NJ Transit announces plans for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia

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Thursday, August 13, 2015
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New Jersey officials laid out their transit plans for the pope's visit.

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- New Jersey Transit officials announced plans for the pope's visit to Philadelphia and New York next month and how it would affect their service.

"We are making changes to our regular service - this won't be normal days leading up to and during the pope's visit," NJ Transit Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said during a Thursday morning press conference at Newark Penn Station.

Hakim says 2 million people are expected to make a pilgrimage to see Pope Francis in New York and Philadelphia.

"This will not be your average travel week," Hakim said.

Hakim says times of trains, buses, and light rails may be subject to delays due to a large number of people boarding.

"Those who do not have to be on our system between Thursday and Sunday should consider staying put," Hakim said.

Down in Camden transportation officials Thursday afternoon demonstrated what the trek will be like by walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge from Camden to Philadelphia.

Plans call for shutting down the Ben Franklin Bridge to vehicular traffic.

However, pedestrians will be permitted to walk across the bridge to Philadelphia.

Atlantic City Line

Special tickets will be needed to travel on the Atlantic City Line on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 when the pope is in Philadelphia. Monthly pass and regular ticket holders must also purchase the special tickets.

These special tickets will go on sale beginning Saturday, August 15th at noon on NJTransit.com and ticket agents. All tickets must be purchased in advance as no tickets can be purchased on Saturday and Sunday September 26-27.

The AC Line will be express between Atlantic City and Philadelphia with no interim stops.

The AC Line special tickets will cost $30.

"The only way to get into Philly that weekend by rail will be the Atlantic City Line express train or Amtrak," Hakim said.

River Line

The River Line will operate on a 15 minute schedule on September 26th and 27th in both directions between Trenton and Walter Rand.

There will be no River Line service in downtown Camden between Walter Rand and Entertainment Center.

Advanced purchased tickets will be needed for the River Line, as well. They will cost $5 and will be valid in 2-hour increments.

The River Line will stop only at: Trenton, Bordentown, Florence, Burlington South, Pennsauken Rt73, Pennsauken Transit Center, and Walter Rand.

Access Link

All service will be suspended on Friday, September 25th up to and including Monday, September 28th.

Service will be resuming on Tuesday, September 29th.

On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday September, 27th all service into and out of Camden County will be suspended.

Bus Service

On Thursday, September 24th and Friday, September 25th New Jersey Transit will run regularly schedule weekday bus service on routes in the Philly/Camden area.

Once the Ben Franklin Bridge closes on September 25th, all Philly bus routes will end at Walter Rand Transportation Center, but will remain on schedule for trips outbound from Camden.

For more information visit: njtransit.com/papal