Will Philly’s Bike Share Shut Down During the Pope’s Visit?

It could be a great way to get around the city, but an influx of users might also damage the brand-new service. Officials are not ready to announce their plans.

Photo via Indego

Photo via Indego

There are a lot of unanswered questions about Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia on September 26th and 27th: Where will the so-called “security perimeter” be located? Will the Ben Franklin Bridge shut down? Will I-95 be closed?!?

We have another query to add to the list (sorry, Mayor Nutter): Will the city’s Indego bike share program be open for business the World Meeting of Families or not?

On one hand, it would be great if it was up and running. Though all of the details have not yet been released, we know that SEPTA service will be limited and traffic will be restricted when Pope Francis is in town, so there’s no doubt that it will be difficult to travel then. One to two million people are expected to hike to Philly to see the Cool Pope. It would be awfully convenient if some of them could jump on an Indego bike to get around that weekend.

On the other hand, Philly’s bike share program just launched this April and it would suffer a lot of wear and tear in a short period of time if it was open during the pope’s visit. Plus, many of the city’s streets will be so jam-packed with people that cyclists likely won’t be able to ride on them anyway.

Kiera Smalls, Indego’s community relations manager, says the program is not ready to make any announcements about its plans during the pope’s visit.

“We don’t have official word on what our scope of services will be, if available,” she said.

She added, “Most public transportation services will be affected, including Indego. Once we learn more and figure out details, the Mayor’s [Press Office] will make an official announcement. We are hoping to have the final details in the coming weeks.”

As soon as we find out whether the city’s bike share service will be open, closed or just scaled back during the World Meeting of Families, we’ll let you know.

Follow @HollyOtterbein on Twitter.