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Transportation Details Released For World Meeting of Families & Papal Visit to Philadelphia

Transit News | July 1st, 2015

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 has been released.

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 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 taking 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

Walk, car pool or plan to get dropped off at train stations During the World Meeting of Families, SEPTA will operate all services on normal weekday schedules. During the Papal visit on September 26 and 27, service will be truncated drastically throughout the rail network to accommodate the events and maximize operational efficiency.

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.

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.

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 in Bucks County:

Warminster Line – Warminster Station
West Trenton Line – Woodbourne Station
Trenton Line – Croydon and Cornwells Heights Stations

Other SEPTA stations with pick-up only service:

Lansdale/Doylestown Line – Lansdale and Fort Washington Stations
Paoli/Thorndale Line – Paoli and Radnor Stations
Norristown/Manayunk Line – Norristown Transportation Center
Chesnut Hill West Line – Chestnut Hill West Station
Fox Chase Line – Fox Chase Station
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

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.

Other SEPTA Service Information:

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.

For information on service updates for Amtrak, NJ Transit, PATCO and Philadelphia International Airport go HERE.