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Long-time lurker here and avid poster on UMass message board. Sorry to start a new topic if that violates forum etiquette, but I didn't know where else to put it...my question: coming from NYC or Newark, what is the best way to get to La Salle via public transit? Ideally, I'd like to take the commuter rail from Newark (where I'll be for much of the day on Wednesday) to Trenton and then transfer from Trenton to Amtrak en route to 30th Street Station. My real question, however, is once I get to 30th street station, how difficult is it to get to La Salle? How much does a cab cost/how easy is it to get one? How frequently does public transit run from there and how long does it take to get to La Salle's campus? Is the campus in a safe area? Also, are there even tickets still available. Long story short, how early do I have to leave Newark to ensure I get to my seat prior to tip and what is the best/quickest approach for doing so both before and after the game? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Not even 100 percent sure I'd make the trip, but I'd obviously love any details about the logistics before I do make the call and I figured this is the place to get the info. I'm really not knowledgable about Philly, so I apologize if some of my questions come off as those of someone who's is basically a complete novice about anything and everything Philly.
 

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Public trans options:
Have to take 2 subways (Market frankford line east to city hall - get off, broad street line north to Olney, get off and walk 4 blocks). Cost = $3 but if you've never rode Septa before might be a bit confusing. The Gola is about a 10 minute walk from the Olney subway station.

Best bet for an out of towner is to take a cab from 30th street. Cost will be about $30 max with tip (20 min drive). You'll be able to get a cab easily at 30th street but getting one once you leave Gola will be next to impossible. I'd suggest calling a cab company during halftime to pick you up.

I'm sure you will be able to get a ticket before the game. I know attendance will definitely be up compared to a normal A10 Wednesday game, but I doubt it will sellout.

Bring food, or eat at 30th street unless you can live off of a pretzel/hotdog.
 

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Tickets Should be available, I would call the La salle Ticket office to confirm that. Public transportation from 30th street station to La Salle is a pain, there are many interchanges and switching of trains, and for a first time traveler on the SEPTA system it could be a huge disaster, also, the walk from the Olney train stop to La Salle is a little sketchy and would be frowned upon doing it by yourself late at night. For safety and easiness the Cab would be your best option. Just be prepared for a long cab ride depending on the time you get to 30th street station as both routes to Gola will be backed up during rush hour. Explorers Den near campus has hoagies and sandwhiches and pizza. Not bad and basically on campus
 

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If a UMass fan wants to know where La Salle is, look UP in the standings. There they are.

The directions are a bit complex for a newbie, but maybe print this out and have it at the ready for reference. I once decided to walk from the megabus stop at Hadley, MA to your campus, which took 3 miles and nearly an hour, so by comparison La Salle is very accessible! You just have to have your map and a bit of prior planning/research with you.

Your subway trains option would cost only $2 cash fare each way, not $3, because the underground transfer at 15th/City Hall is FREE unless you decide to leave the tunstiles and explore Philly. If you need dinner, your food options in Olney exist, but they are scarce, and you might wish you had allowed time in Philly to grab dinner, then get back on the subway northbound for another $2. Food options in center city are plenty, as are the terminal at 30th street (subway, au bon pain, pizza, etc). In Olney, there is only a mcdonalds and dunkin donuts at the subway stop, then there is a halfway decent pizza slice place halfway on the way to campus, then a little cheesesteak shack outside of the arena, but that's about IT - no variety or quality up there!

I did a cab once from 30th station directly to La Salle and it cost about $21, takes 30 minutes or less. At that time of day, however, it is a bit of a hassle to take the expressway because everyone is leaving work, and it backs up, potentially making your fare anywhere from $17 to $27, plus tip. On the way back, it can be significantly more difficult to find a legal cab from Olney to center city, though there are many imitation "hacks" or you could call a local Germantown cab company when the game is over.

