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NEWS
August 5, 2015
ISSUE | TO-DO LIST Worthwhile fixes Kudos to Inga Saffron and Samantha Melamed for identifying readily doable actions that will make Philadelphia a more hospitable city for residents, as well as for the Democratic National Convention and the visit of Pope Francis ("Time to clean up," July 31). |Elaine Mavkowiak, Philadelphia Accessibility work One thing left off the to-do list is improving Philadelphia's accessibility for those with disabilities ("Time to clean up," July 31)
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
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: THE ONLINE lottery for SEPTA Regional Rail passes for the weekend of Pope Francis' visit went "really well" yesterday, with 33,976 people successfully entering the lottery by 10 p.m., according to SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. The lottery was the transit agency's second attempt at selling the passes, after the first attempt July 20 resulted in a site crash due to high volume.
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.
NEWS
August 1, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Secret Service said Thursday that the agency - which is heading security for the visit of Pope Francis in September - has not ordered Philadelphia businesses to close and did not dictate that SEPTA limit rail service that weekend. The agency instead stressed that Philadelphia would be "open for business" when the pope visits. Meanwhile, South Jersey sources confirmed that the Benjamin Franklin Bridge will be closed, and some universities in the area outlined plans to shut down that weekend.
NEWS
July 30, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
HEAVEN MAY NOT RUN on a lottery system, but SEPTA will when it tries to resell its regional rail passes on Monday for the weekend of Pope Francis' visit. After the transit agency's e-commerce site for regional rail papal passes crashed upon release last week due to high volume, SEPTA has scratched its original model and opted for an online lottery system that will be hosted by Amazon.com and run in partnership with Ticketleap, a Philly-based firm. Those interested in the passes can visit septa.org over a 24-hour period from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. Everyone who enters during that period will have an equal opportunity to obtain the passes, said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
NEWS
July 30, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA will use a one-day online lottery to sell Regional Rail passes for the papal visit, transportation authority officials said Tuesday. A new website will open at 12:01 a.m. Monday and close at 11:59 p.m., and would-be buyers will be limited to 10 passes for each of the two days of the pope's visit in September. The link to the lottery will be available at SEPTA's website, www.septa.org . The lottery winners will be selected at random after the site closes. Winners will be notified by e-mail on Aug. 6, and they will then be given three days to pay for their passes.
NEWS
July 29, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
FIRST SANTA CLAUS, then the Easter Bunny, now Chief Transparency? Is there nothing left to believe in? Consider this: The SEPTA police department had an ugly incident on their hands last month when cellphone video that went viral caught a veteran officer grabbing an allegedly fare-evading father by the throat while the man held his 18-month-old daughter. At a subsequent press conference, SEPTA police Chief Thomas Nestel, the city's most vocal champion of police reform and a practitioner of transparency, was contrite.
NEWS
July 27, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
IF YOU LIKE SEPTA, you're not alone. While the city school district is flunking financially and the police department is too often suspect, the region's transit authority appears to be on the right track. Ridership on SEPTA's 13 regional rail lines hit an all-time high of 37.4 million trips in fiscal year 2015, the period from July 1 2014 through June 30, SEPTA announced yesterday. It was the third year in a row a ridership record was set, according to numbers the authority provided to the Daily News . On the financial side, at the end of FY15, SEPTA marked its 16th consecutive year of operating with a balanced budget, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.
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