From its zero sales tax laws to its highly-rated schools to its charming neighborhoods, there are hundreds of reasons to live in Middletown, even when your work takes you out of state on a regular basis. In fact, for many Middletown residents, commuting to work in nearby cities like Philadelphia is a daily reality.
Whether you’re new to Middletown or new to a job in Philadelphia, it’s important to know your options and map out the best route for your needs. One of the advantages of the Middletown-Philadelphia commute is that there are several highways running between the two cities. This means you can easily check your phone map apps for the fastest route before heading to and coming home from work, and you can also change routes mid-commute if there’s an accident or another unexpected delay ahead.
By Car: DE-1 N and I-95 N
Commute Time: 1 hr 1 min on a Monday morning
1 Toll Road
One of the fastest routes by car from Middletown to Philadelphia is I-95. It’s fifty-nine miles and takes approximately just over an hour on a Monday morning, and you will encounter one toll road. If you’re starting from E Main St., you’ll head east toward N Cox St, continue onto DE-299 E/Middletown Odessa Rd, and merge left to turn onto DE-1 N (toll road). Stay on DE-1 N until you see signs for I-95 N toward Wilmington/Philadelphia (exit 165C).
You’ll stay on I-95 for most of your commute, then take exit 22 toward US-30 W/Central Phila, then merge onto I-676 W/US-30 W, then take the exit toward Pa 611/Broad Street/Central Phila. Finally, merge onto N 15th St and arrive at your destination.
Coming home on a Monday, this same route takes approximately 1 hr and 14 mins.
A Note on Tolls: For cash pay on a 2-axle vehicle, you can expect to pay a toll of $2.00 during the week and $6.00 on weekends for Delaware Route 1(although most locals take local Route 13 route below to bypass this toll, if time is of the essence then a few dollars can save you a few minutes). Use Delaware.gov’s toll calculator to list your entry and exit points, as well as your vehicle type, to calculate tolls more exactly.
By Car: I-95 N
Commute Time: 1 hr 7 min on a Monday morning
No Toll Roads
It’s also possible to take I-95 the whole way and avoid all toll roads. Since this route only marginally increases the commute time and saves on commuting expenses, it’s one of our favorites. Simply get on I-95 N from Summit Bridge Rd and follow it all the way to N 15th St in Philadelphia.
Coming home on a Monday, this same route takes approximately 1 hr and 18 mins.
By Car: US-13 N and I-95 N
Commute Time: 1 hr 7 min on a Monday morning
No Toll Roads
Depending on the traffic patterns of the day, you may have a faster route taking US-13 N to I-95, a route that also avoids tolls.
Coming home on a Monday, this same route takes approximately 1 hr and 16 mins.
By Car: DE-1 N and I-295 N
Commute Time: 1 hr 7 min on a Monday morning*
2 Toll Roads
While not ideal to take a route with two toll roads, it is smart to know your options for alternate routes in case there’s road work or an accident along I-95. This route allows you to avoid I-95 completely by taking DE-1 N (toll road) to I-295.
You’ll stay on I-295 until you hit exit 26 for I-76 Express toward I-676/Philadelphia/Camden. Merge onto I-76, then continue on I-676 and follow signs for Camden/B Franklin Bridge (toll road). Keep right to stay on I-676 W/US-30 W, and follow sings for Central Phila. Finally, take the exit toward Pa 611/Broad Street/Central Phila and merge onto N 15th St.
Coming home on a Monday, the I-295 route takes approximately 1 hr and 16 mins.
*Note that the time of this route was calculated during road construction.
A Note on Tolls: Tolls for Delaware Route 1 are $2.00 during the week and $6.00 on weekends for a standard 2-axle vehicle (cash pay). Delaware.gov’s toll calculator will help you determine costs more specifically for various entrance and exit points.
You’ll also run into a toll when crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia. Today, this toll is $5.00 when you’re crossing from Camden to Philadelphia.
Commute Time: between 2 and 3 hrs every Monday morning
There’s a reason we saved public transit route options for last. While public transportation from Middletown to Philadelphia and back is an option, it will lengthen your commute considerably. Instead of a commute by car that’s just over an hour, public transit will take you anywhere from two to three hours.
Of course, for those who love to use commute time to get up to speed with emails in the morning and finalize projects outside the office in the evening, taking public transportation may be the best solution, particularly if your office lets you work on the road and is flexible with on-site arrival time. The only drawback is that you’ll need to change lines two-to-three times, so you’ll need to become savvy with the set up and take down of your mobile work station.
Below are your options for a typical Monday morning:
- Depart 5:51am and arrive at 7:55am (2hrs and 4 mins). This route starts at the Amazon Distribution Center in Middletown. You’ll take 043 Odessa P & R to SR 299 at Odessa P & R (12 mins), then take 301 Wilmington to the Amtrack Station at ML King-French (31 mins), then take the Wilmington/Newark line 9212 Center City Philadelphia (49 mins) and arrive at the 30th Street Station.
- Depart at 6:36am and arrive at 8:48am (2hrs 12 min). Starting at the Amazon Distribution Center, take 302 Newark Station to Newark Train STA (45 mins), then take Wilmington/Newark Line 2716 Center City Philadelphia (1 hr 11 mins) to 30th Street Station.
- Depart at 7:35am and arrive at 9:58am (2hrs 23 mins). From the Amazon Distribution Center, take 043 Express - Odessa P & R to SR 299 at Odessa P & R (11 mins), then take 301 Wilmington to the Amtrack Station at ML King-French (34 mins), then take Vermonter 56 St. Albans Amtrack Station from Wilmington Station to the 30th Street Station (22 mins).
Please note that there are many other options, but the above are the most time-efficient. Route options on the commute home are very similar but are a little easier on the timeline, with best route options departing Philadelphia at 4:54 pm and arriving 6:14pm for a total of 1 hr and 20 mins, taking Silver Meteor, 301, and 043.
All route information is courtesy of Google Maps.