PATCO’s new overnight rail schedule on hold amid criticism

(Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY, file)

(Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY, file)

PATCO is delaying implementation of its new overnight rail schedule amid criticism from riders and local officials who say they weren’t told of the changes before they were made public.

The regional rail carrier had announced Tuesday that the new “owl” schedules would take effect Monday. But agency officials said Wednesday that the changes would now be delayed until at least June 1, giving them time to “analyze feedback” from the community.

PATCO plans to run fewer trains and close seven stations in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey under the new overnight schedule that also will put a police officer on each train. They say the changes are motivated by safety concerns.

Riders complained that PATCO should have given them advance notice of the changes, while elected leaders in some New Jersey towns said they opposed the station closures.

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