The Delaware River Bridge Authority made tweaks to its PATCO papal weekend service after fewer passengers than expected took advantage of trains into Philadelphia than originally anticipated.
The DRPA began operating trains at 10-minute intervals Saturday from each of its four New Jersey stations to the papal visit in Philadelphia. The agency had been operating express trains from each station heading to Philadelphia, but as of 11 a.m., it switched to local trains stopping at each of the four New Jersey Stations (Broadway, Ferry Avenue, Lindenwold and Woodcrest) before arriving at the 9/10 Locust station in Philadelphia.
PATCO made the adjustment in response to relatively low demand, and can adjust service levels again should the demand increase, said spokesman Kyle Anderson.
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"We've altered the schedule in a way that is having our riders have shorter wait times. And yet we're using less equipment to lower the possibility of an equipment failure," Anderson said.
Riders shared photos of empty trains on social media.
Anderson said that the expected 15,000 passengers to ride PATCO on Saturday is still more than twice the normal ridership for a Saturday.
"We always are prepared for the absolute possible turnout and we're prepared to handle that with our partners. The turnout thus far has been lighter than anticipated,” Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson said.
Despite the light ridership, one parking lot at PATCO's Lindenwold Station on N Berlin Road packed up by 2 p.m. Anderson said some of the other 3,300 spots remained available.
More passengers took special SEPTA trains from selected stations into Center City Philadelphia, but spokeswoman Jerri Williams said that ridership was lighter than expected considering the amount of papal passes sold.
SEPTA continued to run service along its Broad Street Line and Market-Frankford Line subways throughout the day with dropoffs in Center City.