Transportation

Do you need to film a scene on an airport runway or have access to a control tower? Do you want to use a public bus or subway platform in your production? Find out about parking guidelines for location scouting and production vehicles. Look up the closest Heliport to your production location. All your transportation questions can be answered right here!

The Division of Aviation in the Department of Commerce is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Philadelphia International Airport in southwest Philadelphia adjacent to I-95; and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, located 14 miles northeast of Center City, adjacent to U.S. Route 1.

All productions need to be coordinated with the Division of Aviation. Location, service and personnel fees are charged for productions at both City airports. Projects must comply with all federal, state and local security requirements.

At the present time, all terminal space is leased to private carriers and retail operators. Requests for filming at ticket counters, baggage claim areas, on or around non-moving aircraft should be made to the desired carrier. Requests for filming at a retail establishment located in a terminal building should be made to the owner/operator. Information on filming at other spaces in the terminal buildings, including passenger loading areas, frontage roads and parking areas, may be obtained from the Division of Aviation. Please note that peak airport traffic times are 6:30-10:00 A.M. and 4:30-9:30 P.M.

Any filming on the airfield: runways, taxiways, control tower or any other area or activity under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration must be approved by the F.A.A. through the Division of Aviation. Film productions of this nature require ample lead time and a substantially higher amount of insurance – a $5 million policy naming the City of Philadelphia as co-insured or held harmless is standard.

Please contact the Film Office for information on charges for use of space, personnel and/or equipment.

In addition to eleven regional airports and one International airport
Philadelphia also has five heliports that are all within 25 miles of the
city. These easily accessible heliports include:

Penn’s Landing Heliport (P72)
Philadelphia, PA
Privately Owned, Public Use
Phone: 215-271-2510
Fax: 215-271-7794

Valley Forge Bicentennial Heliport (0P0)
Norristown, PA
Privately Owned, Public Use
Phone: 215-489-6011

Horsham Valley Airways Inc Heliport (N48)
Horsham, PA
Privately Owned, Public Use
Phone: 215-674-2100

Keystone Heliport (N02)
Exton, PA
Privately Owned, Public Use
Phone: 610-644-4430

Total Rf Heliport (00A)
Bensalem, PA
Publicly Owned, Public Use
Phone: 215-633-1000
Fax: 215-633-1083

These heliports are accessible to all helicopter companies throughout the Philadelphia area and convenient for all types of shooting.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) regulates parking in most commercial areas, and designated residential areas. They also operate 6 of the City’s more than 200 parking lots and garages.

On location parking arrangements for production vehicles ONLY, can be made through the Film Office with the cooperation of the Streets Department, the Police Department and the Parking Authority. The City of Philadelphia does not issue special parking permits for carte-blanche parking on City streets; however, arrangements can be made for short term parking. The Film Office can provide you with the pertinent information regarding such parking privileges.

When requesting on location parking arrangements, the following information is necessary in order for our office to expedite your request: Exactly where you would like to park; what street and what side of the street (east, west, north, south); what kind of signage is posted there; the actual number of vehicles you will have; what kind of vehicles and the license tag numbers of each. Requests for parking must be made at least two working days in advance.

Our office cannot guarantee any special arrangements or privileges for parking at or around a production office or hotel during an extended stay.

If you receive a ticket, and you have not made prior arrangements for parking through the Film Office or followed parking instructions, you will be expected to pay the appropriate fine within eight days to avoid a late penalty. If you receive a ticket and you have prior arrangements with the Film Office to be put on the PPA Daily List and were not in violation of any restrictions to that privilege, please contact the Film Office. If your vehicle is towed, you should contact the Parking Violations Branch at 913 Filbert Street, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Call (215) 561-3636.

he Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provides public transit and rail services in the five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania. It features an integrated network of  bus, trolley, subway elevated, high speed rail routes, commuter railroad and special ParaTransit service for disabled riders.

All requests for use of SEPTA equipment and/or facilities require advance notice in writing – at least four weeks for commuter trains, subway elevated trains and trolleys; and at least two weeks’ notice for buses and stations. SEPTA encourages the use of its system for production purposes. It is experienced in all phases of location pre-production and production.

The following is a listing of SEPTA vehicles and facilities with information and charges as they relate to film productions. The charter of SEPTA property does not grant the right to use that property in a reckless manner. (See Procurement for the lease of surplus property.)

All rates are effective July 1, 2012. There will be a 5% increase to the above rates each July 1 thereafter. Charges will be based on time from garage to point of origin, to point of destination, to point of origin, and return to garage.


Buses

SEPTA bus (40′) may be chartered (accessible to handicapped). Rate: (includes one operator) $886.00 for the first 4 hours, $248.00 per hour for each additional hour (or fraction thereof). There will be a cancellation charge of $264.00 for more than 2 hours’ notice, $396.00 for less than 3 hours’ notice and $534.00 if the bus has already left the garage before being given notice of the cancellation.  Deposit per bus is $396.00


Regional Rail

Complete control of a train is available on some lines Mondays through Saturdays between midnight and 5:00 a.m. and all day Sundays. All other charters will require the continuous movement of the train on the system, operated in accordance with the instructions from an assigned SEPTA supervisor. Use of the Paoli Line and 30th St. Station requires additional permission from Amtrak. Additional personnel will be charged accordingly.

