FAQ: Buying a Rail Pass for the Papal Visit

SEPTA announced Tuesday that it would resume its sale of special one-day Regional Rail passes Monday, Aug. 3 after its initial attempt derailed due to high web traffic last Monday. Here's everything you need to know for when the sale resumes.

The new lottery system will allow customers to enter requests for 24 hours, so there is no need to rush onto the site. The new website is being designed to accommodate high demand, according to SEPTA.

How do I get passes?

Any time on August 3, click the "Enter Lottery" link on SEPTA's homepage, www.septa.org and follow the instructions.

When will the passes be on sale again?

SEPTA will make passes available on Monday, August 3 at 12:01 a.m. via an online lottery system. The lottery will remain open until 11:59 p.m. that night.

How many passes can you buy per customer?

Each customer will be able to purchase up to 10 passes.

Can I use normal passes during these days?

No. The only passes accepted on Sept. 26 and 27 will be the ones sold online.

How many passes will be sold?

SEPTA plans to sell 175,000 passes for each day of Pope Francis' visit.

Does everyone traveling with me – including children and seniors – need one?

All passengers traveling on Regional Rail during these days will have to purchase a Papal Pass, including seniors and children over the age of 5.

Where will trains be in service?

Trains will operate from the following 18 stations. All other SEPTA stations will be closed.

PHL Terminals A, B, C/D, Eastwick, Chestnut Hill West, Fox Chase, Ft. Washington, Pennbrook, Norristown TC, Media, Primos, Paoli, Radnor, Croydon, Cornwells Heights, Levittown, Warminster, Woodbourne, Wilmington and Marcus Hook will all be open on Sept. 26 and 27.

For more information on service click here.

Will trains be running both ways during the two days of modified service? 

The a.m. service will only run as one way/express from the outlying stations to Center City between 5:30 a.m. & 12 p.m.  The p.m. service will only run as one-way/limited stop from Center City to the outlying stations beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Do I need a pass to ride airport line?

According to a SEPTA press release, the Airport Line will operate modified inbound and outbound service throughout the weekend. More information about Airport Line service will be announced in the coming weeks.

What if all the passes sell out and I don’t get one?

SEPTA said they are offering as many passes as they are able to for the visit. Once the passes sell out, no more will be sold.

What if I lose my pass?

Papal passes are not linked to a person’s name, therefore, they cannot be replaced if lost. SEPTA is advising pass-holders to make sure they have them in a safe place.

Is there any measure in place to prevent scalpers from buying up a bunch of tickets and selling them at a higher price?

UPDATE: SEPTA's lottery system is designed to remove fraudulent duplicate

SEPTA has no specific safeguard against scalpers, but they are hoping in the spirit of the event, people will not try to stop others from seeing the Pope. 

Is there a phone number to call if I have questions?

Riders can reach SEPTA customer service at (215) 580-7800.

How should I handle parking?

SEPTA will offer limited parking at its stations. "If it's possible to be dropped off, that's your best bet," said SEPTA Public Information Manager Heather Redfern.

Will monthly and weekly passes still cost as much even though I can’t use them on those two days?

Yes, September monthly passes and weekly passes for the weeks of September 20 and September 27 will cost the normal amount.

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