When Pope Francis comes to town, transportation around campus will be limited almost exclusively to emergency vehicles since Penn is surrounded by some of the best hospitals in Philadelphia. Whether you want to see the pope or get as far away as possible, here’s how to navigate Philadelphia this weekend.
The barricade line for the pope’s visit is larger than that for the Presidential Inauguration. The U.S. Secret Service has deemed the papal visit a National Special Security Event.
Personal vehicles will not be able to drive in a multitude of “no-drive zones,” and taxi service around University City will be focused on the transportation of patients to and from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Bus routes will dead-end on the outskirts of campus like taxi services and personal vehicles. SEPTA will still run, but will skip several stops. Certain trolleys, buses and subway stations will not be accepting only tokens and passes, in place of cash, due to the delays that cash exchanges cause.
Most of the bridges over the Schuylkill River will be designated as emergency routes, but they will allow for pedestrian and bike traffic if students want to walk into Center City and check out the hype. South Street Bridge, Walnut Street Bridge and the Chestnut Street Bridge will be open to walking and biking only.
Around 490 members from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard will be in University City over the weekend and housed in the Pennovation Center. Six thousand National Guard members will be spread throughout the city.
An emergency command center will be housed within the Division of Public Safety office, and a National Guard commander will be there to aid in dispatching and managing transportation in case of an emergency.
“There have been nonstop logistics, and the entire city of Philadelphia has been working together,” Vice President of the Division of Public Safety Maureen Rush said. “It’s all about relationships.”
DPS encourages students who are interested in specific road closures and SEPTA route changes refer to this website set up by the University for more info: www.upenn.edu/about/papal-visit.
Correction: This article previously listed St. Joseph's Hospital as one of the hospitals included in the taxi service. The article has been updated to reflect that Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, not St. Joseph's, is the third hospital included in the service. The DP regrets the error.Comments powered by Disqus
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