The 2017 NFL draft is a dream come true for football lovers, but for everyone else who just needs to get around the city, it’s a nightmare.
With the Benjamin Franklin Parkway closed down, driving near the Art Museum and any part of Center City that intersects the parkway will be rough going.
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SEPTA bus routes are also disrupted, while mass transit and the Regional Rail are expected to be crowded.
“We are urging those using SEPTA’s trains, subways, buses and trolleys to purchase their tickets and passes in advance and to review their travel and parking options prior to the events,” SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel said in a statement. “Remember, with regular weekday commutes on Thursday and Friday, many SEPTA parking lots will be full by early morning.”
The best way to get around near the draft may be ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.
“We're spending quite a bit of money to make sure there are enough drivers out there for passengers,” said Lyft’s Philadelphia general manager Andrew Woolf. Lyft is expecting a 200 percent increase in riders during the draft and simultaneous Penn Relays, he said.
Woolf advised travelers into Philadelphia could use Lyft as a “first mile-last mile” solution – meaning as a way to cover that last mile from the nearest SEPTA station.
He cautioned passengers to try moving away from the most crowded areas around the draft before summoning your Lyft.
“The advice that we’re giving to people is to move a few blocks away,” he said. “That way it will be a little bit easier to get a Lyft.”