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Metro-North Adds Trains, Staff In Preparation For Pope's Visit

The MTA prepares for Pope Francis' visit this week with an increased number of trains and buses.
The MTA prepares for Pope Francis' visit this week with an increased number of trains and buses. Photo Credit: Archdiocese of New York

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North and the MTA are adding trains and buses to support the expected crowds during Pope Francis' visit to New York City on Thursday and Friday.

“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," Governor Andrew 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 and will have a full schedule of events across the city on Friday, 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.

Customers taking Metro-North Railroad should buy round-trip train tickets in advance and expect some crowding.

MTA Metro-North Railroad will have additional trains and crews stationed in Grand Central Terminal as well as strategic outlying locations to be dispatched as necessary to provide additional capacity.

Metro-North will run a normal schedule on Thursday. On Friday, the railroad will operate three additional inbound trains, leaving Poughkeepsie on the Hudson Line at 10:37 a.m.; leaving Southeast on the Harlem Line at 10:08 a.m.; and leaving Fairfield Metro on the New Haven Line at 11:00 a.m.

“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.”

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