Traffic impact in NYC due to Pope Francis visit expected to affect 500,000 drivers: Report

The subway will be a major safety valve for the crowds of people headed to NYC.

About 500,000 drivers will be affected directly by street closures and traffic changes during the Pope’s visit, according to a report released Wednesday.

However, the subway will be a major safety valve for the crowds of people coming into New York City — a major advantage for transit-heavy New York City over Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

According to NYU’s Rudin Center, number of people using transit hubs like Penn Station and the Fulton Street station — to get to major events like the pope’s trip to Madison Square Garden and the 9/11 Museum — will still be lower than rush-hour.

“I believe New York City will demonstrate how seasoned and skilled it is at handling major events and world leaders,” said Mitchell Moss, the center’s director. “The pope’s visit will prove that we can welcome the pope with warmth without disrupting the vitality of our city and the lives of most New Yorkers.”

Cabbies will be hit with major delays, and passengers will likely face surge pricing on apps like Uber, according to an analysis by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management.

Drivers will also face street closures, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, but cabbies may welcome the influx of people coming into the city.

Motorists on the FDR, used by about 120,000 people daily, have already been affected by the United Nations General Assembly. The freeway will be closed when the Pope travels to Ground Zero, as well as to East Harlem.

Buses will still be heavily disrupted in Manhattan, with about 20% of the borough’s stops near visit sites.

The M15, the bus route with the highest number of passengers on weekdays, will experience significant slowdowns from the diversions, for instance.

Citi Bikers will be affected by the pope’s visit and the U.N. General Assembly — but much less than cars. Eight stations will or have been deactivated at different times between of the two events, such as near Central Park and the U.N.

Cyclists will also not be able to access any street closure with a bike lane.

Rebecca Harshbarger