Pope’s Visit Will Disrupt NJ Transit, Too

Officials say they can only meet a fraction of expected demand.

NJ Transit RiverLine

Photo of the RiverLine by Adam E. Moreira via Wikimedia Commons used under a Creative Commons license

NJ Transit announced today it would not operate regular service in the Philadelphia area on either day of Pope Francis’ visit to the city in September. All bus lines headed toward Philadelphia from Camden will be cancelled when the Ben Franklin Bridge closes. The Atlantic City Line and the Trenton-Camden RiverLine will operate with special schedules, and are expected to be at maximum capacity.

Special tickets for papal pilgrims heading into the city on September 26th and 27th will go on sale at noon on Saturday.

“NJ TRANSIT will accommodate as many passengers as its system safely allows,” NJ Transit executive director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim said in a release. “Unfortunately, these safety and capacity limitations mean only a fraction of the anticipated passenger demand can be met. We have put forth a transportation plan that will get as many people as possible, as close as possible to Philadelphia, all with an eye on safety.”

NJT will sell 4,140 tickets on the Atlantic City Line, operating express trips from the Atlantic City terminal to Philadelphia on the hour starting at 6 a.m. each day. Afterward, trains will run back to Atlantic City on the hour starting at 10 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Buses will run for those needing to travel to any of the stations between Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

The RiverLine will make stops at Bordentown, Florence, Burlington South, Route 73/Pennsauken, Pennsauken Transit Center and the Walter Rand Transportation Center. Bus service will replace the stops the RiverLine doesn’t make.

All bus routes that usually go to Center City Philadelphia will end at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden. Buses will run normally outbound from Camden.

Oh, yeah, and the executive director will be at Walter Rand later today and then will walk all the way to the Art Museum. “It’s also important to note for people new to our system and especially our regular customers that this will not be a typical weekend travel experience, and we urge everyone to plan accordingly,” Hakim said in a statement.

Tickets go on sale Saturday.