Riding PATCO? Better remember to wear your mask

PATCO train
Photo credit Mike Dougherty-KYW Newsradio
CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Masks will be required to ride on PATCO come the end of the week.

The carrier has been riding a fine line in urging people to put a mask on, given they’re covered by federal law as a bi-state agency.

“Our attorneys have gotten to the point where they believe that the executive orders from both Gov. Wolf and Gov. Murphy are similar enough that we are on firm legal ground in being able to require the mask," John Hanson, CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority, told KYW Newsradio. The mandate takes effect Friday morning. Trains will continue to be limited to 50% capacity in order to maintain social distancing.

Hanson says most riders are likely to comply with the new rule. However, for those who won’t, he says, “they’re subject to denial of service and to the fines that are prescribed in the executive orders of the state in which the infraction occurs.”

On a typical day, some 20,000 passengers use the transit service, which runs between Lindenwold, N.J., and Center City Philadelphia. During the coronavirus pandemic, Hanson said, ridership has gone down to about 4,000 passengers a day.