Bright Outlook For Papal Pass Lottery Entrants

Septa appears to have gotten it right in its second attempt to sell regional rail passes to get suburban visitors into the city for the papal visit in September.

Before the evening rush, it looked like everyone who wants to buy the papal passes will have a chance to apply for them, and have pretty good odds of actually making the purchase.

Septa's customer service office was largely quiet Monday, appeared to be a far cry from the onslaught of complaints fielded, when the transit authority tried its first come first serve approach two weeks ago. That plan created a 9:00 a.m. bum-rush that crashed their website.

This time, demand was spread out according to Septa spokeswoman Jerri Williams

"People heard what we were saying- that they did not have to rush onto the site at the same time. They had 24 hours- all day long, and they're doing that," Williams said.

For those wishing to come into Philadelphia from the suburbs to see Pope Francis, Septa is selling 350,000 Regional Rail passes for the Saturday and-or Sunday of the Papal visit at ten bucks apiece.

Riders will board at select outlying stations for an express run to a city stop that may still require a lengthy walk to the Papal events.

The Septa website allows riders to choose their suburban line and a time window for entering the city.

Later this week, they'll learn whether their purchase has gone through.

There's a ten pass maximum, per order, but so far, lottery entrants are asking for about half that number.

That's good news for everyone; it suggests fewer scalpers trying to gobble up tickets for resale.

"It looks like people are entering the lottery for just the amount of passes that they need to visit the Pope or come into work," Williams said.

Of course, none of this helps those who live in the city and take Regional Rail out to the suburbs for their jobs.

Trains are inbound only on the 26th and 27th.

With 350,000 rail passes for sale, and the average customer asking for five apiece, the lottery should be able to satisfy around 70,000 thousand customers.

By 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon 26,000 people had entered the lottery.

If that rate holds, the vast majority of those who want passes will be able to buy them.

Again, lottery entry runs till midnight Monday.

Winners will get an email Thursday -- and if you say you're open to both times lots listed for a particular day Williams says you have a better shot at winning.

Link to SEPTA's Papal pass lottery: