To Make Overnight Travel Safer on Dec. 7
Stations to remain open, trains run every 60 minutes with police officer onboard are the recommendations being implemented from special owl safety task force
Lindenwold, N.J. – In early May, PATCO announced plans for a new Owl Service schedule in an effort to improve security on the PATCO transit line. After community feedback, the implementation was postponed and a special owl task force was assembled to recommend ways to improve the safety and security of riders and employees during the owl hours. The goals of the task force were to increase police presence, keep as many stations open as possible and maintain 24-hour service. Over several months, the task force analyzed 25-months of data pertaining to owl service and provided recommendations which PATCO will implement on Saturday, December 7.
“It’s important to PATCO to listen to the communities we serve, and then act on what we have learned,” said John D. Rink, PATCO General Manager. “Safety and security are still our top priority at PATCO and our new owl service plan incorporates the feedback and concerns of our riders. Based on a suggestion from our Citizen’s Advisory Committee, the task force took a deeper dive in reviewing entries and exits for each station for both weekday and weekend Owl service hours over the past two years.”
The following service adjustments will take effect beginning 12 a.m. on Saturday, December 7, 2019:
Owl Service (12 a.m. Midnight to 4 a.m. on weekdays and 5 a.m. on weekends)
- All stations remain open 24/7/365 with the exception of 9/10th & Locust St. Station which is currently closed between 12:07 a.m. and 4:15 a.m. daily.
- Trains will operate every 60 minutes instead of every 45 minutes.
- A police officer will be onboard owl trains from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. on weekdays and from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. on weekends.
- Only one train will be in the system making a continuous loop during the owl hours.
o Owl riders are encouraged to board the train, even if it’s traveling in the opposite direction, rather than waiting in a station for the same train to return. Riding the train offers a comfortable, climate-controlled environment with PATCO personnel.
o PATCO will operate 4-car trains and doors will not open on the first and last cars to encourage riders to sit closer together rather than spread out.
- Weekday and weekend times will not be impacted by the new owl schedule.
In addition to the service adjustments, PATCO will implement additional safety and security measures for all riders:
- Launch a transit safety and security mobile app called “Look Up. Speak Up.” which will allow riders to discreetly and confidentially report security or safety issues on PATCO directly to DRPA/PATCO Police. The app is available now for download in the Google Play and Apple App stores.
- Launch a safety awareness campaign aimed to remind and encourage riders to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings.
“Our number one goal is to ensure the safety of our riders and employees,” said DRPA/PATCO Police Chief John L. Stief. “The owl task force provided solutions for increased police coverage and aligning riders in greater numbers together on trains and stations.”
To view the new schedule effective Saturday, December 7, please visit RidePATCO.org/owl