Saturday, April 6, 2013
$440 million in economic development spending is under scrutiny.
A year after the New Jersey Comptroller’s Office issued a scathing report about waste and mismanagement at the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), federal prosecutors have dropped a subpoena on the authority, demanding spending records for the last five years, according to a Philadelphia Daily News report. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia issued the subpoena via its public corruption unit two weeks ago, the Daily News reported, seeking a plethora of documents related to the authority’s spending outside of the four bridges—the Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross—and the PATCO High-Speed Line run by the DRPA. The DRPA spent nearly half a billion dollars on economic development projects, according to last …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
DVARP wants to know: do commuters want cell phone reception in tunnels in Camden City and Philadelphia? Vote in our poll.
In the past year, Patch readers have helped the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) improve conditions on the PATCO Hi-Speedline by blogging their feedback to the rider advocacy group. Now DVARP is asking Patch readers to weigh in on its latest issue: creating cell phone service in the tunnels along the railway. "We heard from some of our PATCO rider volunteers that providing cell phone reception in the Center City and Camden tunnels is important," Andy Sharpe, Communications Director at DVARP, wrote in an email to Patch. Sharpe pointed to an existing partnership with SEPTA and AT&T that he said supports most underground cell phone use for customers on that carrier network. DVARP would work to broker a similar deal with …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Planes, trains and buses—find out how you can get around in the hurricane's wake.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
PATCO Trains are running on a modified schedule with slower speeds expected Wednesday. Trains will depart every 10 minutes between 7 and 9 a.m., and every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Trains will run on a 10-minute departure schedule between 2 and 6 p.m., then switch back to every 15 minutes from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and move to every 24 minutes from 7:30 p.m. on. NJ Transit Only limited buses will run in the city of Camden Wednesday. All rail lines, including the Atlantic City Line and River Line, are shut down. PATCO is cross-honoring tickets and passes for the Atlantic City Line. SEPTA Regional rail lines reopen Wednesday, though there may be delays. The Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street line, as well as buses and trolleys, will…
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers is looking for sharp-eyed rail-riders to become public transit watchdogs.
Patchers, we know you ride the rails of the PATCO High Speedline, and we know you have opinions. Now the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) is offering you an opportunity to weigh in on issues with the public transit system. Patch is partnering with DVARP to find daily PATCO riders who want to blog about their experiences with the commuter infrastructure. “Whether it's SEPTA in Pennsylvania, DART in Delaware, PATCO in South Jersey or Amtrak, we’re really trying to take a hyperlocal approach to getting feedback on rail service,” said Andy Sharpe, DVARP communications director. According to Sharpe, volunteers would have a relatively minimal workload. Just log one entry a week with a few observations, complaints, …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The New Jersey Comptroller's office said many treated the organization "like a personal ATM."
Years of weak oversight and mismanagement at the Delaware River Port Authority led to millions of dollars' worth of tolls and PATCO fares being misspent or wasted, according to a report issued Thursday by the New Jersey Comptroller's Office. “In nearly every area we looked at, we found people who treated the DRPA like a personal ATM, from DRPA commissioners to private vendors to community organizations,” State Comptroller Matthew Boxer said in a statement. “People with connections at the DRPA were quick to put their hand out when dealing with the agency, and they generally were not disappointed when they did.” That waste and abuse included $1.5 million in shady insurance commission dealings, the report said, as well as smaller bits—from $…
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The organization sent a letter to the DRPA taking issue with a note on the PATCO website indicating photography qualifies as "suspicious activity."
Monday, September 19, 2011
The Delaware River Port Authority board will vote this week on renewing a $630,000 contract with the company that provides staffing for the program.
An initiative that has provided greater security for evening commuters and those travelling to dining, cultural and sports events in Philadelphia on the PATCO High-Speed Line is on track to be renewed by the Delaware River Port Authority at its Sept. 21 board meeting. Transit Ambassadors, who are attired in PATCO red and black uniforms, have been present since November 2007 at all stations along the train’s 14.2 miles of track from 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on weekdays and from 7 p.m. to midnight on weekends. Since the train stations are so automated, there are times of the day when there is very limited official PATCO presence along the rail line. Cheryl Spicer, now PATCO acting general manager, is credited with designing the program to …
Monday, August 22, 2011
The $140 million project will close one lane of the bridge in succession through the summer of 2014.
The more than 100,000 commuters, sports fans, shore visitors and truck drivers who use the Walt Whitman Bridge each day will find crossing the Delaware River more challenging beginning Friday, Aug. 26, as the redecking of the span will close one of the seven lanes in succession through the summer of 2014. Executive Director John Matheussen hailed the imminent start of the $140 million redecking of the Walt Whitman Bridge at the Wednesday, Aug. 17 meeting of the Delaware River Port Authority bi-state board. Matheussen pointed to the project, which will essentially replace the existing bridge, as part of the $1 billion in planned capital improvements the Authority is supporting through the $1 increase in bridge tolls and a 10 percent hike in…
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Power cut to tracks at the request of fire marshal.
PATCO train service resumed shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, using only one track in an area affected by a massive fire. Full service resumed a short time later. "We were only down for about 20 minutes," said Ed Kasuba, spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority that operates the light-rail service." Fortunately this happened at 6 p.m. Our heaviest traffic is between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m." Kasuba said NJ Transit provided some buses to transport commuters from Philadelphia up to the Westmont station in Haddon Township during the disruption. He said the service is now operating between all stations, but on a delayed schedule. __________________________ A raging eight-alarm fire in Camden on Thursday afternoon has led to the suspension of …
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
While fixing one problem, workers found more extensive damage that will keep the escalator out of service until June.
Commuters who use Collingswood’s PATCO speedline station have to contend with the malfunctioning escalator until at least June 1. The escalator went out of service several weeks ago, according to riders, compelling commuters to use the stairs to reach the elevated platform. PATCO found the escalator “requires extensive repairs,” according to a news release. In the process of fixing the escalator, workers found additional problems. “The entire top portion of the escalator must be removed to access and replace parts of the transmission,” the information reads. PATCO estimated the work would take about two weeks from the start of repairs, putting the earliest estimated opening at June 1. Signs hung in the Collingswood station alert riders to …