Here are specific public transit directions: (TWO OPTIONS)

OPTION 1. Leave Amtrak 30th street and head across the street away from the skyscrapers, going towards Drexel campus, and proceed underground to the blue line. This costs $2 cash fare (EXACT CHANGE ONLY!) to get in, or one "token." The train you want is eastbound market frankford line (blue) and you get off at the first stop which is 15th. There is a single center platform with trains heading in both directions, so make sure your train is "EASTBOUND FRANKFORD" and ***not westbound (69th)***. Some trains say all stops, some say A stops only, some say B stops only. Any of these works, as long as it is Eastbound/Frankford. At the 15th stop, transfer underground to the orange line, northbound. There are two northbound tracks with a center platform between them. You can board any northbound train, but before 7PM, the center track EXPRESS is faster. Train will say Fern Rock. You take it to the second to last stop which is called OLNEY. It's the one right after either Erie/Logan, depending on express/local. Don't miss Olney! It is an all blue tile major transfer station with four tracks in it. About 70% of the passengers get off here, so you better not miss it and be left on the train which goes back to the Fern Rock yard. When you depart at Olney, follow the crowd and go through the turnstiles. To save yourself some walking across a busy intersection, get off on the large multi-sectioned platform stairwell side, the one which does NOT have an escalator and does NOT provide only a set of single/straight staircases. It is the side marked for Central High/Girls High/Route 14 only. Do not get out on the side with the bus terminal in it, with multiple bus routes, as that is the much more crowded, wrong side of the street to be on.

You then walk only 5 or 6 blocks, or 0.5 miles, or 12 minutes, up to the campus. The basketball arena is on the left, just at the third light which is a parking lot entrance to the arena.

On your return trip, there is no express, so get on any LOCAL southbound train toward AT&T PATTISON. They run about every 12-15 minutes after the game. It is hard to flag a cab here, but you could call one in advance using Germantown Cab Co.

OPTION 2. I personally like this method a bit less, but they let you pay with a $5, $10, or $20 and the subway does not unless you were to find a token or change machine, which is surprisingly scarce around Philly. It costs $4 to ride each way instead of $2. It is actually 5 minutes faster total trip time as it does not involve a connection. However, since the train comes less often, you will waste a lot of time waiting if you miss your scheduled train. It is less travelled and therefore you will encounter fewer people who may help you with directions. You can take the Chestnut Hill East line from 30th street station, upper platform, to WISTER (5 stops, 22 minutes), then walk across the parking lots and a small pedestrian bridge to get over to the arena. This method takes 35 minutes from end to end if you plan it right, and costs $4 one way ($8 round trips). Trains depart the upper level of 30th street station at 4:36pm, 5:03pm, 5:28pm, 5:53pm, 6:14pm and arrive at WISTER station exactly 22 minutes later, followed by a 12 minute walk on campus and past a small parking lot and across the blue bridge (campus connector). Return trips leave the same station ONLY at 9:30 PM and 10:25 PM, arriving at 30th at 9:53 / 10:47 PM. If you purchase your ticket at the window at 30th on the upper platform, you save only $0.25 for a round trip, making it $7.75. If you do this method, make sure to look at the google map to understand how the walk between Wister and the arena which is at 20th and Olney. You will not be able to rely upon landmarks and intersections if you take this back route. However, if it matches your schedule, the best part is your arrival at the 30th street station is very convenient to your Amtrak connection.

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=...6kfbMww&oq=la+salle&dirflg=w&mra=ltm&t=m&z=16




https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=...exp=0&noal=0&sort=def&mra=ls&t=m&z=12&start=0

What would I do? Depends really on your exact arrival and departure times with Amtrak. I would get in to Philly, use the AMTRAK ticket stub for a FREE regional rail ride one stop to suburban station (on upper level SEPTA tracks 1 to 3), then grab some dinner in town, then catch the broad street subway northbound from City Hall to Olney for $2 cash fare (exact change only), then on the way home, pay $4 cash on board from the wister stop, to make sure to avoid missing my connection at 30th street. But I am not telling you what to do. You have about 7 different combinations of methods you could use to get there and back, and if your Amtrak is 30 min late and you miss a connection, the cab could be your go to relief. Enjoy!
 

