PHILADELPHIA – SEPTA’s Regional Rail service for the Papal Visit is a great way for local residents and visitors to get close to the Papal Visit events on Sept. 26-27. The enhanced service plan with increased capacity also provides room for those who need to travel into the Center City area for work that weekend.
Service will be available to Center City from 18 outlying stations, which will allow SEPTA to run express-type inbound service every half-hour in the morning to the events. For most travelers, SEPTA stations in Center City will provide the closest access to the Papal Visit event venues. All rail drop-off stations are located within the Francis Festival Grounds, and a walk of less than two miles will get riders to the center of many Papal Visit activities in and around Logan Circle on the Ben Franklin Parkway and Independence Mall.
“If you’re coming into Center City during the Papal Visit weekend, come on SEPTA,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “We’d be pleased to have you hop on our trains and let us bring you down to see the Pope.”
Those who plan to use Regional Rail for Papal Visit travel are encouraged to be dropped off at one of the open outlying stations. In addition, SEPTA is working with local officials, businesses and other organizations to offer additional parking at or near these stations. To date, these partners have identified and secured approximately 23,000 parking spaces. Details on these parking options will be released next week, after plans are finalized.
New Airport Line Service Details
The Airport Line is the only Regional Rail line that will operate inbound and outbound both days. Airport Line trains will operate every 30 minutes.
Passengers arriving on flights will be able to buy $10 One Day Papal Passes in airport terminals. Airport Line trains will stop in Center City at Jefferson and University City Stations. Local residents and other visitors traveling to Center City to see the pope can pay to park in an airport lot; those with pre-purchased One Day Papal Passes will get priority boarding between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
After 8 a.m., pre-purchased tickets and weekly and month passes that are normally valid for Airport Line travel will be accepted. Riders must have tickets and passes ahead of time – there will be no ticket sales on board trains. Airport employees commuting to work, as well as those traveling to catch a flight, will be able to board at Jefferson and University City Stations. Trains will not stop at Eastwick, 30th Street or Suburban stations.
One Day Regional Rail Passes for the Papal Visit
For those using all other Regional Rail lines for travel during the Papal Visit, $10 One Day Regional Rail passes must be pre-purchased.
In person sales continue at or near the 18 outlying stations that will be open during the Papal Visit. Passes are also being sold in Center City at Jefferson and Suburban Stations. Individuals can purchase up to 10 passes for each day, while quantities last. Groups and organizations interested in bulk sales can email SEPTA at [email protected]
So far, SEPTA has sold approximately 110,000 One Day Regional Rail passes for the Papal Visit. This includes nearly 50,000 for Saturday, which is more than double normal Saturday Regional Rail ridership, and another 60,000 for Sunday – more than triple normal ridership.
SEPTA appreciates the assistance of local firm Ticketleap with the successful online Regional Rail Papal Pass lottery sales campaign earlier this month. The lottery, along with Ticketleap’s work in identifying duplicate and fraudulent entries, helped to ensure the passes were made available to those who wanted to attend the Papal Visit events.
For more information on pass sales and SEPTA’s service plan for the Papal Visit, go to https://www.septa.org/papalvisitphilly.