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August 06, 2015

SEPTA begins informing people who will receive papal passes

Actions come days after lottery for the regional rail passes closed

SEPTA began notifying lottery winners via email Thursday that they would receive Regional Rail papal passes for the weekend of Pope Francis's visit.

SEPTA is selling 350,000 papal passes — the only permissible fare to ride the Regional Rails when the pope visits Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27. A total of 175,000 passes are being sold for each day. They cost $10 apiece.

At least 22,000 SEPTA papal passes remained available following Monday's lottery, SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern said Wednesday.

That number could increase after lottery winners receive an email and complete their purchases, Redfern said. The remaining passes will be sold in person. Details on where to purchase the remaining passes will be announced next week.

SEPTA will shuttle passengers from 18 stations in an attempt to expedite travel into Center City, where Pope Francis will participate in the Festival of Families on Saturday and host a Sunday afternoon mass. About 1.5 million people are expected to flood the city for the papal visit.

The agency initially tried to sell the papal passes on a first-come, first-serve basis last month. But the website crashed after thousands of visitors simultaneously tried to purchase passes the moment the online sale began.

SEPTA spokeswoman Jerry Williams said earlier this week winners will be notified Thursday through Sunday that hey had won with a link directly them to a place where they can pay for their tickets.

Staff Writer John Kopp contributed to this report.