CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — Four weeks after Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia comes word the Delaware River Port Authority lost $1.4 million in bridge tolls by shutting down the Ben Franklin Bridge that weekend.
If you think they’re complaining, think again.
“DRPA and PATCO are well under budget in expenses and we’re significantly over budget with revenues. More than $8 million over in revenues,” agency CEO John Hanson told KYW Newsradio. “So this is something that we can afford to absorb.”
He insists the agency was just glad to have played a part in the historic weekend and in making sure riders, staff and the Holy Father were safe. That was the main reason given for the shutdown from Friday evening, September 25th until Monday morning, September 28th.
That $1.4 million loss not only reflects the lack of traffic on the Ben, but reduced traffic on other DRPA spans that weekend. About 50,000 riders hopped on PATCO trains to see the Pope. While that’s up from a normal weekend, it’s about half the ridership the agency had expected.