We’re proud to say that our first two installments of our Voices From PATCO blog are now up on Collingswood Patch. Luckily for you, we’re also including them below. Hopefully, you find this insightful.
Given that Collingswood is such a rail commuter town with fast, frequent service to Philadelphia and Camden, the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) thought it would be a good idea to query local PATCO riders about their experiences taking the train to work, recreation, and appointments.
We received a tremendous response. This was the start of a weekly blog series right from the voices of PATCO riders. Below are some complaints, compliments, and interesting sights as told by daily PATCO riders.
Mark Heston is a daily PATCO rider who typically travels between Collingswood and 9th/10th St. Station.
The ride home was smooth and you could hear the announcement of stations. Nice ride for $2.60…A purple set of surgical gloves have been on the NW exit stairway of 8th st [Philadelphia] station for over a week now. Gross…There is a lot of garbage at the Collingswood handicap parking.
David Mays rides both PATCO and the RiverLINE between Palmyra and 16th/Locust Station.
Down on the PATCO platforms, again there is a lack of seating that reflects a complete misunderstanding of the way people use the system and the volume of riders it has…I think the recent renovations at 16th and Locust are nice, but they focus on the area where you spend the least time, the concourse. The area that needs improvement is the platform, not the hallways you’re in for at most 3 minutes.
Finally, Jeff Lyons is another daily PATCO rider between Ashland and 8th and Market in Philadelphia.
It looks like work has finally begun on the out-of-service escalator at PATCO’s Ashland Station. It’s been out of service since July. What’s the over/under on how long it takes for the repaired version to break down?
PATCO GM John Rink discovered Lyons’ comment via DVARP’s newsletter, and offered this response:
Yes, Ashland escalator has been OOS since July. PATCO does have a service contract with a third-party elevator/escalator repair company.
I would like to apologize for the inconvenience and frustration for our customers who use the escalator at Ashland Station. Unfortunately over 85 escalator steps were significantly damaged and were required to be removed for repairs that were beyond safety and code tolerances.
Due to the expensive costs to repair, we need to follow fiscally responsible procedures which led to a delay in the repair, which included Board approval.
Let us know of know if you’ve had experiences similar to those of Mark, Jeff, and David. Reply to this blog post or let DVARP know @PhillyDVARP on Twitter or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we wish to sincerely thank PATCO GM John Rink for taking the time to read the DVARP newsletter and respond to one of the complaints. That’s something that many GMs would not personally do.
This week was a mixed experience for our riders, all of whom seem to have weathered the tornado watch last Tuesday.
Mark Heston had a bumpy ride Tuesday:
The stops felt like the old roadrunner cartoons…..80 mph to 0 [mph] in ten feet, people were bouncing around like cattle.
Thankfully, things had sorted themselves out a day later:
The ride today was so much better than they have been. The conductor was smooth in his driving and he announced all stops in a professional and courteous manner.”
Jeff Lyons was excited at the prospect of some new technology debuting Tuesday morning…
There’s a new ticket machine coming to 8th and Market. Some honchos were giving demonstrations of it yesterday afternoon. I didn’t really notice it until I was already through the gate. It should help alleviate crowds when there’s a concert on the waterfront and there are tons of kids waiting to get a ticket.
…but had soured on the timing of its presentation by the end of the day:
That machine I wrote about this morning? It’s now surrounded by big shots who are apparently trying to sell it to PATCO. So that entrance is blocked off by police. Yes, police. At the beginning or rush hour. Why not do this in the middle of the day? So stupid.
On Thursday, Lyons caught a break, however, in the form of a courteous driver.
I just wanted to thank the driver of the eastbound train at 8th and Market just after 12 [PM] today for seeing me tearing down the steps and reopening the doors so I could get on. I truly appreciate it.