SEPTA “Pope Pass” on Sale Now: How to Get One
UPDATE [10:58 a.m.]: SEPTA has announced that it is suspending sales of the one-day pope passes for the day due to technical difficulties. It will provide news tomorrow morning about when sales will resume.
UPDATE [9:50 a.m.]: The SEPTA Pope Pass site is apparently experiencing technical difficulties:
.@SEPTA is working on resolving technical difficulties with Pope Pass E-Commerce Site. Please stand by.
— SEPTA MediaRelations (@SEPTANews) July 20, 2015
ORIGINAL: SEPTA may have pushed the Secret Service to be less secretive about how people will get into and out of town for Pope Francis’ visit on Sept. 26th and 27th, but it’s kept the workings of the website for ordering the special one-day Regional Rail passes, www.septa.org/papalvisitphilly, under tight wraps.
Until this morning, when the site went live at 9 a.m. So, like all of you, we just got a chance to take it for a test run.
Here’s what you will find when you visit the site
- A lengthy description of what services will be operating from what stations and what fare instruments are required to use the service. The short version: You must purchase a special pass to ride Regional Rail or the suburban trolley and rapid transit lines (Norristown High-Speed Line and Routes 101 and 102). You’ll need a one-day pass for Saturday and/or Sunday to ride regional rail. You’ll need a three-day pass to ride suburban trolley and rapid transit lines. The three-day passes required to ride the Norristown High-Speed Line and Routes 101 and 102 will not go on sale for another week. The same three-day pass will also let you ride city transit services (Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines, trolleys and buses), but these will not be required to board those transit services in the city.
- Warnings about what to expect when using Regional Rail or the other transit services that will be running that day. The short version: If you’re riding Regional Rail, have someone drop you off and pick you back up at the station where you will be boarding, for the parking lots will fill quickly. Be prepared to walk a lot once you’re in Center City. (Click here for more information on which stations will be in service during the pope’s visit.)
- A link to the page where you may purchase the one-day passes (and the three-day passes starting July 27). Both regular fare passes ($10) and reduced-fare passes for eligible riders ($5) are available. There’s a limit of 10 regular-fare passes and one reduced-fare pass per purchase, and you may purchase passes for only one station and travel slot per transaction. All major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) are accepted for purchase.
- A link to a page with Frequently Asked Questions about the papal visit passes.
The good news? At least in the early going, the pages load quickly and the purchase process is simple: pick your station, pick your travel slot, enter the number of passes you want, click “Add to cart” and provide the rest of the information you would normally provide for an online purchase.
The bad news? Total pass sales and sales per station will be capped. Once the limit per station and time slot is reached, the page will inform you that sales have ended for that slot.
Good luck, and get cracking to make sure you get your passes in time. They will be mailed to you in three to four weeks (slightly longer for international addresses).
Previously: Here’s What the SEPTA “Pope Pass” Will Look Like