Officials: Make plans now ahead of NFL Draft, Penn Relays

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Officials: Make plans to get around for NFL Draft, Penn Relays. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 12pm on April 25. (WPVI)

With two big events coming to Philadelphia this week, transit officials are urging you to make plans now if you need to get around.

A total of 300,000 people are expected to be in town between the two events.

The Ben Franklin Parkway was shut down on Monday night to make room for the final preparations for the draft.

Commuters found travel in the area increasingly tough.

"It's organized chaos, I guess. They're trying to do the best, but you just have to allow for extra time," said Donna Merrill of Plymouth Meeting.

"Using a car or Uber from here has basically been a no-no for the last week. So it's basically been 'bike in the rain' season," said Scott Elfenbein.

The start of the NFL draft Thursday coincides with the Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

With 200,000 people expected for the draft, and as many as 100,000 people expected for the Penn Relays, SEPTA says the best way to get around will be public transportation, whether or not you're taking part in the special events.

"Travel will be heavy so make plans now, don't wait until Thursday," said SEPTA's General Manager, Jeffrey Knueppel.

Extra trains will operate on the Regional Rail, Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines to accommodate fans heading to the draft Thursday and Friday.

SEPTA says they have taken what they've learned from other special events in the city, like the papal visit, to help form their plans.

"The railroad is an example. Instead of saying we're going to run an extra train on a certain line, we might not need it there. So we will have an extra train and crew available to be able to react to where potential crowding situations can occur," said Ron Hopkins of SEPTA.

Keep in mind, there will be regular weekday volume on Thursday and Friday and parking will be at a premium.

Free parking will be available at the festival pier lot beginning Wednesday, and at the sports complex beginning 3 p.m. Thursday. You can board from there.

"The travel time from AT&T Station to City Hall Station is 10 minutes. It's a great way of parking for the subway and coming to the event," said Hopkins.

SEPTA police will be adding uniformed and plainclothes officers to help managed the heavy crowds expected.

See the full list of road closures, parking restrictions and SEPTA changes here on

And keep track of SEPTA's status and plans at


Related Topics:
sportsphiladelphia newsnfl draft2017 NFL Draft in PhiladelphiaCenter City Philadelphia
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