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  1. #1
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    Philly to NJ Tandem on PATCO

    My wife and I are riding our standard tandem to the shore this Friday and have been a little concerned on crossing the river to NJ using the Ben Franklin. Someone said we should us PATCO picking it up in Philly and taking it across to a station east of Camden. I did a search on the Bike Forums and the one that was most appropriate dated back to 2009 so thought I'd ask and see what this group might know. It looks like the PATCO language isn't specific on what type bike is allowed but they don't want you using the line during peak hours. If we can in fact take PATCO knowing which stations would be best for access etc would be most helpful. We think we could be to a center city Philly station between 1:00 and 2:00PM.

    Love to hear anyone's thoughts!

    Thanks,

    Paul
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem, SOMA Double Cross

  2. #2
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    Paul, I'm in the communications office at DRPA/PATCO and came across your post. Your bike is welcomed on PATCO. There are limitations during rush hours with the current schedule, but you'll be fine up until 3:45 p.m. on Friday. As for access, any of PATCO's stations will be the same- you will need to carry the bike down a flight of steps (assuming it will not fit in an elevator). Another option to consider is to ride across the Ben Franklin Bridge's pedestrian walkway. Enjoy your ride and let me know if I can be of further help!

    Mike Williams
    DRPA/PATCO Corporate Communications

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteelCan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drpapatco View Post
    I'm in the communications office at DRPA/PATCO.
    DRPA/PATCO Corporate Communications
    OT: Mike,
    Any timeline for that new walkway ramp that will eliminate those steps? I heard the money (seems like a lot - upwards of $50M) was approved and allocated.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drpapatco View Post
    Paul, I'm in the communications office at DRPA/PATCO and came across your post. Your bike is welcomed on PATCO. There are limitations during rush hours with the current schedule, but you'll be fine up until 3:45 p.m. on Friday. As for access, any of PATCO's stations will be the same- you will need to carry the bike down a flight of steps (assuming it will not fit in an elevator). Another option to consider is to ride across the Ben Franklin Bridge's pedestrian walkway. Enjoy your ride and let me know if I can be of further help!

    Mike Williams
    DRPA/PATCO Corporate Communications
    Thank you Mike! I really appreciate your reply. We are looking forward to the ride tomorrow. Thank you so much for the information.

    Paul
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem, SOMA Double Cross

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
    Thank you Mike! I really appreciate your reply. We are looking forward to the ride tomorrow. Thank you so much for the information.

    Paul
    I used to commute from Philly to NJ via my bike and PATCO and still use it to bypass riding through Camden and dealing with the BF Bridge when I take tours towards the shore area. I am almost certain the tandem will not fit in the elevator on the SW corner of 15th & Locust, outside Fado. You will actually have to use two sets of stairs. The first will take you down to the concourse, where you buy the tickets. (The gates are great as there is one for wheelchairs that you can wheel your bike right through. No having to lift it.) Then you will have a second set that takes you down to the platform. Lately I have been going to the end of line at Lindenwold to start my trips. The elevator is larger, but I am not sure whether it is large enough for a tandem.

    As for the Bridge, it's a PITA. There are metal grate steps that are steep. There is a little ramp along the side to wheel a bike, but it's not easy. Also, the north walkway has a coupe of very narrow choke points. Wondering if they would be tough to negotiate with a tandem, especially if you have panniers. Finally, the north side is not the convenient side for riding to the shore. You have to cross under the bridge approach through a pedestrian tunnel to get you to the south side.

    At the hour you are planning, prepare for the possibility of reverse commute traffic depending on your route and how far into NJ you take PATCO.

    What's your planned route and ultimate destination?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I used to commute from Philly to NJ via my bike and PATCO and still use it to bypass riding through Camden and dealing with the BF Bridge when I take tours towards the shore area. I am almost certain the tandem will not fit in the elevator on the SW corner of 15th & Locust, outside Fado. You will actually have to use two sets of stairs. The first will take you down to the concourse, where you buy the tickets. (The gates are great as there is one for wheelchairs that you can wheel your bike right through. No having to lift it.) Then you will have a second set that takes you down to the platform. Lately I have been going to the end of line at Lindenwold to start my trips. The elevator is larger, but I am not sure whether it is large enough for a tandem.

