Sales of special rail passes for Pope Francis' September visit to Philadelphia by SEPTA have been suspended due to a crush of traffic.


SEPTA bus in Philadelphia (SEPTA)

PATCO and SEPTA started selling the passes on Monday but SEPTA customers encountered problems with accessing its website and sales not being completed.

In a message on their website, SEPTA explains it ran into technical issues as their website received about 900,000 visits when online sales began at 9 a.m. Approximately 1,700 transactions were attempted per second.

SEPTA's online sales have been suspended for the day and the agency has not announced when sales will resume. "Most transactions were not completed, and therefore, most of the Regional Rail One Day passes are still available for customers to purchase when sales resume," wrote the rail line on its website."There are approximately 175,000 passes available for each day of the Papal Visit  or approximately 350,000 total for Sept. 26 and 27 combined."

Service on SEPTA's West Trenton line will be available from the Woodbourne station in Langhorne, PA. during the Pope's visit. On the Trenton line, service will begin at the Levittown Station in Bristol, PA.

PATCO did not report any sales difficulty and the sale of special Freedom cards continues. at PATCO's Broadway station and online. Passengers who do not have them will not be permitted on the trains on Sept. 26 and 27.

A one-day pass will cost $5 and a two-day pass is $10 for those 5 years of age and older. There is a limit of 10 cards per purchase.

Passengers may use their regular Freedom cards during the pope's visit and pay $2.50 for each ride.

The deadline for PATCO's online purchases is Sept 1.

SEPTA is selling online a limited number of one day regional rail passes for $10.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.