Message from General Manager
July 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:
Idle Trains but not Idle Hands – On June 23 torrential rains and extreme winds struck South Jersey, resulting in widespread power outages, which brought PATCO train service to a halt. It became clear that PSE&G could not restore electricity quickly, and PATCO announced a service suspension. However, that does not mean that our employees were idle. Train operators, supervisors, and police officers facilitated evacuation of passengers from the one train that stopped between stations. NJ Transit agreed to cross-honor PATCO customers’ tickets and FREEDOM cards. We provided updates to the media regarding the service suspension, sent out e-alerts and extensively utilized social media. Once power was restored, PATCO staff moved quickly to bring stalled trains off the line, and service resumed by mid-day on Wednesday, June 24. The power outage resulted in a loss of 26,855 passengers for that day, compared to an average weekday.
Safety: Always a Priority – Well over 100 PATCO employees participated in the annual safety open house this year and benefited from a presentation on ergonomics. In addition, Safety Specialist Lyle Hutnick recognized departments for their performance as measured by the number of employee injuries. Transit Services received a certificate for Excellence, reflecting its 17% decrease in injuries, and Way & Power was celebrated for showing the most improvement over the previous year.
Debit/Credit for Ticket Purchases –Purchasing a PATCO ticket became easier than ever. More and more people rely on debit and credit and carry very little cash with them. PATCO customers who do not use a PATCO FREEDOM card are very pleased now to have the option to buy their paper tickets with a debit or credit card as well as with cash. Since PATCO implemented the electronic payment feature, 13% of our ticket sales are being made with a debit or credit card. Implementing this change is consistent with our strategic goal of providing customer-oriented, technology-advanced solutions that meet passenger needs and expectations.
On-Time Performance – PATCO’s on-time performance in June, 2015 was 93.24%. Our on-time performance so far in 2015 is 96.77%.
A total of 179 trains were annulled as a result of the June 23rd storm, significantly affecting our on-time performance. If we recalculate on-time performance to remove the annulments and scheduled trains during the power outage, on-time performance for June would be 96.94%, and for the year to date our performance would be 97.39%.
Escalators / Elevators – Elevator availability for the month of June was 98.8%. Availability of escalators was 95.7%, significantly exceeding the 90% goal. Year to date averages are 99.2% for elevators and 93.0% for escalators.
School Field Trips – In June PATCO hosted two classes traveling from New Jersey into Center City and one school traveling from Center City to Camden for educational field trips for a total of 141 passengers. As approved by the Board, PATCO facilitates the purchase of one-ride tickets for each participant, effectively halving the cost of the students’ round trip