- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Don’t drive.

That’s the message being hammered home by mass transit and New York City officials as Pope Francis’ visit to the city nears. Those traveling from New Jersey will be able to take advantage of increased rail and bus service into the city, though delays are anticipated nonetheless.

The pope will arrive in New York on Thursday night and leave Saturday morning for Philadelphia. While in New York, he will make several stops in the city, necessitating a massive security effort that city officials said is one of the most extensive ever mounted.


The Pope’s itinerary includes a stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Thursday evening, where he’ll participate in a prayer service.

On Friday, he will address the United Nations, on the city’s east side; participate in a multifaith service at the 9/11 memorial site at the World Trade Center; visit a school on 112th Street in East Harlem; and finally, lead a processional along Central Park’s west drive for which 80,000 tickets have been distributed. He’ll celebrate Mass in Madison Square Garden on Friday night.


Police officials said 6,000 additional officers and nearly 1,200 patrol cars will be deployed for the pope’s visit to provide security and control crowds.

Numerous streets will be closed in Manhattan, with some closed without advance notice, city officials have said. Bus routes near papal events will experience detours and delays.


New Jersey Transit is adding bus and train services on its inbound routes during off-peak evening hours. PATH will provide additional trains Friday on its Journal Square to 33rd Street and Hoboken to 33rd Street lines. PATH’s 33rd Street stop is one block east of Madison Square Garden.

According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the entrance to the World Trade Center PATH station will remain open during the pope’s visit there.

Travelers are urged to buy roundtrip tickets in advance and to expect some delays.

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