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PATCO Launches New Fare Collection System
FREEDOM Fare Collection System Installation Set to Begin Nov. 26
FREEDOM is on the way! The Delaware River Port Authority and PATCO are pleased to announce the start of FREEDOM fare equipment installation at PATCO stations. This highly anticipated fare collection system uses state-of-the-art technology that will make PATCO the regional leader in modern, convenient and reliable fare collection.
On Monday, November 26, workers will begin installing fare equipment at PATCO's Broadway Station east at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, NJ. Over the next three months, workers will move from station to station installing fare equipment with the goal of full installation by late February 2008. The installation schedule will be distributed to passengers, posted at PATCO stations and will also be available at PATCO's website, www.ridepatco.org
On Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Wednesday, November 21 from 12 noon until 2 p.m., PATCO personnel will be at Broadway Station east at the Walter Rand Transportation Center to assist Broadway customers with obtaining and registering their FREEDOM cards, loading the $20 minimum value and demonstrating how to use the new fare equipment. During this introductory period, FREEDOM cards will be free to all who register for balance protection. Similar to the Broadway Station launch, PATCO will have staff at each station prior to equipment installation to assist with the conversion effort.
The new system, featuring two options for fare media, replaces the old magnetic strip tickets. Frequent customers who use the line for their daily commute to work will most likely opt to use the FREEDOM card, a credit card-sized ticket that utilizes smart card technology to store value. The FREEDOM card can be replenished using the new Automated Vending Machines (AVM) at each PATCO station, or by setting up an autoload function which will automatically reload a value from a customer's credit card. PATCO riders, who use the system occasionally, will have the option of purchasing the new paper magnetic tickets for single and round-trip rides. Both the FREEDOM card and magnetic paper tickets can be purchased at the vending machines located inside the stations.
From convenience to reliability, the new system has several benefits over the old system. Among the most important, the modern smart card technology makes the new system less prone to failure. Also, the FREEDOM card allows one to store value, eliminating the need to stand in long lines to purchase tickets. In fact, if a customer selects the autoload option, they never have to stand in line to purchase a ticket again. In addition, balance protection is available for customers who want to protect the stored value on their FREEDOM card. Another great feature of the new system is the payment options. The new automated vending machines accept cash for the purchase of paper magnetic tickets. Cash, credit cards and debit cards can be used to purchase or add value to FREEDOM cards.
For more information about PATCO's new fare collection system including a demonstration on how to use the system, please visit www.ridepatco.org
In addition to PATCO, the Delaware River Port Authority owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges. It also owns and operates the RiverLink Ferry and Philadelphia Cruise Terminal.
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