SEPTA Offers Optimism, Map for Pope’s Visit

"This is an easy event to get to, and I don't want anyone to regret skipping it."

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“Nothing gets you closer to the pope than SEPTA.”

Those were the exact words of SEPTA general manager Joseph M. Casey during a Thursday briefing, and he backed it up with some stats. He said all of SEPTA’s dropoff locations were within a 2-mile walk of what’s now being called the “Francis Festival Grounds.” Pope Francis arrives here for the end of the World Meeting of Families on September 26th and 27th.

“None of these distances are marathon walks,” Casey said. “When you exit 30th Street [Station], you can actually see the Art Museum… we hope you use SEPTA to see the pope.” The longest

Casey also said there are still more than 100,000 Regional Rail passes available available for $10. They are currently on sale at departure stations. Casey said that “there’s plenty of capacity out there.” Norristown High-Speed Line passes are available at 69th Street Terminal.

Groups interested in bulk purchases of SEPTA pope passes should contact SEPTA to make arrangements. Casey said SEPTA has 23,000 parking spaces around Regional Rail stations in the suburbs.

“We want people within the region to know this is a historic event, it’s easy to get here, it’s not going to be the long waits and long walks that have previously been reported,” Casey said. “This is an easy event to get to, and I don’t want anyone to regret skipping it.”

SEPTA had already announced it will run Regional Rail trains on a weekend schedule (skipping Suburban Station) the two days before Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia (Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th). On those two days, the El and Broad Street Line will run on regular schedules, but skip the 15th Street/City Hall stop. West Philly trolleys will run the same, skipping 15th.

Here’s the map the transit agency unveiled today: