Message from General Manager
April Report to the Board and our Customers
In preparation for each Board Meeting, PATCO prepares a report for inclusion in the Agenda published on www.drpa.org. The highlights are offered below for the convenience of customers who are interested:
As stewards of public assets, we provide for the safe and efficient operation of transportation services and facilities in a manner that creates value for the public we serve.
On Sunday, March 22, 2015, the Way and Power crews worked together to replace 35E switch, which had been in-service for 35 years at our Way Interlocking at the east end of Broadway Station in Camden NJ. The crews spent four days preparing the replacement rails at our Lindenwold Maintenance of Way building prior to delivery to the field. Working together, day and night shift personnel installed new switch points, stock rails, closure rails, and associated hardware on the right-hand turnout in two 12-hour shifts. The department was able to meet our goal and ensure the safe facilitation of train movement for Monday morning’s rush hour.
The following weekend Maintenance Technicians installed a gutter system to capture ground water leaking from the subway ceiling and divert it to the floor drains. The diversion of this water from the track area will help assure the long-term stability of the infrastructure. The remaining old track material was removed.
New Signage and Variable Message Systems - The first phase of the passenger information signage project is approximately 87% complete with most of the conduit and wiring installed. Both LED and LCD signs are operational at Lindenwold Station. LED signs have been installed at Woodcrest, Haddonfield, Ferry and Broadway, and installation of LCD signs is underway. The first seven stations should be complete around mid-April depending on track availability. PATCO will continue with Phase 2, which will complete the remaining stations not addressed in Phase I, upon issuance of a Purchase Order.
New Bicycle Racks – Thanks to CAC and Bicycle Coalition member John Boyle, PATCO is implementing recommendations of the DVRPC’s “PATCO Concourse Level Bicycle Improvement Evaluation” study. Using FTA funding under a Transit Enhancement Grant, PATCO has purchased 33 bicycle racks. Cyclists will be able to secure their bikes at concourse level, with the first units already installed at Locust Street Stations.
Escalators / Elevators – Elevator availability for the month of March was 99.4%, and availability of all escalators was 92.1%, meeting the 90% goal even with seven escalators taken out of service for comprehensive annual state inspections.
On-Time Performance - The on-time performance for the 4,990 scheduled trips in March was 97.81%. PATCO’s performance was 100% on ten days this month. The number of incidents in March 2015 was just over half that of March 2014.
Assistance to NJ Transit – PATCO partnered with NJ Transit to serve the public’s transportation needs on Sunday, March 29. NJ Transit requested that PATCO cross honor tickets for their passengers from 7 a.m. until noon because a street in Camden was shut down, affecting their ability to provide bus service to Center City. PATCO provided rides for 52 passengers. This is the fifth occasion so far this year that PATCO has cross-honored tickets. Although PATCO very rarely needs to call upon NJ Transit to reciprocate, we make information about alternate transportation available to our customers on our website, in bulletin boards, and on special tear-off tablets for hand-out to customers if our service were to be suspended.
Girl Scouts - As reported last month and with Board approval, the Girl Scouts had sold cookies to hungry PATCO passengers on Friday evenings. We continue to receive thank you notes from numerous troops, and we are pleased to share the benefits of this initiative. As a fund raiser, the proceeds give the Scouts opportunities for camping, overnights at Franklin Institute, and programs that serve their schools and communities. In addition, through Girl Scout cookie sales, the girls develop five essential abilities: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The Girl Scouts very much appreciate DRPA/PATCO’s commitment to the community and contribution to their endeavor through allowing cookie sales in PATCO stations.
Food Bank - On March 28, the Food Bank of South Jersey and White Horse Rotary Club kicked off their monthly “mobile food pantry” in Lindenwold Station’s parking lot. This Board-approved endeavor provides meat, rice, pasta, juice and many other basic foods to families who qualify based on residency and need and augments the weekly Saturday afternoon distribution of fresh foods by Philabundance. The White Horse Rotary Club reported that approximately 140 of the eligible 200 families attended their first “mobile food pantry” at Lindenwold Station and they expect many more as the weather improves and their clients become accustomed to this new location.