Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced there will be an increased number of trains and buses to support the expected amount of travelers during Pope Francis' visit to New York later this month. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority will add extra service and will have additional crew on hand to coincide with the papal events.
“We are proud to host Pope Francis here in New York, and we are working to expand mass transit options to ensure that everyone can travel safely and securely during this time," Gov. Cuomo said. "I encourage anyone planning to be in New York City at that time to plan ahead and check the new travel schedules."
Pope Francis will arrive in New York on Thursday, Sept. 24, and will have a full schedule of events across the city on Friday, Sept. 25, including afternoon Mass at Madison Square Garden. Access to the Pope’s events is strictly limited to ticket-holders, and those without tickets are advised to avoid the locations the Pope is visiting. People who can avoid traveling into Manhattan on those days should do so, since many street closures near those locations will result in traffic congestion and pedestrian diversions.
The MTA is advising customers taking the New York City Subway, Metro-North Railroad, the Long Island Rail Road or PATH trains for papal events should buy round-trip MetroCards or train tickets in advance and expect some crowding.
“Pope Francis’ visit to New York is a significant honor for everyone in our service area, and we are prepared to accommodate additional customers traveling to his events along with our 8.6 million average weekday customers,” said MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast. “While some schedules and routes may change, we are ready to get everyone where they need to go during this special time.”
The MTA Police Department and the Port Authority Police Department will increase deployments during Pope Francis’ time in New York to ensure the safety and security of all customers. They will conduct additional inspections, deploy specialized units, and work in concert with the Secret Service, the New York Police Department and other agencies to protect their transportation networks.