Uh-oh…better make this quick, I’m in enemy territory! This is 33rd Street Station.
A block east from the El’s 34th Street Station, 33rd Street is placed just before the trolley tracks join Market Street. The two entrances are diagonally across a park, with one side on Market and the other at 33rd and Ludlow. Architecturally, they look great, with simple designs that also draw people in – indeed, they’re better than the entrances at 34th a block away. But does anyone else think they went a bit hard on the branding (see above)?
Like 36th Street, my thoughts on the mezzanine basically boil down to “Where are the faregates?!?” And unlike with 36th Street, 33rd Street’s mezzanine doesn’t even get a nice mural. It’s just a big open room that somehow has hidden enough signage that it manages to be confusing to use. And while the two entrances on either side of it mean that two sets of faregates would have to be installed, it’s still a relatively easy setup, unlike the way they had to wrangle them into 19th and 22nd.
There’s not a ton to say about the actual design of the platforms. They’re really standard trolley fare, with a drab look, benches and wastebaskets, and the ubiquitous mystery liquid on the tracks. There is one thing that makes 33rd Street’s platforms stand out from the others, though: because it’s right next to the El (you can hear the trains roaring past), there is actually cell service down here!
Station: 33rd Street (Trolleys)
Ridership: SEPTA doesn’t give ridership information on the trolley stops, but this stop seems to get healthy ridership, especially from that place it serves. It should be noted that the El is just a block away, but the trolleys aren’t that much slower, so it’s really just a matter of where you happen to be coming from.
Pros: Cell service! Uh, other than that, though, not a lot…
Cons: I can’t even say it’s easy to navigate, because the signage in the mezzanine is so bad! It’s just two tiny signs hanging down from the ceiling that aren’t easy to spot. When I use this station, I often do a double-take when I realize I have no idea where I’m going. Maybe regular users don’t experience this, but still, it shouldn’t be this hard to figure out which staircase goes where. Other than that, it’s all the other classic SEPTA trolley problems: no faregates, having to flag trains down, a grungy atmosphere, and no wheelchair accessibility.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Sure, I could point out that school it’s close to, but why not give some love to Wahoo’s, the official after-game restaurant for the Penn Quakers? WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Final Verdict: 3/10
I would say it gets an extra point for the cell service, but the fact that it somehow manages to be hard to navigate takes the point right off again. Heck, there’s not even signage for the exits – I always have to figure out which way the trolley was going, then decide which staircase is the one I want based on my orientation. We can’t have signs saying “Market Street” and “Ludlow Street”? Yeah, no, a 3 seems just right. Also, Drexel: no hard feelings, right? Teehee.
Latest SEPTA News: Service Updates
Miles, is the Harvard Red Line station also enemy territory now?/s
Harvard is enemy territory for EVERYBODY.
Hey Miles! I love the reviews! Believe it or not, SEPTA does actually give trolley ridership information, though it’s slightly outdated. SEPTA also provides information on some subway stations as to how many people use each entrance. The facts can be found on the 2017 annual service plan:
Whoa, this is AWESOME! Shame it doesn’t have any combined numbers for the shared stops, but this is so great! Thank you!