Philadelphia Flower Show – During the nine days of the 2016 Philadelphia Flower Show, PATCO served a total of almost 32,000 more customers than we typically carry and nearly 44,000 more passengers than during the 2015 Show. The milder weather this year contributed to higher attendance at the Flower Show, and PATCO served 20% more passengers than last year.
To encourage ridership and better serve customers traveling to this annual event, PATCO enhanced its service on the weekends of the Show, providing trains every 15 minutes compared to the normally scheduled 25 minute headways on Saturdays and 30 minute headways on Sundays. We stationed Station Supervisors and Transit Ambassadors at key locations to assist the many first-time riders. We also provided maps to assist them in finding their way to the Convention Center on street level, now that the Gallery walk-through is closed for renovations.
On-Time Performance - The on-time performance for the 6,074 scheduled trips in March was 96.26%. Performance for the year to date is 95.80%. On March 1 we implemented an emergency track work schedule to allow us to replace a pole, which a tree had damaged during very strong winds; that incident required us to annul 22 trains. On March 15 we had a track-related issue at 9th/Locust platform during morning peak service. Track was removed from service while repairs were made. This occurred during rush hour, a particularly inconvenient time, and resulted in numerous delays. If we recalculate on-time performance to remove the annulments and scheduled trains affected by those two situations, on-time performance for March would be 97.39%.
Recycling of Scrap Steel – Our initiative to clean up Lindenwold Yard and sell scrap steel for recycling has netted a total of $61,620 to date. Since July of 2015, we have collected and turned in 1,681,940 pounds of material (841 tons).
Escalators / Elevators – In March we again exceeded our goals by a wide margin. Availability of all escalators was 98.8%, and elevator availability was 99.8%. Year to date, escalator availability has been 98.3% and elevator availability has been 99.5%.
School Field Trips – With the arrival of spring, teachers have begun planning school field trips. In March we hosted one school from Philadelphia and one from New Jersey. We discussed with the students the advantages of public transportation and invited them to design a billboard to convince others to take transit.