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June 4, 2015

World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Announces the Opening of Its Official Bus Operator Registration Website by GO GROUND
Philadelphia anticipates thousands of buses for Pope Francis' visit

Philadelphia, PA (June 4, 2015) - World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 today announced the opening of its Official Registration Site ( for all commercial charter buses and privately-owned buses coming to the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia and the historic visit by Pope Francis. The site was developed, and will be managed by GO GROUND, the official transportation management partner of the World Meeting of Families. GO GROUND will handle charter bus registration, certification of operators, logistics leading up to the events, and bus parking for the historic visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015.

"While the exact number of buses is unknown at this time, early indications suggest it could go as high as 4-5,000. We have every confidence in the experience, skill and unique resources GO GROUND brings to this historic assignment," said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015.
The Department of Homeland Security has designated the visit by Pope Francis a National Special Security Event. To promote a smoother arrival and departure for those traveling by bus, the World Meeting of Families and the City of Philadelphia have initiated protocols for bus routing and parking. It is also expected that some major traffic arteries may be closed to unregistered buses.
"While exact plans are being refined and will be communicated when ready, the first step is for all buses to be registered at It is also important that operators understand all vehicles and drivers must meet minimum safety and operating conditions to be allowed to enter and park within a designated parking locations," said Jack O'Brien, director of special events of the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015.

Registration of buses is the responsibility of the bus operator. Parishes, tour operators and other private groups who are chartering buses from commercial operators should direct them to register now as access to parking space will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. If a parish or private party owns its own vehicle they will be considered the "operator" and must also register at To have access to reserved bus parking, operators, commercial and private, must provide documentation (proof of insurance, safety record, driver credentials, etc.) to validate they meet the World Meeting of Families safety and operating standards. The Official Registration Site ( for motor coaches, school buses, mini buses, RVs, and commercial passenger vans that carry 14 or fewer passengers.

"During this historic event, we will guide large numbers of buses into Philadelphia, park them, host their drivers and get them on their way home. We are honored to share in these significant Papal events and look forward to working with bus operators and drivers from throughout North America. This will be a team effort involving early insight, open dialogue and collaboration on plans. We encourage operators to visit and take a four question survey about their travel plans. It will be invaluable to helping us serve them better," said Bill Maulsby, CEO of GO GROUND.

The registration process is short and simple. Operators will be asked to provide basic information to register in addition to paying a Base Registration Fee. This fee entitles certification of one operator and pre-assigned parking access for one bus for one 24-hour period. Once certification is issued, additional buses and parking days may be added. An "operator" may be a commercial charter bus operator or a private owner, such as a parish or RV owner. Only those certified will be issued credentials and parking permits to pre-assigned parking lots. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families 2015, please visit You can also engage the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias - Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

GO GROUND is a leading group and event ground transportation management firm engaged in collegiate & professional athletics, special events and corporate travel. GO GROUND is the exclusive ground transportation partner of the NCAA Championships including March Madness, and also serves the NBA, Texas Longhorns, Kentucky University, CBS Sports and other world-class programs.

About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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