Update, 1:30 p.m.: The passes have indeed sold out.
If you were planning to use Regional Rail to attend the Eagles victory parade Thursday, you might want to look into alternatives.
As part of the special service schedule SEPTA adopted for Feb. 8, riders will not be able to pay cash on Regional Rail lines. Instead, you’ll need one of the $10 one-day “Independence Passes” the authority designed for this occasion. (Regular weekly and monthly TrailPasses are also valid.)
Only problem: There were only ever 50,000 of the special passes available. And as of early Wednesday morning, nearly half were already gone.
Not only that, but many stations outside the city were sold out of the passes completely, frustrating people who’d shown up as early as 4 or 5 a.m. and stood in line, only to be told there was nothing for them to buy.
Some tried to buy $55 weekly passes instead, but even those had reportedly sold out — the only ones available were those good for next week, long after the Eagles will have marched triumphantly up Broad Street.
“Sales were brisk,” acknowledged Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesperson. “Particularly at stations that will be open for the parade.”
However, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, there are still tens of thousands of Independence Passes available. There is a limit of 10 per person. (You can check the number remaining at each station here; the page will be updated frequently and should be relatively accurate, Busch confirmed).
Some of the passes that are still available are being transferred to busier stations, Busch said. And the Center City stations — Jefferson, Suburban and 30th Street right across the river — are likely to have the largest stockpiles.
On an average day, Regional Rail sees 118,000 riders, so the parade day allotment was always expected to sell out completely before Thursday.
Which is why SEPTA is strongly urging suburban fans to use alternate public transportation modes instead.
“Consider using the Broad Street and/or Market-Frankford lines,” Busch said, “where we will have free rides all day sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.”
He suggested riders could connect to the BSL or MFL via trolleys, the Norristown High Speed Line or bus routes. The subways will be running at peak-level all day, he said, with trains departing every five minutes, and connecting trolleys and the high speed line will also be operating with peak-level service.