- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - As tens of thousands of people turned out to see Pope Francis in New York City on Friday, and Philadelphia awaited his arrival there Saturday with blocked-off streets and a massive security operation, New Jersey was quieter than usual on the roads and rails, according to transit officials.

That will change drastically on the weekend when the pope arrives in Philadelphia for a two-day visit culminating in a celebration of Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday.

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WHERE HE’LL BE

After arriving at Philadelphia Airport on Saturday morning, Pope Francis is scheduled to speak on immigration and religious freedom at Independence Mall, an event organizers project will draw about 40,000 people.



About 500,000 people are expected for a festival and concert featuring Francis on Saturday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

More than a million are expected at his Mass on Sunday.

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DRIVING

Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency for New Jersey, but don’t rush the supermarkets looking for bottled water and light bulbs - he took the precaution so he can use the New Jersey National Guard if needed, and change traffic flow on roadways as circumstances dictate.

Transportation officials have warned anyone who doesn’t have to drive within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia to stay put. For those going to see the Pope by car, 8,500 parking spaces have been made available in Camden. Parking placards must be bought online in advance, and cost $44. Overnight parking is not allowed.

From Camden, visitors can cross into Philadelphia on a ferry that can fit 500 people each hour, on PATCO trains or on foot over the Ben Franklin Bridge, which will be closed to traffic starting at 10 p.m. Friday.

Bicycles are allowed, but they can’t be ridden on the bridge. Banned items include selfie sticks, hard-sided coolers and anything made of glass.

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RIDING

New Jersey Transit has expanded the sale of special papal tickets on its Atlantic City Rail Line. They’ll be sold between 5 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for hourly departures from Atlantic City to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

River Line tickets will be sold both days between 6 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. for departures sold in scheduled two-hour windows. NJ Transit says it is best to purchase the tickets online.

Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, PATCO trains will only pick up passengers at its Walter Rand Transportation Center, Ferry Avenue, Lindenwold and Woodcrest stations. The trains stop at the 9th/10th and Locust station in Philadelphia.

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Camden information: https://www.ci.camden.nj.us/papal-visit-2015/

Parking information: https://gatewaytothepope.clickandpark.com/

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