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I would not take public transportation from 30th Street to La Salle if you do not know where you are going. Very much like I would not recommend for someone to take the D train to Fordham Road and walk down to campus b/c while I think it is safe, a wrong turn could get you in a bad neighborhood. My sister went to La Salle, I like the school, so I'm not knocking it.
 

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It is a reality most inner city colleges face... they are not surrounded by the best neighborhoods. And unfortunately many colleges agree not to buy up the surrounding areas... bad for both the city and college.

North Philly is not an area to walk alone at night. I wouldn't recommend venturing to the DD or McDonald's as those are in not-so-friendly area of the city. Either eat at 30th Street Station, Center City or at the Explorers Den.
 

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So, three separate folks, including La Salle fans, are discouraging the same commute which I have done literally thousands of times over 10 years without any incident at all whatsoever, by saying it is more complicated than it is worth, and also dangerous. That's a great way to boost recruiting people/family members to live in Philadelphia and go to school at La Salle! Woohoo!

I've done the Fordham Road thing a dozen things before too. I admit neither Olney nor Fordham is a fun neighborhood to commute in, nor safe enough to raise kids in.

We're talking about a half mile walk through a residential neighborhood here, it's so hard to have an incident you literally have to go asking for one! The wister walk, though more secluded, involves potential shortcuts through La Salle's own campus, which is patrolled by unarmed security and has several call boxes.

If someone is now unnecessarily concerned about the walk from Tom Gola Arena to Olney Terminal, which literally takes 12 minutes, let me offer this:

OPTION 1. Take 18 or 26 bus to and from the Olney subway stop and La Salle. Ask the driver to make sure they go to La Salle, but the pick up points are the dunkin donuts at Olney Ave and literally right outside the Tom Gola Arena, and the buses come every 10 minutes or less. For only $3 total exact change one way, you receive a paper transfer to use on the subway. I'd just as soon walk it and save the $1, but $1 to save a 12 minute walk through unfamiliar territory might be incentive enough, especially if it weren't going to actually be 60 degrees that day. But if you're not an avid walker, you spend $3 at 30th street instead of $2, and they give you this transfer to take to the Dunkin Donuts out front of Broad/Olney to catch the bus to La Salle. Or you pay $2 cash on board the bus, costing $1 extra without the transfer discount.

OPTION 2. Wister station is practically on La Salle's campus. You can get there on the Chestnut Hill East train by following the explicit instructions in my previous post.
-Do not take a Chestnut Hill West train. It must be Chestnut Hill East. It is at the upper level of 30th street station.
-Do not miss the once an hour return trip at 10:25 PM from Wister to 30th Street.
-Do not ask the SEPTA conductor if this train goes to "La Salle" you should only ask for "Wister station" because SEPTA conductors, just like a lot of Philadelphians, aren't exactly trained how to get anywhere other than where they've already been, which tends to be quite limited considering their line of profession.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I never could have dreamed that my query would yield such thorough and entertaining responses. Well played folks. Sadly, I received news this morning that a childhood friend (who I remain super close with to this day) lost his father to a long battle with cancer, so I will be heading back to Western Mass for the wake and funeral. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the son came and watched the UMass game with me as a means of getting a spare moment away from the grieving process. The wake concludes at 7, the same time as top-off. Thanks again for the thorough advice and I will be sure to use it in a future season in which UMass plays La Salle.
 

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I never could have dreamed that my query would yield such thorough and entertaining responses. Well played folks. Sadly, I received news this morning that a childhood friend (who I remain super close with to this day) lost his father to a long battle with cancer, so I will be heading back to Western Mass for the wake and funeral. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the son came and watched the UMass game with me as a means of getting a spare moment away from the grieving process. The wake concludes at 7, the same time as top-off. Thanks again for the thorough advice and I will be sure to use it in a future season in which UMass plays La Salle.
Very sorry to hear that. Thoughts and prayers are with your friend and his family.
 

