Lottery for SEPTA Pope Passes Opens at Midnight

Beginning at midnight, you will have 24 hours to take a shot at getting a chance to ride SEPTA's Regional Rail to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, SEPTA will open a lottery for special one-day Regional Rail passes for the Pope's September visit.

The lottery will open at midnight on a Ticketleap page posted to and continue until 11:59 Monday night.

FAQs: Buying Your Pope Pass

SEPTA's first attempt at selling the special Papal passes came to a screeching halt last month when the website crashed almost as son as the passes went on sale.

SEPTA's lottery system is an attempt to open sales to everyone without putting a huge burden on the system.

Officials said there's no rush to enter the lottery the minute it opens.

"There's no need to set your alarm clock for midnight and be standing beside your computer so you can log on to enter the lottery," said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. "You can do it any time during the day."

Anyone who enters the lottery will have an equal chance of getting the $10 passes, which are station-specific, must be purchased for time windows (5:30 to 8:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. to noon) and are limited to 10 passes per person per day on Sept. 26 and 27.

Passengers with "winning entries" in the lottery will receive a "congratulations" email on Thursday, Aug. 6 with a personalized link that will allow them to complete the sale.

SEPTA plans to sell 175,000 of the $10 passes for each day (Sept. 26 and Sept. 27) that the Pontiff is in town. An analysis of the activity Monday showed 54,000 customers visited the e-commerce site within the first minute after it was launched, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.

During the Pope's visit, SEPTA will restrict Regional Rail service to 18 stations. Trains earlier in the day will be inbound express to Center City stations only, and trains later will be outbound express only to selected stations.

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