Getting home to NJ from NYC Friday: What you need to know
The alert from the New Jersey Department of Transportation Friday evening was in all capital letters. USE MASS TRANSIT.
Because of Friday's United Nations General Assembly and Papal Visit, motorists in New York City were expected to encounter road closures and "frozen zones" all weekend and beyond.
Traffic had been fairly light heading in and out of the city Friday, as New Jersey Roads showed below-average traffic for this time of year.
As of 9:30 p.m., the Department of Transportation wasn't reporting any major problems at New Jersey-Manhattan crossings — with just minor delays at the George Washington Bridge and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. That;s even after Pope Francis wrapped up his historic Mass at Madison Square Garden. The Mass for 18,000 was is the final event on his New York City trip before leaving for Philadelphia on Saturday morning.
Also as of 9:30 p.m., New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines were experiencing delays because of an earlier disabled train — but not for reasons connected to the Pope's visit. The Montclair-Boonton Line earlier in the night was experiencing 15 minute delays due to operational issues connected to congestion, but those had cleared. Light rail lines were operating without problems.
Several people on Twitter said Penn Station appeared to be operating relatively normally, despite the Pope's appearance upstairs — though others said crowds outside made it difficult to travel into the hub. And several people noted there seemed to be an unusually large amount of nuns in the train station.
NJ Transit had issued a few alerts for some central and northern New Jersey buses Friday.
In other words, things were pretty calm.
Motorists and other travelers should expect more complications heading into Philadelphia for the Pope's weekend visit there. The Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through noon Monday as people walk across the bridge from Camden to see the Pope.
Buses to and from Philadelphia are on detours and will originate and terminate at WRTC in Camden. PATCO is cross-honoring NJ TRANSIT bus tickets and passes on Friday and on Monday while the bridge is closed — but not over the weekend itself.
Special NJ Transit tickets required for this weekend's rides to Philadelphia remained available Friday night. Tickets are available for the River Line and the Atlantic City line, but standard tickets will not be honored this weekend.
NJ Transit has created a special Twitter account specifically for the Pope's visit, though Friday during the day there wasn't much specifically related to the visit for it to report.
Here’s how you can keep up with all the latest news from New Jersey 101.5 as it happens:
- Keep an eye on our special Pope visit coverage page, which we’ll be updating all week with live video, traffic updates, reactions from local leaders and much more.
- Listen to New Jersey 101.5 on your radio dial, or online at NJ1015.com. Mobile users: Download Radiopup to listen any time from your Android or iOS device.
- Follow New Jersey 101.5 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Text TRAFFIC or NEWS to 89000 for traffic and news alerts.
And you can contribute, too! Be extra eyes and ears in the crowd. Is the traffic overwhelming? Is the walk from Camden to Philadelphia going as planned? Let us know by:
- Tagging @nj1015 on Twitter and @nj101.5 on Instagram.
- Calling in to 800-283-1015.
- Emailing email@example.com.
Want to share lots and lots of news? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday with the words “pope visit” in the subject to make arrangements to get in touch throughout the visit.