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Patco Doing More Single-Tracking Across Ben Franklin Bridge, Through March

By Mike DeNardo

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- More inconvenience is on tap for Patco riders, as a new phase of the high-speed line's ongoing track rehabilitation project begins this Thursday.

Patco will be single-tracking over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on Thursdays and Fridays, starting this week, so that crews can run communication wires.

John Hanson, CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority, which runs the train line, says the schedule modifications will mean service gaps of up to 26 minutes, midday Thursdays and all day Fridays, through the end of March.

"This is going to be the same schedule that we ran through last June and July," Hanson tells KYW Newsradio.  "It's the least advantageous of the outage schedules that we have, and it'll be on Thursday afternoon and all day Friday.  And what it means is that during rush hours we'll be running, typically, five trains and then there'll be a 26-minute gap."

Patco ridership hit a six-year low last year.  Hanson says the track rehabilitation, bad weather, and low gasoline prices (making driving less expensive) were to blame.

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