Recycling - Used rail can be sold and recycled into other products. PATCO Way & Power workers have cleared tons of scrap material from our rail yard, cleaning up the facility and generating revenue of $15,000.
Sustainability - As part of our continual effort to optimize all resources, PATCO completed replacement of sodium-vapor lights with more energy efficient LED fixtures in our Westmont Station parking lots. In addition to lowering electricity costs, the LED fixtures nearly eliminate light pollution, making PATCO a better neighbor to nearby residents.
Elevators / Escalators - Elevator availability was 99.9% for the month of October and 98.6% for the year to date. Availability of all escalators was 91.0% in October and 94.3% for the year to date. The escalators at Woodcrest, where elevators are available to meet our customers’ needs, accounted for 83% of the escalator down time. Major repairs to the steps of the new “up” escalator to the Woodcrest westbound platform were completed on October 10. The new “down” escalator from the Woodcrest eastbound platform then encountered a problem with the CPU module in the controller. Although that issue kept the unit out of service for several days in October, the CPU module was replaced, the HMI (Human Machine Interface) parameters were corrected and repairs were completed by the morning of November 2. In October we exceeded our goal of 90% availability despite these challenges.
Annual Emergency Drill - Many of the DRPA/PATCO Departments, including Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Engineering, Public Safety, Corporate Communications, PATCO Way and Power, Safety and Transit Services collaborated with the Camden Fire Department and Camden County Communication Center in conducting an emergency exercise at PATCO’s City Hall Station. The exercise conducted on Sunday, October 18, included a functional test of the track level fire suppression system and also exercised interagency radio communications. Camden Fire Department connected to and activated the fire suppression system while coordinating events directly with all participants over a fully interoperable radio system. The event required months of planning and preparation. Everyone involved reported that the exercise was a unique learning experience that left the Authority as well as the Camden Fire Department and Camden County Communication Center better prepared to respond to a real emergency.
Leaf Schedule - Each autumn, PATCO implements special operating procedures to minimize the effect of leaves falling on the rails. When the wheels of the train crush leaves, the oily leaf residue can cause wheels to slide, and the friction of the sliding wheels on the rails results in flattened wheels. Trains with flattened wheels would have to be taken out of service. Also the slippery conditions reduce our trains’ ability to accelerate and brake. To minimize this inconvenience to our customers and added cost to our operations, PATCO limits acceleration and braking rates for its in-service trains and uses a special high-pressure washer to remove as much of the residue as possible. The speed restrictions result in a slightly longer trip. When scheduling the various phases of the Bridge Track Rehab Project, we anticipated this annual challenge and determined that a track outage during leaf season would undermine reliable peak service so we do not allow the contractors to have weekday track outages. Therefore, although the October 22 timetable builds in a slightly longer travel time for each trip, it also offers consistent, frequent weekday service with no gaps for track outages.
On-Time Performance - The on-time performance in October was 97.95%, very nearly reaching our goal of 98%. On-time performance year to date is 96.49%.
Surveying our Customers - PATCO, DRPA, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission have been working together to conduct a demographic passenger survey as part of our Title VI submission required by the Federal Transit Administration. Thanks to the cooperation of our customers and the teamwork of our Transit Ambassadors, Passenger Services Department and support staff, we completed the in-station surveys in just nine days, two days ahead of schedule.
School Field Trips - In October PATCO hosted three classes traveling from New Jersey into Center City. Two of the three schools had never before taken advantage of the available half-price discount available through PATCO’s school program.
PATCO Cares - Representatives of Project H.O.P.E. spoke with customers at Lindenwold Station regarding their health care, social work, and counseling services.