Getting to the pope: New Jersey options

Here’s how to get from New Jersey to Philadelphia this weekend.

Here are your options from South Jersey.

Below you will find information about parking in Camden, walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge and information about taking PATCO and Riverline trains and more. 

Drive to Camden and walk to Philly

20150925 camden parking mapThe Camden Waterfront has set aside 8,500 parking spots to accommodate people who want to attend papal events in Philadelphia. On Saturday less than 20 percent of the spots were taken by 2 p.m. 

Camden officials now say anyone needing parking can show up Saturday or Sunday and be admitted. Note: If you decide at the last minute to use these parking lots, you will need to use your smart phone to pre-purchase a ticket, which will have a barcode that will allow you through the checkpoint. The cost is $44 per day to park. The parking lots are located between Campbell’s Field and the Adventure Aquarium.

To use the Camden Waterfront parking lots you need to enter at MLK Blvd. and Broadway in Camden. Don’t try accessing Camden by trying to use Admiral Wilson Blvd. because the cops are diverting all traffic at Baird Blvd.

If you are planning to walk from Camden, keep in mind it’s a long walk to the papal events. From the Camden Waterfront it is nearly 3 miles (1 hour) to Independence Mall, where events will take place Saturday, and 4 miles (1.5 hours) to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where events will take place on Sunday.

Take the Riverlink Ferry

The Riverlink Ferry will move people across the Delaware River from the Camden Waterfront to Center City, Philadelphia. Only those who have pre-purchased tickets will be allowed on board. The good news is you can buy tickets online and print them out yourself. One-way tickets are $7. They will operate during the following hours: 

7:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27 

Ferries to Philadelphia leave 7:30 a.m. and will run every 60 minutes
Ferries to Camden leave starting at 8:00 a.m. and will run every 60 minutes

Keep in mind that the Riverlink Ferry will deliver you to Philadelphia’s waterfront. You still will need to walk to your event, but you do get to avoid the hike over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Take a train to Center City (most popular option)

PATCO will operate from 5 stations only this weekend. Tickets can be purchased Saturday and Sunday at the stations for $5. Trains will depart every 16 minutes. The stations that will be operating are:

Lindenwold, Lindenwold Borough
Woodcrest in Cherry Hill
Ferry Avenue in Camden
Broadway (Walter Rand Transportation Center) in Camden
9th/10th & Locust streets in Philadelphia

It’s important to know that trains will be headed westbound only to Philadelphia in the day and eastbound only toward Camden and Lindenwold in the evenings.

In order to streamline operations during the daytime runs into Philadelphia Saturday and Sunday, each PATCO train will run non-stop. Each train will originate at one of the four South Jersey stations listed here, and then its next stop will be the 9th/10th & Locust streets station in Philadelphia.

Eastbound trains in the evening from 9th/10th & Locust streets will stop at all of the four operating NJ PATCO stations. 

PATCO schedule for  Sunday, Sept. 27

6 a.m.-4 p.m. PATCO Westbound only to Philadelphia.
4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. No train service at all.
5:30 p.m.-3 a.m. PATCO Eastbound only to all four open New Jersey stations. 

PATCO Parking: The New Jersey PATCO stations that will operate were chosen, in part, because of their large parking lots. The exception is Broadway in Camden, which does not have a parking lot. At the PATCO station be prepared to have you bags searched for prohibited items, i.e. drones and weapons etc.

Lindenwold: 3,300 parking spaces
Woodcrest: 2,700 parking spaces
Ferry Avenue: 1,900 parking spaces

Take the Riverline train to Camden (NJ Transit)

NJ Transit operates a commuter train from Trenton to Camden. Only four stations will be operating this weekend for papal events.

Trains will NOT stop at Hamilton Ave., Cass Street, Roebling, Burlington Towne Centre, Beverly/Edgewater Park, Delanco, Riverside, Cinnaminson, Riverton, Palmyra, and 36th Street.

Trenton
Florence 
Pennsauken
Broadway (Camden)

From Camden you could then:

Take PATCO to Philadelphia
Walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge
Take the Riverlink Ferry

NJ Transit said special event tickets will be available for purchase on Sunday to accommodate customers arriving at stations without tickets. Tickets can be bought at Trenton, Florence and Pennsauken Riverline stations or online. Tickets purchased online do not require printed tickets but can be shown on mobile devices. 

Atlantic City to Philadelphia (NJ Transit)

Tickets are still available for NJ Transit’s express train from Atlantic City to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, which is a shorter walk to the Ben Franklin Parkway and a longer walk to Independence Mall. You can buy tickets online.

The trains will NOT stop at Absecon, Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Atco, Lindenwold, Cherry Hill, and Pennsauken.

Trains leave Atlantic City starting at 6:00 a.m.

See full Atlantic City to 30th Street schedule 

SEPTA

SEPTA the Philadelphia region’s passenger rail service will NOT be operating from its New Jersey’s stations: Trenton and West Trenton.

But several stations in Pennsylvania on both those lines WILL operate.

Pre-purchased fares – Trans/TrailPass, Independence Pass, Ticket Accepted – NO CASH
Bicycles NOT permitted on trains 9.26/9.27
Parking at SEPTA Stations will be very limited

Trains to Center City will operate one-way from 5:30 a.m. and continuing until 12 Noon on both days.

• Cornwells Heights Station – 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. ONLY• Croydon Station – 8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon ONLY

Outbound trains from Center City will operate 5:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. both days.

Trenton Line

Croydon Station ADA Accessible751 Bristol PikeCroydon, PA 19021Center City Dropoff:30th Street Station

Levittown Station8301 Bristol PikeBristol, PA 19007Center City Dropoff:30th Street Station

Cornwells Heights Station ADA Accessible799 Station Avenue (Off I-95)Bensalem, PA 19020Center City Dropoff:30th Street Station

West Trenton Line

Woodbourne Station903 Woodbourne Rd.Langhorne, PA 19047Center City Dropoff:Jefferson Station

Road closures

The Ben Franklin Bridge linking Philadelphia and Camden is closed to traffic through noon, Monday, Sept. 28. The westbound lanes are open for pedestrians.

Admiral Wilson Boulevard will be closed from the Ben Franklin Bridge to the Airport Circle at Rt 130. Although on Saturday I was able to drive West to Baird Blvd. before being diverted. 

I-676 northbound in New Jersey will be closed from Exit 3 to the Ben Franklin Bridge.

If you hope to drive into Pennsylvania to drop off friends close to Center City, you still may not get very close. I-95 will be open to traffic but the exits closest to Center City will be closed. 

For the latest traffic advisories follow @511NJ_Papal on Twitter.

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