DPRA/PATCO and PARTSWG - In cooperation with the Philadelphia Area Regional Transit Security Working Group, DRPA/PATCO hosted a Tabletop Exercise. This federally funded project provides exercise, training, and security planning tools and services to the transit community. This exercise is part of an ongoing project that will culminate in a full scale drill for the regional transit partners. Our region works well together on a routine basis.
Voorhees Fire Department Training - In response to a request from the community, a PATCO Safety Specialist provided rail familiarization training for Voorhees Fire Department personnel.
Recycling - July 7 marks one year since we began the major clean-up of Lindenwold Yard and associated sale of scrap metal for recycling. In that time, we have recycled scrap wire and 1,975,824 pounds of steel.
Escalators & Elevators - In June we again exceeded our goals. Availability of all escalators was 98.1%, and elevator availability was 99.9%. Year to date, escalator availability has been 98.2% and elevator availability has been 99.4%.
Transit Tuesdays – PATCO and SEPTA customers are enjoying a discount at Dunkin’ Donuts on Tuesdays. Intersection, who sells advertising and shares the revenue with both transit agencies, coordinated this commuter benefit. This program also promotes the use of PATCO’s FREEDOM card.
Ridership - Ridership in June, 2016 was 937,049, an increase of 92,687 (+10.9%) when compared to the same period of 2015. It should be noted that in June of 2015, a severe storm resulted in an extended loss of electricity and a suspension of service for much of two days. A more meaningful comparison of ridership in the month of June in 2016 vs. 2015 might be the average weekday: 37,741 in 2016 vs. 35,438 in 2015, a 6.5% increase. Year to Date ridership as of 6/30/2016 was 5,311,405 an increase of 6.6% when compared to the same period of 2015.
On-time Performance - The on-time performance for the 5,486 scheduled trips in June was 95.4%. Performance for the year to date is 96.1%.
This month we encountered a number of unusual situations. On June 27, concrete materials used during construction on the Westmont Viaduct did not meet the minimum necessary strength. Therefore, PATCO was unable to put the track back in service for the morning rush. Demolition began immediately to replace the concrete with temporary wood ties, enabling the track to be secured to the viaduct and allowing the track to be returned to service. In addition, we impose speed restrictions throughout the viaduct work area, which when combined with minor issues, has resulted in some delays. Furthermore, we had eight incidents this month involving medical issues, many more than the norm, with two significantly impacting ridership. In any situation, we are mindful of the schedule and our commitment to providing reliable transportation; however, our procedures prioritize safety over the convenience of adhering strictly to the schedule.
PATCO Cares - PATCO employees joined a representative from Alex's Lemonade Stand in the fight against cancer in children, selling lemonade and accepting donations at Ferry Avenue, Woodcrest, Ashland, and Lindenwold Stations. Generous PATCO customers contributed almost $1100.
Police Training - In response to a request from the community, a PATCO Safety Specialist provided rail safety training for Voorhees and Gibbsboro police officers. The Voorhees Fire Department will be coming to PATCO for training in June.
Collingswood MayFair - PATCO co-promoted the Collingswood MayFair by seat-dropping flyers provided by Collingswood Partners and posting digital signs. In return PATCO had the opportunity to set up a booth at this annual event that draws thousands to Collingswood. Ridership at Collingswood Station on that Saturday was nearly 50% greater than on an average Saturday. PATCO staff talkied with hundreds of MayFair attendees in Collingswood, many of whom were eager to learn about PATCO's Reduced Fare Program for Medicare card holders, seniors, and the disabled.
Lost & Found - PATCO's service to its customers with respect to Lost & Found exemplifies our commitment to Collaboration, the Shared Value that is especially top of mind this month. PATCO's Lost & Found service involves numerous employees, including train operators, custodians, transit ambassadors, supervisors, customer service agents, dispatchers and more. They ensure that found items are handled efficiently to maximize the possibility of reuniting them with their owners.
Our Passenger Services Department maintains a Lost & Found office at our Lindenwold Station. During the month of May, a total of 77 items were claimed through that office, including 20 cell phones, 11 sets of keys, 11 wallets, 7 FREEDOM cards, 6 IDs, and 3 pairs of glasses.
Occasionally a customer realizes just as s/he is exiting the station that s/he has left something valuable on the train and reaches out for immediate assistance. At least 5 times this month, we successfully retrieved and returned valuable items to our customers within minutes of their loss.
Ridership - Ridership in May, 2016 was 871,973, an increase of 27,755 (+3.29%) when compared to the same period of 2015. Year to Date ridership as of 5/31/2016 was 4,374,356, an increase of 5.73% when compared to the same period of 2015.
On-time Performance - The on-time performance for the 5,500 scheduled trips in May was 96.83%. Performance for the year to date is 96.26%.
On seven days in May, we had no delays. Trespassers in the track area on two occasions accounted for a total of 14 late trains this month. The incident that most affected our schedule involved disabled work equipment that needed to be moved with a crane.
Escalators & Elevators - In May we again exceeded our goals. Availability of all escalators was 99.3%, and elevator availability was 99.7%. Year to date, escalator availability has been 98.3% and elevator availability has been 99.3%.