Rail Vehicle Restrictions: Because rail vehicles operate on tracks with other rail vehicles, total control of a chartered rail vehicle is extremely limited. SEPTA usually requires at least two weeks’ notice prior to approving scenes involving rail vehicles.

For a 2-car train (includes engineer, conductor, supervisor) $3,053.00 for the first four hours, each additional car is $1,386.00 for the first 3 hours. After the initial 3 hours, each additional hour for a 2-car train is $847.00 and each additional hour (or fraction thereof) for each additional car is charged at a rate of $275.00 per hour or fraction thereof with no mileage charge. Additional personnel required will be charged accordingly. There will be a cancellation charge of $231.00 for more than 72 hours notice and $462.00 for less than 72 hours notice. Deposit per train is $462.00.


Trolleys

Rate: (includes one operator and one supervisor) $737.00 for the first 2 hours, $99.00 for each additional half hour (or fraction thereof). There will be a cancellation charge of $138.00 for more than 12 hours’ notice and $275.00 for less than 12 hours’ notice. Deposit per trolley is $275.00.


Subways and Elevated Trains

The Broad Street Line runs entirely underground between Fern Rock in North Philadelphia to Pattison Avenue (stadiums) in South Philadelphia. The Market Frankford Line runs between 69th Street Terminal in West Philadelphia to the Frankford Transportation Center (Bridge & Pratt Streets) in Northeast Philadelphia. It is underground in Center City and becomes an elevated train for approximately three miles at the western end and six miles at the eastern end of the line. There is also the Ridge Avenue Spur of the system, where, from Mondays through Saturdays, between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. and all day Sunday, a production company can control all movement. Very limited control of a train is available on the Market Frankford Line late at night. Chartered subway and elevated trains must be operated according to instructions from an assigned Supervisor.

Subway station scenes, with controlled movement of approximately two city blocks into and out of a station may be done at thePattison Avenuestation, providing there are no events taking place at the stadiums at the time. The Walnut-Locust Station may also be used for mainly stationary shots. Use of other stations subject to SEPTA approval.


Charges

Basic Train (3 cars Broad Street Subway and 4 cars Market Frankford Subway Elevated – includes one operator and one supervisor) $2,904.00 for the first 3 hours and $743.00 for each additional hour (or fraction thereof). Additional cars are $1,122.00 for the first 3 hours, $176.00 for each additional hour (or fraction thereof). Additional personnel required will be charged accordingly. There will be a cancellation charge of $231.00 for more than 72 hours’ notice and $462.00 for less than 72 hours’ notice. Deposit per train is $ 462.00.


High Speed Lines

Chartering for the Route 100 SEPTA High Speed Line, which operates from 69th Street Terminal toNorristown through picturesque countryside suburban settings, is available. Charter rates are same as the trolleys.


Regional Rail Lines

Complete control of a train is available on some lines Mondays through Saturdays between midnight and 5:00 A.M. and all day Sundays. All other charters will require the continuous movement of the train on the system, operated in accordance with instructions from an assigned SEPTA supervisor. Use of the Paoli Line and 30th St. Station requires additional permission from Amtrak. Additional personnel will be charged accordingly.


Rail Vehicle Restrictions

Because rail vehicles operate on tracks with other rail vehicles, total control of a chartered rail vehicle is extremely limited. SEPTA usually requires at least two weeks notice prior to approving scenes involving rail vehicles.


Vehicle Availability

All charters are dependent upon the availability of vehicles.


Facilities

The following facilities are available for film productions: Suburban Station, 150 Regional Rail Line Stations (Paoli Line stations require additional permission from Amtrak), 52 subway stations, 9 bus depots, 3 trolley depots (depots have side yards that may be used for productions)

SEPTA charges a flat fee for access to facilities and a legal agreement may be required. The Authority will specify appropriate insurances and SEPTA personnel required.


Interchanging Other Systems with SEPTA

It is possible to place non SEPTA equipment on SEPTA tracks and vice versa if the systems are compatible and if the track desired is still electrifiable. If the track is still able to be electrified, but not currently electrified, there will be considerable charges for labor required. A request of this sort will require a 30-day notice, additional legal paperwork and a general agreement between the two systems.

Right of way access fee for movement of a non SEPTA train over SEPTA right of way:

First 4 hours is $836.00, and each additional hour is $242.00. There is an electronic propulsion charge per train mile of $3.00. All rates are effective July 1, 2012. There will be a 5% increase to the above rates each July 1 thereafter.


  • B-Roll – A $500.00 fee is applicable when shooting B-roll.
  • Location Fee – A $2,000.00 fee is applicable when filming on SEPTA property.
  • Administrative Fees – SEPTA will charge a 15% administrative fee.

PLEASE NOTE:  The charters and their pertinent rates as described above ONLY apply to Commercial Film and Advertising requests and are not applicable for passenger charters.

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