SEPTA’s Bill For Pope Weekend Is In And It’s Much Higher Than Budgeted

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA is out with numbers from Pope weekend.

SEPTA’s cost of equipment and materials associated with Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is $1.6 million. SEPTA budgeted several thousand far less than the cost, but spokesman Andrew Busch says the Transportation agency is confident ways to off-set the costs will be found as they move forward in the fiscal year.

“You know we have about nine months left in the fiscal year to find room to make that up. And to kind of put that in perspective that’s 1.6 million dollars in the context of our overall operating budget which is 1.3 billion.”

The bill includes the cost of chain-link fencing, port-a-potties and barricades.

And ridership numbers are out.

On Saturday, 10,000 more used the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines, compared to a normal Saturday. The regional rails about 5,000 more.

On Sunday (the day of the Mass) 50,000 more used the El and subway. The number of passengers on the Regional Rail was about 16,000 more than a regular Sunday.

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