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NEWS
August 11, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
SEPTA HAS extended the deadline for the purchase of its Regional Rail papal passes from 11:59 p.m. yesterday until 3 p.m. today. The transit agency used a lottery system to sell the passes for each of its 18 Regional Rail stations that will be open during Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27. Riders had 24 hours to enter the lottery on Aug. 3 and those who won the chance to purchase tickets to any of their top three stations were notified on Thursday. SEPTA had previously said that any winners who did not enter their payment information by 11:59 p.m. yesterday would lose their chance at purchasing the tickets, but yesterday afternoon, the transit agency extended that deadline until 3 p.m. today.
NEWS
August 11, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA on Sunday extended the deadline for people to pay for Regional Rail passes reserved last week for Pope Francis' visit in September. The former deadline had been midnight Sunday. The new deadline is 3 p.m. Monday. In an online lottery last Monday, SEPTA received requests for 328,045 passes, leaving more than 20,000 unsold. SEPTA officials said then that they expected even more passes to be available because not all transactions would be completed, but they did not say Sunday how many of the passes for Sept.
NEWS
August 10, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
SEPTA WILL hold an online lottery Wednesday for special passes for the Norristown High Speed Line and trolley routes 101 and 102 during the papal visit, the transit agency announced yesterday. The special passes cost $10 apiece and will be valid from Sept. 26-28. Riders will be required to have a special pass that weekend because of the expected volume of passengers. SEPTA said it has 20,000 passes available for the high-speed line and 5,600 apiece for the two trolley routes. Like the Regional Rail pass lottery held earlier this week, customers will be able to register through SEPTA's website on Wednesday from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. All valid submissions will have the same chances of winning, regardless of what time they are submitted, the agency said.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Perhaps an agency whose name begins with the word secret can't be expected to have a knack for communications. And perhaps faith is the evidence of things not seen. Fortunately, though, the Secret Service and local officials planning for Pope Francis' Philadelphia visit have belatedly begun to acknowledge that in worldly affairs, blind belief is no substitute for public information. Acknowledging the legitimate need for more of that, Mayor Nutter and other officials on Wednesday announced highway closures and the expansive boundaries of the Center City-plus "traffic box" to which private vehicles will be denied entry during the papal visit.
NEWS
August 6, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA papal passes weren't quite the hot ticket this week that they were last month. By the close of its Monday online lottery for Regional Rail passes for Pope Francis' visit in September, SEPTA received requests for 328,045 passes, leaving more than 20,000 unsold. 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 forced SEPTA to halt sales within minutes of opening its website July 20 because it crashed.
NEWS
August 6, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
ALMOST 22,000 Regional Rail passes remain for the weekend of Pope Francis' visit after the close of SEPTA's online papal pass lottery at 11:59 p.m. Monday, but it's still unclear which stations have passes remaining, said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. SEPTA has 175,000 passes available for each day of the papal visit on Sept. 26 and 27 - or 350,000 passes total. Williams said 38,068 people entered SEPTA's papal lottery. Each entrant could request up to 10 passes and a total of 328,045 passes were requested.
NEWS
August 5, 2015
"THEY'RE closing what ?" With the Popenado just over the horizon, that phrase is heard often among titillated, proud, yet beginning-to-be-ticked-off Philadelphians. We love the idea of Pope Francis being here, but the actuality has us sliding toward lockdown, martial law lite. Is Snake Plissken in charge? They're fencing off Center City? Well, that's understandable, I guess. They're closing Regional Rail stations and rationing service? Well, maybe they have to do that to manage the crowds.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Update : SEPTA said early Tuesday it had received 38,013 entries. The number of passes requested should be known later in the day. Earlier Story: 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.
NEWS
August 4, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Regional rail riders looking to buy SEPTA's special passes for use during Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia next month have 24 hours to register for a chance to land them. After high demand during a first attempt to sell the passes overloaded the transit authority's website last month, SEPTA announced it will distribute tickets through a lottery with registration starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday. Users will have until 11:59 p.m. Monday night to sign up. All registrants will have the same chance to win no matter what time they sign up, officials say. SEPTA plans to distribute a total of 350,000 rail passes for the weekend of the papal visit - 175,000 for both Saturday Sept.
NEWS
August 3, 2015 | By Ben Finley and Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writers
The first signs of success - or trouble - related to Pope Francis' visit aren't likely to emerge near the Center City zone where the pontiff will draw historic crowds. They'll pop up miles away and hours earlier in towns such as Tullytown, Bucks County, or the Pennbrook neighborhood of Lansdale, Montgomery County. That's where tens of thousands of Philadelphia-bound pilgrims may flock into parking lots and train platforms more accustomed to crowds in the hundreds. Last week, Bucks County's Middletown Township said it would declare a state of emergency to pay for police overtime and other resources to accommodate the crush on the fourth weekend of September.
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