Pope’s Philly Visit a Success by NJ Transit Standards
When it was first announced this summer that Pope Francis would be visiting Philadelphia, New Jersey transportation officials were concerned that millions might flock to an open air papal mass in the city of Brotherly Love, and cause traffic chaos in the Garden State.
Smaller than anticipated crowds attended the event, however, and people were able to get into and out of Philly with no major problems.
Nevertheless, Steve Schapiro, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, says months of preparation paid off.
“We knew what we needed to do," he said. "We were prepared for larger crowds and everything went very successfully.”
Schapiro says while hundreds of thousands of people streamed into Philly, there were minimal delays and congestion.
“It’s a great example of so many agencies coming together,” he said. “Working together to develop a plan and successfully executing that plan to make sure we got people safely in and out of the city, and that’s exactly what happened."
The bottom line, he said, is “we’re very pleased with the way everyone worked well together, keeping everyone in the loop, communication among the agencies was very good.”