    As for the Bridge, it's a PITA. There are metal grate steps that are steep. There is a little ramp along the side to wheel a bike, but it's not easy. Also, the north walkway has a coupe of very narrow choke points. Wondering if they would be tough to negotiate with a tandem, especially if you have panniers. Finally, the north side is not the convenient side for riding to the shore. You have to cross under the bridge approach through a pedestrian tunnel to get you to the south side.

    At the hour you are planning, prepare for the possibility of reverse commute traffic depending on your route and how far into NJ you take PATCO.

    What's your planned route and ultimate destination?
    Thanks indyfabz. Knowing what you know about want we are doing which station would you thing best for us to use? We will plan on being on the the train between 2:00 and 2:30 so hopefully we will be outside the commuter traffic. We are pretty good on stairs and the stoker (wife) carries the panniers, I was thinking we could take the wheels off for the elevator. We can get the tandem in many of the hotel elevators but I'm thinking these will be smaller.
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem, SOMA Double Cross

  7. #7
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    The best station depends on your route and if you want to avoid Camden completely. I sometimes go camping in Woodbine, NJ. I have route from the Lindenwold station that's about 50 or miles. That route also positions the GF and I well if we want to ride to her parents' house in Avalon. But if I were going to Ocean City, I might get off and Woodcrest and follow the route the MS 150 City-to-Shore uses. Collingswood and Westmont don't make much sense since they are down from each other on a busy road. It would make more sense to use Haddonfield in such an instance. Ashland is sort of in the middle of nowhere.

    Count on a half hour ride to Lindenwold, which would have you getting off the train between 2:30 and 3:00 assuming you keep your planned schedule, plus a few minutes to get down the stairs and riding. Also note that PATCO is currently doing track work. I would check their schedule for Friday. I saw this morning on the news that they have a special schedule in place today. The shore traffic starts relatively early on a Friday, and this weekend is supposed to be hot. Again, I don't know where you are going, but with your schedule, I would not be surprised to see long lines on the causeways leading into Ocean City, Sea Isle and Avalon. At least there are shoulders on the roadways so you can zoom by any stuck traffic. However, there are no shoulders on the bridges into Sea Isle or Avalon. The bridge into the north end of Ocean City has a very fat shoulder. The old 9th Street Causeway (Rte. 52) into the middle of the island was recently reconstructed and is bike friendly. Problem with that is that getting to it will likely not be that much fun.

    The 15th St. elevator is pretty small. When I ride it with my Surly LHT it fits, but it's a relatively tight fit. With its long wheel base and larger tires, I think I have to orient it diagonally to make it fit. I would take it down the stairs. One person in front and one behind should do the trick. You can always try when you get there.

    Finally, I will note that you shouldn't plan on easily riding between Sea Isle City and Avalon. The Ocean Drive bridge between the two towns at Townsend's Inlet is closed for repairs. A project ran way long. There is no good way around it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    indyfabz we are heading to Ocean City so it would be interesting to see how one could get the Que sheets for the City to Shore route.
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem, SOMA Double Cross

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
    indyfabz we are heading to Ocean City so it would be interesting to see how one could get the Que sheets for the City to Shore route.
    Hope you get this before you leave:

    http://bikepae.nationalmssociety.org...df?docID=70516

    Starts at Woodcrest station. Kresson Rd. will be busy, but there is a bike lane for part of the way, and the road is one lane and it's pretty wide.

    When you cross Rte. 54 at mile 34.7 there may be some services, like a pizza shop. Or you can turn left on Rte. 54 and ride north a mile or two into the center of Hammonton, where there is a bunch of stuff, including a Wawa.

    You picked the hottest day of the year so far. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Hope you get this before you leave:

    http://bikepae.nationalmssociety.org...df?docID=70516

    Starts at Woodcrest station. Kresson Rd. will be busy, but there is a bike lane for part of the way, and the road is one lane and it's pretty wide.

    When you cross Rte. 54 at mile 34.7 there may be some services, like a pizza shop. Or you can turn left on Rte. 54 and ride north a mile or two into the center of Hammonton, where there is a bunch of stuff, including a Wawa.

    You picked the hottest day of the year so far. Good luck.
    thanks for sending this. Missed it before we left. We ended up going to Lindenwold and used Google Map which worked great.

    I love the help one can get from the Bike Forum Community!
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem, SOMA Double Cross

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