The Papal Pass required to travel on the Regional Rail during the weekend of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia won’t be available this week.
On Monday, the Papal Pass website crashed after 54,000 customers visited the site one minute after it went live at 9 a.m., SEPTA said.
“We have been working with IT consultants over the last two days, and are still considering the best option to address the high interest among customers interested in purchasing the pass, and the heavy volume on the e-commerce site,” said spokesman Andrew Busch in a statement.
The Papal Passes, for Regional Rail travel only, cost $10 each. Riders must choose their departure time and destination station when buying the passes.
There are 175,000 passes available per day for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia on Sept. 26 to 27, for a total of 350,000 passes.
SEPTA previously declined to comment on whether Internet scalpers had swarmed the site.
“That’s certainly a question we’ll be asking,” Busch told Metro.
SEPTA said it will announce the new sale date “as soon as it is available.”
“SEPTA is limiting the number of passes that will be sold, and requiring pre-purchase of the passes, to keep crowd numbers consistent with the capacity that will be available on Regional Rail trains and insure surety of service,” SEPTAGM Joe Casey told Metro readers in the July 20Ask SEPTA column.
Meanwhile, PATCO riders can use their Freedom Cards to enter Philadelphia, or get special Papal Visit passes atwww.ridepatco.org/PapalVisit.
Those passes cost $5.00 for a one-day, $10 fora two-day. FREEDOM card holders will pay $2.50 a ride.