U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.These are some questions that local travelers submitted about the Sept. 22-24 visit by Pope Francis to the capital. I hope the questions and my answers will stimulate further questions, as well as individual planning for what’s likely to be a difficult week for both commuters and visitors. (There are links to more travel tips at the bottom of this posting.)

Metro vs. the pope

How bad will Metro be during the pope’s visit? Will those of us who actually have to go to work and cannot telecommute run into problems? I’ve never had problems with Metro during inauguration but this is slightly different in my opinion. For what it’s worth, I commute from Huntington to Gallery Place and walk to my office at Metro Center. I’m already planning on going to work early and leaving town late during the Pope’s stay.

DG: Yes, Metro riders will encounter problems, and they need to be prepared. It’s good to think of this as an inauguration-scale event, but there will be significant differences, because of the location and timing of multiple events. Telecommuting is the best option, but many will need to come into the District for their jobs. They should try to do what the questioner is planning, and vary their schedules.

Read more from The Washington Post.

SEPTA_logo_150pxEver since November 2014, when Catholic Church officials confirmed Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia over two days this September, there’s been an all-hands-on-deck mindset at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Philadelphia officials estimate 1.5 million to 2 million visitors will descend on the city for the pope’s Sept. 26-27 visit, which will coincide with the World Meeting of Families, a conference organized every three years by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family.

Although the city and its affiliated agencies have prepared for many major public-gatherings in the past — Philadelphia hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000 and will host the Democratic National Convention in 2016, for example — SEPTA’s planning for the papal visit is unprecedented, says Deputy General Manager Jeff Knueppel.

Read more from Progressive Railroading.

nj_transit_logoNew Jersey Transit officials yesterday announced the agency’s plans for operation during the weekend of Sept. 26-27, when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia.

The agency will change its regular service to accommodate the estimated 2 million people who are expected to travel to see the pope during his two-day visit to Philadelphia. The pope also will visit New York City on Sept. 25 and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.

NJ Transit will offer a special, limited service on its Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line for people attending the World Meeting of Families and papal visit on Sept. 26-27.

Read more from Progressive Railroading.