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Released: 12/15/2010 

PATCO Board Approves Major Transit Car Overhaul Project

The largest capital improvement project in the history of the Delaware River Port Authority has been approved by the PATCO Commissioners, a $194,197,337 contract to overhaul the entire 120 transit car fleet.  The Commissioners voted to award the contract to Alstom Transportation Inc., of Hornell, New York.  The Federal Transit Administration is providing $69 million in funding.

74 of the cars date back to the opening of PATCO in 1969.  The remaining cars were put into service in 1980.  Many of the car components and systems are no longer supported in the industry and, for years, PATCO has had to either produce parts in house or obtain them from agencies retiring similar technology in order to keep the fleet operational.

PATCO President, John J. Matheussen, says “this is one of the most important projects the Delaware River Port Authority or PATCO will ever undertake.  Once the work is completed the riding experience for our customers will be greatly enhanced.”

PATCO General Manager, Bob Box, says “this major fleet overhaul is the most cost effective way to deal with the issue since replacing the cars was estimated to be considerably more expensive.  Also, all assembly work will be done in the United States.”

It will take about two years for Alstom to prepare the final design of the overhaul work and incorporate the overhaul repairs and modifications into prototype cars.  Once the prototypes are accepted, rehabilitation of the rest of the fleet will begin and that process will take about three years.    

The work will include new brake, propulsion and signaling systems, door operators, HVAC systems, lighting, signing and messaging systems, and new floors.  The work also includes enclosing the operators cab, adding an onboard diagnostic system, ADA improvements, and all new modern interiors including new seats.

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency.  DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, and PATCO.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.

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