Pope Francis’ Visit to the Philadelphia


World Meeting of Families

Pope Francis’ Visit to the Philadelphia

Friday, September 25th through Monday September 28th


As you should be aware by now, the City of Philadelphia is hosting the World Meeting of Families Conference which begins on Tuesday, September 22nd and ends with a visit from the Pope on Sunday, September 27th.

It’s anticipated that we will receive an influx of up to 1.5 Million visitors to the City for which many of those visitors are expected to travel through our home, “PHL Airport”.


As the city puts its finishing touches on preparations for an event of this potential size and magnitude we must focus our attention on what this means to our collective community and the individuals we serve.


Below is a listing of things we can tell you with great certainty regarding the Airport operation as it relates to its passengers needing transportation in to the City.


  • The Airport will be open for business as usual during the entire duration of the events.


  • Flight activity is expected to be at or slightly above the normal activity levels.

Major highways, including the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) and the Blue Route (I-476), and the Ben Franklin Bridge will close and traffic will be restricted in the city during Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia.

Road Closures: Starting at 10 p.m. on Friday, and remain closed until late Sunday night.


  • I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95


  • I-76 westbound from I-95 to US Route 1


  • I-676 will be closed in both directions from I-76 to I-95


  • US Route 1 (City Line Avenue) will be closed in both directions from US Route 30 to Belmont Avenue (because Pope Francis is staying at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary).


  • I-95 WILL REMAIN OPEN. However, all I-95 exits leading into the no-vehicle area will be closed due to the security perimeter from Broad Street to I-676. In addition, the ramps accessing Washington Avenue and Delaware Avenue will only be open to registered bus traffic.

The Traffic Box

Motorists will be restricted from entering the Traffic Box. The Traffic Box for Center City will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday; while the Traffic Box for West Philadelphia will begin at 10 p.m. (Refer to maps.) Boundaries are as follows for the Center City Traffic Box:


  • North Boundary: Spring Garden to Ridge, Ridge to Girard, Girard to the Schuylkill River


  • South Boundary: South Street, from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River


  • East Boundary: Delaware Avenue from South Street to Spring Garden Street


  •  West Boundary: Along the edge of the Schuylkill River, up Kelly Drive, stopping just below the Girard Avenue Bridge

Boundaries are as follows for the West Philadelphia Traffic Box:


  • North Boundary: Powelton Avenue, from 32nd street to 38th


  •        South Boundary: University Avenue to Grays Ferry


  • East Boundary: Edge of Schuylkill River and the train tracks


  • West Boundary: 38th Street from Powelton Avenue to University Avenue

Taxis and Limousines: Can move in and out of the Traffic Box until 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, September 26 and again starting at 3 a.m. on Monday morning, Sept. 28.


  • The authorities manning the restricted areas may make special accommodations to allow access into the “box” to those companies carrying disabled individuals. This will be handled on a case by case basis.

We can make a World of Difference to everyone we encounter during this period. Please remember, First Impressions are lasting.


Thank you once again for your anticipated commitment to the overall success of this very important time not only for City, the Airport and the reputation of our businesses.


Next stop, the Democratic National Convention in 2016!


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