Philadelphia, June 16, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City and agency officials announced preliminary information about public transportation options during the World Meeting of Families convening, September 22-25, 2015, and the weekend of the Papal Visit, September 26-27, 2015.
“At this point, we are about three months away from hosting the largest event in this City’s history,” said Mayor Nutter. “We wanted to begin sharing information with residents and business owners as soon as possible so that they can begin making arrangements for this week, whether they plan to attend any of the World Meeting of Families events or just need to go about their daily routines. Make no mistake, the City of Philadelphia will have the world’s attention, and we are doing our part to be as prepared and coordinated as possible.”
With more than 1.5 million people expected for the Papal Visit on Saturday and Sunday, and substantial crowds for the World Meeting of Families convening during the week, it is critical for visitors and residents to understand the logistics involved in getting into Center City Philadelphia. Travelers should keep in mind:
- Be prepared to walk to your destination after debarking transit—up to a couple of miles
- Private vehicles will not be a viable transportation option
- Public transportation routes and schedules will be vastly altered for efficiency and capacity
- Continue to check WorldMeeting2015.org for transportation updates and sign up to receive the Papal Visit Playbook, a guide for residents and visitors to navigate Center City neighborhoods during the event.
During the World Meeting of Families convening, September 22-25, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will operate all services on normal weekday schedules. During the Papal Visit on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, service will be truncated drastically throughout the rail network to accommodate the events and maximize operational efficiency.
SEPTA will reduce the number of stations that will be used from the usual 282 to 31 on its Regional Rail, Market-Frankford Line subway/elevated, Broad Street Line subway, trolley lines and Norristown High Speed Line. (The 31 stations are boarding locations only and are shown as blue dots on the SEPTA system map attached.) Event drop-off locations in Center City will be announced at a later date.
City officials urge those who will take SEPTA to plan ahead. Regular riders who rely on SEPTA for daily commuting will likely be severely impacted by the adjustments made to accommodate event attendees and should plan accordingly.
A special $10, three-day SEPTA transit pass, valid from Saturday, September 26 through Monday, September 28, will be sold for travel on subways, buses and trolleys. Standard SEPTA passes and tokens can also be used on these transit modes. For Regional Rail, a one-day special event pass valid for Saturday, and another valid for Sunday, will be sold for $10 each in advance. Only those riders with the pre-purchased special event passes will be permitted to ride Regional Rail. Quantities for sale will be limited to the number of riders SEPTA can carry on the vehicles in operation. No passes will be sold on the day of the event.
The following is a summary of the major service adjustments SEPTA is planning to make for the weekend of the Papal Visit, September 26-27:
Regional Rail: SEPTA will maximize service capabilities by shrinking the railroad. The number of stations served will be significantly reduced and trains will operate express-type, pick-up only service to the event from 18 select outlying stations. Similarly, post-event service will express from Center City Philadelphia to the selected outlying stations.
At this time, SEPTA plans to operate pick-up only service at these specific stations:
- Paoli/Thorndale Line – Paoli and Radnor Stations
- Norristown/Manayunk Line – Norristown Transportation Center
- Chesnut Hill West Line – Chestnut Hill West Station
- Lansdale/Doylestown Line – Lansdale and Fort Washington Stations
- Warminster Line – Warminster Station
- West Trenton Line – Woodbourne Station
- Fox Chase Line – Fox Chase Station
- Trenton Line – Croydon and Cornwells Heights Stations
- Media/Elywn Line – Media and Primos Stations
- Wilmington/Newark Line – Wilmington and Marcus Hook Stations
- Airport Line – Terminals C & D, Terminal B and Eastwick Station
Market-Frankford Line: Similar to Regional Rail, pick-up only service will be available westbound from Frankford Transportation Center and the Girard Avenue Station; eastbound pick-up only service will operate from 69th Street Transportation Center and 52nd Street Station, with drop-offs at yet-to-be-determined Center City stations. After the event, service will express back to the outlying stations. Riders will not be able to board or exit the Market-Frankford Line from any other stations.
Broad Street Line: Pick-up service will operate northbound from AT&T Station only; southbound pick-up service will be available at Fern Rock Transportation Center and the Cecil B. Moore Station, with drop-offs at yet-to-be-determined Center City stations. Riders will not be able to board or exit the Board Street Line from any of the other stations.
Trolley: Operating normal service: Route 15 Service from 63rd & Girard; Route 11 and 13 service from Darby Transportation Center; Route 34 Trolley service from 61st & Baltimore; Route 36 Service from 60th & Eastwick. There will also be service from a limited number of stations on the Norristown High Speed Line and Route 101 Media and Route 102 Sharon Hill Trolley Lines.
Bus: At least 26 buses in the Center City and surrounding areas will be on detours due to street closures. Select bus routes will operate on weekday schedules throughout the weekend to accommodate ridership increases.
SEPTA will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.septa.org.
Amtrak is prepared to move significant numbers of people into and out of Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families convening. Amtrak officials are working closely with partners at SEPTA and New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) to optimize schedules and accommodate as many people as possible. Amtrak will monitor and adjust seat inventory as needed as the World Meeting of Families approaches. Officials encourage passengers to book tickets as far in advance as possible, and based on those bookings Amtrak will add coaches – and possibly even operate extra trains – as necessary. All Amtrak trains will require reservations the weekend of the Papal visit. Passengers will not be permitted to purchase tickets on board trains.
Amtrak will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.amtrak.com.
Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) officials are looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for the World Meeting of Families convening and the Papal Visit. PHL expects a significant increase in the number of national and international travelers arriving in the days and weeks leading up to the event. PHL officials are working closely with partners at SEPTA to ensure that passengers and employees are able to travel to and from the Airport.
PHL will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.phl.org.
NJ TRANSIT officials are developing a transportation plan for the World Meeting of Families convening and Papal Visit that will accommodate as many customers as possible, recognizing the physical constraints of the system. However, there are key pieces of information that customers planning to use NJT need to know as it will not be a typical weekend travel experience.
NJ TRANSIT’s regular weekend service on the Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line will NOT operate on September 26-27. NJ TRANSIT will offer special tickets targeted specifically for the different service options that will be available. Those tickets will go on sale later this summer. No one will be allowed to board without a special ticket – passengers will not be permitted to purchase tickets on board trains.
NJ TRANSIT will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.njtransit.com.
The Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) will provide express, non-stop service westbound to Center City Philadelphia on September 26-27 between each of the following four New Jersey stations and 9th/10th & Locust Streets station:
- Ferry Avenue
- Broadway/Camden/ Walter Rand Transportation Center
Passengers can board only at these four stations and all passengers will disembark at 9th/10th & Locust Streets station in Philadelphia. There will be no PATCO service or operations at any station other than those above.
For the return trip eastbound to New Jersey, trains will depart 9th/10th & Locust Streets station and stop only at the stations listed above.
Special fares will be in effect on September 26-27. A one-day pass will cost $5.00 and a two-day pass will cost $10.00. Customers who have FREEDOM cards will be able to pay $2.50 for a one-way single ride. FREEDOM card one-day and two-day passes can be purchased prior to the dates of travel, beginning in mid-July.
There are spaces for approximately 3,300 cars at the PATCO Lindenwold station, 1,900 spaces at PATCO Ferry Avenue station and 2,700 spaces at PATCO Woodcrest station. PATCO does not offer parking spaces at the PATCO Broadway station in Camden. Passengers should expect parking spaces to fill quickly. Broadway-Camden serves as the transfer point for New Jersey Transit buses and the RiverLINE at Walter Rand Transportation Center.
PATCO will provide complete service information and updates on its website, www.ridepatco.org.