After technical glitches caused delays and changes to the buying system, SEPTA opened up the opportunity to buy so called "Pope Passes" early Monday without any major hitches.
At 12:01 a.m. Monday, SEPTA gave potential passengers 24 hours to sign up for a chance to ride SEPTA's Regional Rail to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia next month.
The Ticketleap page posted to SEPTA.org will remain open until 11:59 Monday night.
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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 soon 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.
"You can do it any time during the day," said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
The lottery got off without major hitches -- thousands of people signed up within the first hour -- as people who signed up received a confirmation email that states: "You have successfully submitted your entry for the SEPTA Papal Visit One Day Regional Rail Pass Lottery. If your entry is selected, you will receive an email with a link to a secured website where you will complete the purchase of the One Day Regional Rail Passes requested for September 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 by entering payment information.
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. Anyone who enters the lottery has an equal chance of getting the $10 passes 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.
SEPTA plans to sell 175,000 of the passes for each day (Sept. 26 and Sept. 27) that the Pontiff is in town.