‘Lighter Volume’ on Trains to Philadelphia for Papal Visit
Large crowds continue to gather in Philadelphia for Pope Francis but the rail lines into Philadelphia report light ridership as of early Saturday afternoon.
NJ Transit Executive Director Ronnie Hakim, speaking from the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, said "things are going really well" and it looks like "everything is working according to plan."
PATCO has adjusted its schedule for Saturday afternoon due to low ridership, with trains leaving every 10 minutes and making four stops before arriving in Philadephia.
"We are prepared to quickly ramp back up should the demand increase," reads a tweet from PATCO. Trains will only run eastbound after 5:30 p.m.
NJ Transit's Hakim does not expect to make any changes to her plan.
"We think we have enough service out here to meet whatever demand is required," she said.
She added that "the thing about transportation is that when you make a plan you should work your plan and that's what are doing," and no changes are expected for Sunday.
Riders should plan to arrive in Camden by 3 p.m. in order to arrive in Philadelphia on time for the Pope's evening appearances. NJ Transit warns there may be no access after 4 p.m.
No traffic problems have developed in South Jersey or in Philadelphia related to the Papal visit.
"Traffic has been lighter than normal for the pope's visit to DC and NYC. So far that's also the case in Philadelphia. It seems most are heeding the warnings to avoid driving into Philly," said Townsquare Media traffic anchor Bernie Wagenblast.
He said his traffic map is dotted with closures around Center City Philadelphia, "but traffic outside that area is moving well."