PATCO commuters' complaints are heard


PATCO Hi-Speedline officials will explore hiring private bus contractors to help alleviate rider overcrowding when major track rehabilitation delays rush-hour train service.

John Hanson, chief executive officer of the Delaware River Port Authority, listened to the busing suggestion from frustrated commuters including Paul Stankiewicz of Collingswood at a public meeting Thursday night and said it was a good idea.

The CEO directed PATCO General Manager John Rink and other staff standing nearby to investigate contracting with private bus companies to provide rush hour service.

"We will look into that. We contacted New Jersey Transit about buses, but they said they have everything in service at rush hour," he told the Collingswood audience.

The suggestion came during a lively meeting attended by more than two dozen disgruntled riders of the commuter line between Lindenwold and Philadelphia. DRPA scheduled the meeting, the second of three such sessions, to discuss passenger concerns connected with the ongoing $103 million project for rehabilitation of PATCO rails on the Ben Franklin Bridge.

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