shelters at both of its stops here! Granted, neither of them have benches underneath, but it’s a start.
Station: Tasker-Morris (BSL)
Ridership: Tasker-Morris is the second-busiest station in South Philly, getting just over 5,000 riders every weekday. Most of that ridership is coming from the dense apartments all around the station, although nearby East Passyunk Ave is probably a draw, too.
Pros: This station has perhaps the most sensible bus infrastructure I’ve seen so far at a SEPTA stop (not including the big transportation centers)! Other than that, it’s in an excellent location, which lends itself to high ridership.
Cons: Even though we finally get bike ramps on the stairs, they’re hardly functional because of the gap in the middle! If you’re gonna have to lug your bike off of one ramp around onto the next one, you might as well just carry it all the way down the stairs. The mezzanine is a terrible use of space, as usual, and the station entrances are underwhelming. Finally, it’s not wheelchair accessible.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I love my East Passyunk Ave. This is the closest stop to many of the attractions along that thoroughfare. Also, I missed it this year, but the Miracle on South 13th Street is a tradition where all the houses on 13th between Tasker and Morris go all-out with Christmas decorations. It looks like a ton of fun, and I hope to make it down there next year.
Final Verdict: 5/10
Yeah, I’d say this is of similar quality to Snyder. Tasker-Morris is a touch better than Snyder, but with all its problems, I can’t see it getting higher than a 5. This is just a generic, uninteresting Broad Street Line station, although it is close to a bunch of great stores and restaurants. Also, there’s a punk song about it, so…that’s neat?
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