Why the Broad Street Line Was the Star of SEPTA’s Pope Weekend Service

Waiting at Broad Street. Photo | SEPTA

Waiting at Broad Street. Photo | SEPTA

So how well did SEPTA handle moving the masses in town for Francis Festival Weekend?

About as well as it’s ever handled any large crowd. Better, in fact, than the last few times it’s had upward of 100,000 people to move into and out of a small area.

“We learned the lessons of the Phillies parade,” SEPTA director of media relations Jerria Williams said. And so it had, both on the moving-the-people and the keeping-them-calm end. Read more »

Photos: Mass Exodus After Pope Francis’s Parkway Mass

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mass exodus on the Parkway. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Following Pope Francis’s massive Mass on the parkway, a whole lot of people have found themselves making their way home, or to their hotels, or AirBnBs, or couch stays and the like. Jeff Fusco captured the scene at Broad and Walnut, and reports that crowds at Broad and Spring Garden station were also large. Bradley Maule caught the crowds at 30th Street Station.

SEPTA has some helpful tips for  the commute home, but first suggest: Perhaps you might grab a bite because you may be waiting a while otherwise:  Read more »

It’s Shockingly Easy to Get Into Philly Right Now

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

For months now, the unfortunate message has been that visiting Philly this weekend will be a logistical nightmare.

But it’s not. Not yet anyway. Getting into Center City is a relative piece of cake. The highways — those that are open anyway — are empty. Volume on most boulevards into town is extraordinarily light. And SEPTA and PATCO are both reporting far lighter-than-expected crowds.

True story: I just drove from Delaware County to West Philly, where I parked a car at 38th and Market Streets, and then strolled downtown. It was like driving into town early on a Sunday morning. Here was the scene on my way in at Chestnut and Farragut (between 46th and 47th).

Chestnut and 46th, around 11:30. | Photo by Patrick Kerkstra

Chestnut and 46th, around 11:30 a.m. | Photo by Patrick Kerkstra

Read more »

Pope Traffic and Transit: What You Need to Know for Friday

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

6 p.m.: Francis Festival Zone traffic restrictions and road closures go into effect in Center City and adjacent areas east of the Schuylkill. If you drive your car outside of the fetival zone after this time, you won’t be able to drive it back until the morning of Monday, September 28.

6 p.m.: As per SEPTA, if your car is parked at a Regional Rail station that is open this weekend, it MUST BE REMOVED by 6 p.m. tonight to avoid being towed.

10 p.m.: Francis Festival traffic restrictions and road closures go into effect in University City. If you drive your car outside the festival zone after this time, you won’t be able to drive it back in until the morning of Monday, September 28.

The roads and bridges that will close tonight at 10 p.m.: Read more »

ACLU and Mazzoni Center Join City in Filing Brief Against SEPTA

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mazzoni Center joined the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations in filing a brief last Thursday to the State’s Supreme Court, asking to overturn the Commonwealth Court’s August 7 ruling in favor of SEPTA. That ruling indicated that SEPTA was not subject to Philadelphia’s city ordinance which bans discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more »

SEPTA Unveils New Interactive Pope Map

SEPTA has released a new, interactive map for people who are traveling on Regional Rail lines on September 26th and 27th, the weekend Pope Francis in in town.

The tool provides information about station locations, directions, on-site parking, bike racks, pedestrian pathways, drop-off points, road closures and more.

It’s a little janky at first: To access it, you have to click on a specific Regional Rail station on this map, and then you’re directed to an interactive map (see below). At that point, though, it’s pretty useful. Read more »

SEPTA Doubles Number of El, Broad Street Subway Stops for Pope Visit

SEPTA Pope Stops - El and BSL

Map of papal stop visits courtesy of SEPTA (click to enlarge)

SEPTA announced today it has doubled the number of stops on the Broad Street Subway and Market-Frankford El that will be open for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia on September 26th and 27th.

“SEPTA is doing everything possible to make public transportation convenient and efficient during the Papal Visit,” SEPTA GM Joseph Casey said in a statement. He added that SEPTA was able to finalize its schedule for the papal visit now that more information was available. Read more »

Eastern Half of The Gallery to Shutter in October


Officials from SEPTA and PATCO confirmed today that PREIT plans to shut down the eastern half of the Gallery mall on October 2nd, as the developer commences with the first phase of its $325 million vision that will eventually see it become the glossy Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

Jeff Gammage of The Inquirer reports that PREIT notified both SEPTA and PATCO officials of the announcement today via hand-delivered letter, which outlined the PREIT’s plan: “The first stage of demolition at the three-block mall will take place between Eighth and 10th Streets. A barricade will block access to the east, and to the stairs and escalator at 10th, which now usher people up to ground level at Market Street.”

The second phase includes work on the western portion of the mall to 11th Street, and is anticipated to begin in 2016.

So, will it be a long, cold winter for the thousands of commuters who prefer to make their way to and from Center City through the warm concourse of The Gallery?

Read more »

SEPTA Increasing Train Service for Made in America

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Center City will be a mess this weekend, with thousands of revelers heading to the Parkway for the 2015 Made in America Festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday. To keep things running as smoothly as possible, SEPTA has announced it will increase train and rail service throughout the weekend. They’ve also released information about any interrupted routes so you don’t get on a detoured bus.

Read more »

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