PATCO trains will be operating on a new schedule starting Sunday to accommodate work being done on the tracks along the north side of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Officials said eastbound and westbound trains will share a single set of tracks on the south side of the Ben Franklin Bridge while the work is being completed. Similar single-track service was in effect between August and October last year, PATCO officials said, and the project is expected to be completed by December, several months ahead of schedule.
"This phase of the construction has been timed to take place during the summer, when ridership is lower, with many people on vacation and schools not in session," said PATCO General Manager John Rink. "Because work will take place 24/7 between July 5 and Labor Day, we expect the project to be completed four months ahead of schedule - by the end of December 2015 instead of April 2016."
The schedule change means three gaps in service during the morning rush hour Monday through Friday, when three trains -- at 7:18 a.m., 7:56 a.m. and 8:49 a.m. -- will originate at Haddonfield, and one more train will originate at Lindenwold. Westbound service will be continuous, officials said, with trains departing from Lindenwold every few minutes between 7:52 a.m. and 8:29 a.m.
Eastbound service to Lindenwold during evening rush hour adds five trains between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., reducing the average gap time by 8 minutes, officials said. Nine trains will depart from 16th and Locust between 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., removing a 26-minute gap in service that existed on the Thursday-Friday evening rush schedule between 5:04 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Four eastbound trains will originate at 8th and Market for the evening rush at 4:09 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 5:13 p.m. and 6:07 p.m., according to PATCO.
New timetables reflecting the change will be available in stations this week.