I'm very happy to arrive at this forum, where a lot of people are discussing interesting subjects regarding Philadelphia, where I'm a resident since January, 2012.
I will start with a briefly introduction about myself. I'm from Brazil and I'm a study abroad student. Since the scholarship that I got there was responsible for my allocation here at USA, I was not able to choose where to go, so I arrived here to study at Temple University knowing almost nothing about the city.
Coming from a emerging country (or "third world" if you prefer), it is natural to expect that all the public services here would be better than what I'm usually to see on my home country. Overall, it is obvious that the organization, cleanness, efficiency and security impressions here exceeds what we have there. But I must say that, after taking my first step inside Broad Street Line on my second day here, I was negatively impressed with what I experienced.
I never imagined that I important and big city like here would have a subway so poorly maintained and "scary" as here. The violence level at Philly is probably lower than any big city in Brazil, but I felt very uncomfortable ridding SEPTA subway on the first weeks or months here (and I still feel it sometimes). I don't understand why the city is not investing on modernizing it and make public transportation more attractable to the majority of the population. In the biggest cities of Brazil (Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) we have subway lines that are constantly renovated and used not only by students or lower-class families, but for a large amount of workers that sees public transportation as a faster and more economic alternative way to move around the city.
I really would like to spend more time here, but unfortunately I need to go back to Brazil by the end of this semester, leaving a lot of good impressions of my stay here. Unfortunately, not about the subway lines (that I need to use almost daily).