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CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – Get ready for Flashback Friday like you’ve never seen it before. PATCO riders will get a chance to relive the 1960s, or at least their wallets will.
Riders will be digging into their pockets and pulling out only cents to take PATCO trains Friday morning.
With “Flashback Fares,” PATCO is rolling back the fares for Friday morning’s commute to prices from 1969 when it first opened. Fares coming into Philadelphia will range from 30 to 60 cents.
“Very acceptable. Very acceptable, I’m sure a lot of people would appreciate that,” said a PATCO rider.
For travel between Philadelphia and South Jersey, many commuters believe the PATCO can’t be beat.
“You don’t have to go through traffic, no lights,” said one commuter.
“It saves me from taking a bus,” said another.
“Being a senior citizen, PATCO helps me a lot” said another rider.
As the Port Authority Transit Corporation turns 50, it’s celebrating by offering fares from Feb. 15, 1969, when it made its first trip from Lindenwold, New Jersey, to Center City Philadelphia.
The fares will be offered from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m.
For trips to or from Center City, the cost will be 60 cents for Lindenwold, Ashland and Woodcrest Stations; 50 cents for Haddonfield, Westmont and Collingswood Stations; 40 cents for Ferry Avenue Station; and 30 cents for Broadway and City Hall Stations.
Trips between Pennsylvania stations will be 30 cents and trips between New Jersey stations will be 40 cents.
Many commuters still call PATCO by its nickname, the “high speed line.”
“PATCO seems weird,” said rider Eleanor Dill of Collingswood. “Speed line makes sense.”
Dill remembers being a teenager when it all began.
“There was all the excitement of the building and construction,” said Dill, “and we always felt it was ours. We really did.”
Tom and Maryanne Holland took their boy Tommy Holland for his first ride Thursday, something that they both enjoyed as kids.
“I’m excited to see how excited he’ll be,” said Maryanne Holland. “It was always exciting looking over the bridge, looking at the water.”
Looking into the future, PATCO is looking to save some coin itself by going green.
This week, PATCO announced plans for SunPower Corporation to build solar car ports over the parking lots at its four largest stations.
It’ll look something like these models:
The ports are expected to cut PATCO’s energy bill by about $600,000 per year.
Thanks to a power purchase agreement, it won’t cost riders an extra cent for the eco-friendly power.
“Sustainability is a big key. It’s environmental stewardship. We’re looking to see what we can do to improve our green footprint in this region,” said PATCO general manager John Rink.
SunPower Corporation plans to start construction this spring and will be finished by October 2020.