With more than 1 million visitors expected to descend on Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families, the city's roads, rail lines, airport and other transit hubs will be busy places.
Transportation, city and event officials announced preliminary transportation information on Tuesday. The World Meeting of Families runs from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, with the largest crowds expected Saturday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 27.
Here's what you need to know about getting around the city during Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia and the rest of the event:
- Working with SEPTA and NJ Transit to optimize schedules.
- Advance reservations will be required on trains (like the Keystone and Northeast Corridor) that normally accept unreserved tickets.
- Passengers should book tickets as far in advance as possible.
- Weekday service will be normal, but subway, bus, trolley and Regional Rail service will be modified over the weekend of the event.
- Only 31 of the 282 rail stations will be open over the weekend for travel into Center City. Drop-off locations in Center City will be announced later.
- Trains will operate with express-type service.
- Stations that will be open for pick-up service are:
- A $10, three-day pass will be offered for travel on subways, buses and trolleys for Sept. 26 through Sept. 28. Tokens and regular passes will also be accepted.
- Regional Rail riders will need special, one-day passes on the Saturday and Sunday. The passes are expected to cost $10 for each day, will go on sale next month and must be purchased in advance.
- At least 26 bus routes will be have detours in Center City. Over the weekend, some routes may operate on weekday schedules.
- Regular weekend service on the Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line will not operate. Special tickets for different service options will be offered. More information will be released later this summer and ticket sales are also expected to begin in the summer.
- Express service will operate on the Saturday and Sunday between the 9th/10th and Locust streets station and four stations in New Jersey: Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ferry Avenue and Broadway/Camden/Walter Rand Transportation Center.
- Special fares will be in place, with daily passes costing $5.
- Officials are prepared for crowds about 10 to 20 percent larger than normal, akin to travel volume around Thanksgiving time.
- Those traveling by air should expect planes to be fuller than usual.
- People are discouraged from driving when possible, both in the city and to public transportation stations. Parking will be extremely limited around the city and near rail stations.
- People should be prepared for significant amounts of walking, up to a few miles.
- Full road-closure information will be announced later.
- Two public-service campaigns, called "Know Before You Go" and the "Papal Visit Playbook," will aim to educate visitors and residents about schedules, routes, maps and other information.