As passengers at five PATCO stations in our area continue to deal with repairs that have put the escalators out of commission, one woman says that the constant delays and breakdowns have forced her to quit her job.
The escalators at the Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ashland, 8th and Market and 13th and Locust stations have been down for months.
PATCO officials have tried to fix the broken escalators. They recently received word however from Fujitec, the company that made the escalators, that they were beyond repair and had to be completely replaced, a process which could take months.
“They came in, they looked at the escalators and when they opened them up they said they couldn’t agree to replace them unless they were either completely replaced or significantly overhauled,” said Tim Ireland of PATCO.
Rosemarie Altone tells NBC10 she was at one of the PATCO stations in Center City on her way to work. Due to the broken escalator, she had to use an elevator, which she claimed stopped dead at the Concorde Level.
"The elevator just literally stopped dead at the Concorde Level," she said. "It took almost 30 minutes and three PATCO employees to pry the door open."
Altone says after dealing with broken escalators and train delays for months, which caused her to get home two hours late at least twice a week, she's had enough.
"My employer almost sent me home from work because I was so upset from being stuck in an elevator," she said. "Enough is enough. Retirement is starting to look better and better."
While the elevator has since been repaired, the escalators continue to be an issue for PATCO.
Ireland says it will cost about $2 million to replace each escalator. He assures passengers however that rates and fees won’t go up because of it.
“Our capital budget was approved today,” Ireland said. “In no time in the foreseeable future do we intend to raise PATCO fares or tolls. This will have no impact on tolls or PATCO fares.”
PATCO officials don’t have a set date yet for when the escalators will be completely replaced. They do say it will happen within a year however.