Buses and RVs Will Be Allowed on Restricted Roads During Pope Visit

Authorities say drivers must register their multi-passenger vehicles to participate in "Go Ground" program.

go ground

The website for the “Go Ground” program.

Buses, RVs and other multi-passenger vehicles will be allowed to access restricted roadways during the pope’s visit next month, transportation officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Those vehicles will have to be registered ahead of time for clearance by Homeland Security, but authorities say the “Go Ground” program should help ease travel into and out of Philadelphia during the big weekend, particularly along I-76, the Schuylkill Expressway, which will otherwise be largely closed to traffic.

“We are pleased to accommodate the anticipated domestic travelers making plans to charter buses in preparation of Pope Francis’ visit,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a statement. 

According to that statement:

Buses registered with the World Meeting of Families, including motor coaches, school buses, mini buses, RVs and passenger vans (8 – 14 passengers), will receive appropriate placards to ensure ease of access and travel in and out of Philadelphia starting Saturday, September 26 through Sunday, September 27.

Bus registration for the Papal Visit is a requirement and all commercial and private operators are urged to register at wmof.goground.com prior to the deadline of Monday, August 31, 2015. Parishes using their own buses must register as the operator. Buses coming to the Congress of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Tuesday, September 22 through Friday, September 25 do not need to register with GO GROUND.

Parking spaces for buses are still available, but will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Those groups who have already registered with GO GROUND will receive information about their parking locations as soon as assignments are made.

Deadline to register with the program is August 31st. Registration can be done online at the World Meeting of Families website. 

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