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Patco Hopes To Win Fans By Installing Fans

(A newly installed overhead fan circulates air in Patco's 15th Street station.  Photo by Pat Loeb)

(A newly installed overhead fan circulates air in Patco’s 15th Street station. Photo by Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Patco high-speed line may have lost some fans due to track work, modified schedules, and crowded cars, but it’s getting some new ones — the mechanical kind.

The Delaware River Port Authority knows its recent capital projects have customers steaming, so it thought a small fix in the underground Philadelphia stations might cool them off.

They had originally planned to install the fans a couple of weeks ago but, deputy chief Mike Conallen says, it took a little longer than they’d hoped:  “It’s not just a matter of putting up fans.”

Conallen says DRPA’s procurement procedures and fire safety concerns delayed installation of the overhead circulation fans until this weekend, so the heat beat the fans to the platform.  He said that in the event of smoke or a fire underground, Patco must be able to shut off the fans immediately.

“It’s very hot, very humid down here,” noted one Patco rider, “but we just muddle through, because this is what we do every day and we just get used to it.”

But now, relief is imminent: the fans at the 15th Street station went into service in time for the Fourth of July, and Conallen says the 8th Street station will get fans next.

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