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Thanks for the kind words and I hope it didn't come off as fishing for sympathy. We weren't terribly close; I just felt like noting the severity of the reason keeping me from the game because otherwise all of your efforts would have gone for naught and wow, was I impressed with your collective awareness of the subtleties of directions to Olney. I will surely return to this post when I eventually make it to Philly for a game.
 

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Sorry for your friend.

I will provide a Brooklyn directions post in march.
When I do, I don't want any BS about the neighborhood. If you're scared of dying then why do you drive a car? Why do people smoke? Why do you eat fatty foods? These are all bigger risks than olney or new York. But people love to sensationalize.
 

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Sorry for your friend.

I will provide a Brooklyn directions post in march.
When I do, I don't want any BS about the neighborhood. If you're scared of dying then why do you drive a car? Why do people smoke? Why do you eat fatty foods? These are all bigger risks than olney or new York. But people love to sensationalize.
Ha. The walk from the Subway to the Barc is different in many ways when comparing it to the walk from the subway to La Salle. The real key to me is knowing exactly where you are going and when it is dark that can be a bit more difficult for a first timer.

And I don't think anyone said anything about dying. Talk about sensationalizing.
 

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The perceptions of these places are just awful. Olney Ave and Fordham Road are apparent eyesores, and have seen better days. But does that mean I need to tell someone to spend $60 on a cab to avoid those areas? Doesn't that just perpetuate the misconceptions about these areas, and cause them to become even more desolate? What's the worst that can happen if I send a newbie into Olney or the Bronx? He said he was coming from Newark, so he has been to a city before, he's not even a typical mass preppie.

I have been to each and every A10 campus except Butler, VCU and Bona. I made my way to each one without incident. Every time I go to Fordham and GW, the only bruising I have ever taken is my visiting team's losing with far too much regularity. every time I go down Fordham road from either the 4 or D train or the much more proximate MetroNorth, I always expect to get hassled by at least one person, based on all the misconceptions and bias, that is what is supposed to be happening. Do you know that I've done it at least 7 times @Fordham, 7 times @GW, and 10,000 times @ La Salle, and at no time NOT ONE person has even talked to me, let alone put a finger on me? Does that change any of your perceptions of that area? Does it shock or disappoint any of you that this could happen?
 

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goflyers - most of the older folks in this country have spent their entire adult lives in suburbia. Good luck trying to convince them the city isn't hell on earth. M any people in NC consider Durham, where I live, to be a very dangerous place. It's not (well, the abysmal lack of sidewalks makes walking dangerous and nowhere in NC is it particularly safe to ride a bike) but the perception persists and the people who believe it will always believe it.
 

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goflyers, I went to Fordham, lived off-campus my sophomore year and in the neighborhood for a couple years after graduation. I know the are fairly well. I actually don't think Fordham Road is an eyesore and there is enough foot traffic that I would not worry, but I would always recommend that someone take the Metro-North which is 10 to 20 yards from campus rather than the D train or much less the 4 train which are further.

I just think it is good to paint a clear picture. The walk down Fordham Road is different than the walk down 5th Ave. and I think it is wise to let a newbie know that.

Some of us might be painting it a bit bleaker and that might not be fair, but at the same time I think you are painting it to the other side a bit much.

BTW, just out of curiosity, why have you made that trip to La Salle 10,000 times? I am assuming you work there? Again, just curious.

goflyers - most of the older folks in this country have spent their entire adult lives in suburbia. Good luck trying to convince them the city isn't hell on earth. M any people in NC consider Durham, where I live, to be a very dangerous place. It's not (well, the abysmal lack of sidewalks makes walking dangerous and nowhere in NC is it particularly safe to ride a bike) but the perception persists and the people who believe it will always believe it.
But the people here making the comments went to La Salle (2 that I noticed) and Fordham (myself). I don't think either area is hell on earth, but for a first timer, sometimes the walk is not the best recommendation. Perhaps we should have asked what the OP was comfortable with before going on about the potential issues. Odds are they'd be more than fine, but if they were one of these people you describe then making the walk might be even worse b/c it would show.
 
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