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PATCO Ridership On The Rise

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The PATCO high speed line is becoming ever more popular. Officials say they're seeing ridership levels that they haven't seen in more than a decade.

"It's the fastest way for me to get to work and back and it's cheaper than driving my car," said a commuter.

PATCO commuters seem to love their line.

"It's the quickest and the most convenient and there's no traffic."

And they must be spreading the word because Port Authority CEO John Mattheussen says the line carried 10.4 Million riders, last year, the most since 2000. He sees a number of factors.

"The cost of maintaining your automobile, the cost of insurance, the cost of parking a car in Center City, Philadelphia," said Mattheussen.

Unfortunately for the D R P A, those same factors are at work in decreasing traffic on the bridges, where it gets most of its revenue. Fewer than 100 million cars went over the bridges last year, the lowest in 11 years. Mattheussen admits part of the reason for the decrease is the $5 toll.

"The toll increases put into place this past July would have an impact."

Mattheussen says toll increases account for a three to five percent drop in bridge use.

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