Message from General Manager
New Monthly Outreach
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:
PATCO Ridership – In 2014 PATCO ridership exceeded 10 million trips for the seventh consecutive year.
Ben Franklin Bridge Track Rehabilitation Project - On February 12, PATCO implemented a timetable to reflect contractor work on the electronic and signal communication systems on the south track of the bridge from 10 a.m. on Thursdays through the weekends. This schedule offers traditional, frequent PATCO service on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and on Thursday mornings. Service on Thursday afternoons and on Fridays mimics that which was in place in June-July of 2014 during the 24/7 outage of the south track. As is customary, the change in schedule was publicized through the website, eblasts, social media, signage in the stations, and a hand-out of schedules in the stations during both evening and morning commuting hours.
Storm Response – PATCO operated “Snow” schedules that incorporated special operating procedures to maximize safety and minimize stress on traction motors. “Snow Schedule A” offered peak service every 6 minutes; “Snow Schedule B” provided trains every 10 minutes during peak hours. PATCO utilized social media, e-alerts, the website, and station signage to communicate these schedules. Because of the severe storm predictions, PATCO engaged the services of a contractor to augment our own snow removal.
Escalators / Elevators – Elevator availability for the month of January was 99.5%, and availability of all escalators was 90.2%, meeting the 90% goal even with the Woodcrest escalator still under construction and out of service for the entire month.
On February 19, the escalator to the westbound platform at Woodcrest was completed and began serving our customers. This is the fourth and last of the oldest escalators being replaced through our capital project.
In February, elevator availability was 99.99% and availability of all escalators was 89.2%, falling just short of the 90% goal. The performance of escalators not under construction in February was 92.9%. Although we are disappointed to have fallen short of our goal for overall escalator availability, 93% of the escalator outages were at stations where elevators offer our customers an alternative.
* The replacement of the escalator from lobby level to the Woodcrest westbound platform was completed and the new unit began serving our customers on February 19, 2015.
Community Initiatives – With Board Approval, the Girl Scouts sold cookies to hungry PATCO passengers. One particularly artistic note from the girls said, “Thank you for letting our troop sell cookies at the Woodcrest train station. We were there opening weekend and did very well. Your staff was very nice to work with.”
As the first of the 2015 PATCO Cares events, the Food Bank of South Jersey collected donations of nonperishable foods at several stations in February.
On-Time Performance - The on-time performance for the 5,083 scheduled trips in January was 96.92%. PATCO's performance was 100% on seven January days. Although equipment issues would appear to be responsible for most incidents, the incident involving a significant number of delayed and/or annulled trains resulted from the weather. Furthermore, the number of incidents in January 2015 was half that of January 2014.
The on-time performance for the 4,432 scheduled trips in February was 97.01%. PATCO's performance was 100% on five days in February. Most incidents were resolved quickly and affected few customers. The number of incidents in February 2015 was less than half that of February 2014.
New Signage and Variable Message Systems - The first phase of the signage project is approximately 80% complete with most of the conduit and wiring installed. PATCO received delivery of the flat screen LCDs and LED Variable Message Signs on March 2 for Lindenwold and Woodcrest Stations. The remaining signage should arrive within the next two to three weeks with installation immediately upon receipt. The first seven stations should be complete around the end of March or beginning of April. PATCO will continue with Phase 2, which will complete the remaining stations not addressed in Phase I, upon receiving Board approval.