"I thought they were going to be full-size ships, not models," said Dennis Harris, a Medford, NJ, resident. "I paid $85 for a 90-minute Delaware River cruise aboard a tall ship. How does that work? It's not the Small Ships Festival"
Philadelphia--Yesterday, the city, in partnership with Montgomery and Chester Counties, revealed an ambitious plan to turn forty miles of the popular Schuylkill River (multi-use) Trail into a "major transportation artery" for the Pope Francis visit in September. How? Pedicabs...lots of them. In fact, the three counties, using a $700K grant from the Papal People Partnership, will purchase two hundred, fifteen-passenger pedicycles to be used to (slowly) shuttle visitors into and out of the city on September 26 and 27. Pedicabs will leave from Pottstown, Spring City, Phoenixville, Oaks, Norristown, Conshohocken, Spring Mill, Manayunk, and East Falls. The journey from Pottstown to Center City, roughly forty miles, via the human-powered cabs could take about five hours--if all passengers are truly pedaling and there is a generous tailwind. No other bicycles will be permitted on the trail on September 26 and 27 to clear the way for the cabs. "This is really going to take the pressure off our roads and rails," said Gary Saint Jasperson, interim operating manager of the Ches-Mont Transportation Authority. "But the plan can only work if all fifteen passengers are pedaling." Additionally, the city and Septa announced that Paoli train station will be the only suburban rail station operating on the entire Septa regional rail network during the Saturday and Sunday of the World Meeting of Families. "If you live in Bucks County or New Jersey, for example, and you want to use regional rail to get into the city, you must drive to Paoli," said Saint Jasperson. "Yes, it will be crowded in Paoli, but we'll have plenty of orange cones set up. Really, we just purchased about seventy-five brand new orange cones."