The Pennsylvania Convention Center is the location for Philly's first FEMA vaccination site

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Central location is one of the reasons FEMA’s first Philadelphia mass vaccination site opened at the Pa. Convention Center.

Most of the 250,000-plus people signed up at the city’s vaccine registry are eagerly awaiting the required invitation to schedule a visit. But even though the event space-turned-vax clinic is among the most accessible spots in the city, many people don’t go often enough to be familiar with the routes.

So what’s the best way to get there? And how should people with limited mobility navigate the space?

The Convention Center is reachable on several public transit lines. It’s also close to many garages — plus the PPA relaxed on-street enforcement to make parking easier. The city has also expanded CCT, its door-to-door transit service for seniors and people with disabilities.

Philadelphia’s four other vaccine clinics, scattered in the city’s residential neighborhoods and each open a couple days each week, are also SEPTA accessible.

If you’ve scored an appointment and are prepping for your first dose, here are some tips on how to get to the FEMA site, aka the Center City Vaccination Center.

If you want to take SEPTA

Fortunately there are plenty of public transit options to get you to the Convention Center. It’s accessible via both of Philly’s subway lines — hop off the Broad Street Line at Race-Vine and walk east, or the Market Frankford Line at 11th and head north.

The pop-up clinic is also reachable by at least 12 SEPTA bus routes: the 17, 23, 33, 38, 44, 45, 47, 47M, 48, 61 and 62 will all get you within a few blocks of the Convention Center.

If you want to take Regional Rail, hop on and ride to Jefferson Station.

Pro-tip: SEPTA is free for people age 65 and up, and half price if you have a physical disability. (For the latter, you’ll need a SEPTA-issued photo ID. You can make a same-day appointment to get one at SEPTA HQ at 12th and Market.)

If you want to drive

Using your own wheels is also an option. Center City parking can be an irritating experience. But the Convention Center is surrounded by several parking garages where you can store your car while you’re getting immunized:

  • The Autopark at the Fashion District: $5 for two hours
    45 N. 10th Street, 19107
  • Parkway Broad and Race Garage: $10 for two hours
    150 N. Broad Street, 19102
  • Parkway 12th & Filbert Garage: $10 for two hours
    1201 Filbert Street, 19107

More good news for drivers: while the vaccine clinic is running, the Philadelphia Parking Authority won’t ticket if your parking meter has expired on certain blocks:

  • 11th, 12th, 13th and Broad between Race and Arch
  • On Race between 11th and Broad
  • On Arch between 11th and Broad

There are some exceptions, which will be marked by additional “No Parking” signs, per the city. Do not park on these blocks:

  • Arch Street, from 11th to 13th
  • 12th Street, from Race to Arch
  • 13th Street, from Race to Arch
  • 11th Street, from Market to Arch

If you’re looking for an accessible option

For trips to get vaccinated, SEPTA and the city stepped in to temporarily expand CCT service, the public transit option that seniors and people with disabilities can schedule to go directly from their home to their destination.

As of March 9, Philly residents who are 65+ or have a physical disability can call 311 to schedule transport to the clinic — even if you didn’t previously register with the CCT system.

SEPTA advises calling to schedule a pickup 72 hours in advance. When you travel to the Convention Center for your first shot, you can schedule the next trip for your second dose in person.

The designated CCT drop-off is at 100 N. 12th St. Pickup after getting the jab is at 1101 Arch St..

While on site, you shouldn’t have to worry about accessibility. The immunizations happen on the first floor — so no stairs to navigate. While you’re in line, you can ask staff for mobility assistance. And should you need one, there are wheelchairs available to borrow while you’re there.

If you’re going to the city’s other vaccine clinics

The city’s running four additional community vaccine clinics. If you get invited to any of these, here are some tips on getting there:

MLK Older Adult Center

2101 Cecil B. Moore Ave., 19121

Both SEPTA’s 3 and 33 bus routes will get you within a block of this North Philly rec center. If those aren’t near you, you can take the Broad Street Line to the Cecil B. Moore stop, which will drop you about seven blocks away — and connect you to a stop for Route 3.

Community Academy

1100 E Erie Ave., 19124

Hop on the Market Frankford Line and ride to Tioga Station, which will put you about a half-mile walk from Community Academy. Erie-Torresdale Station is also good — just a couple minutes farther away.

Prefer the bus? Routes 56 and 89 will get you close, too.

Drexel Behrakis Hall

3210 Chestnut St., 19104

The Market Frankford Line’s 30th Street Stop is just a few blocks from the Drexel clinic. You can also grab the Route 34 trolley, or the 21 or 49 buses.

University of the Sciences

600 S 43rd St, 19104

The Route 11 and 13 trolleys will get you very close to this clinic at 42nd and Woodland.

Michaela Winberg is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She covers LGBTQ people and culture, public spaces, and transportation and mobility. She also sometimes produces radio and web features...