Update: SEPTA said early Tuesday it had received 38,013 entries. The number of passes requested should be known later in the day.
SEPTA's papal pass lottery attracted a steady stream of buyers Monday, but it appeared there would be unsold Regional Rail passes left when the lottery closed just before midnight.
That was a big shift from SEPTA's first try to sell passes online, on a first-come, first-served basis, last month. An electronic stampede for passes forced SEPTA to halt sales within minutes of opening the website July 20 because it crashed.
After tallying the results of Monday's lottery, SEPTA will decide next week or later how to sell any remaining passes. SEPTA plans to sell about 175,000 passes for each of the two days of Pope Francis' September visit at $10 each, with discounted $5 passes available for seniors and persons with disabilities.
As of 10 p.m. Monday, 33,976 people had entered the online site to order passes for Sept. 26 and 27.
Each person could order as many as 10 passes for each day, but SEPTA officials did not know Monday evening how many passes had been ordered.
Would-be buyers had until 11:59 p.m. Monday to order. All registrants had the same chance to secure papal transit passes, no matter what time they signed up, officials said.
Those whose orders for passes were successful will be contacted Thursday, transit officials said.
In the new system, lottery winners will be notified by e-mail and will have three days to pay for their passes. The passes will be mailed two to three weeks later.
If winners don't pay for their passes after three days, the passes will be offered to unsuccessful lottery entrants.
If not all passes are sold from Monday's orders, "we have not decided what to do," SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said. "They may sell out at some stations but not others. There are a lot of unknowns at this time."
She said it would be "the middle of next week, at the earliest," before SEPTA would decide what to do with any unsold passes.
Only the special papal visit passes will be honored on Regional Rail trains the weekend of the pope's visit.
SEPTA plans to announce details this week on its plans to sell three-day papal passes for subways, trolleys, and buses.