System upgrade will render PATCO fare vending machines 'cash only' Memorial Day weekend

Advice for PATCO riders this weekend: Bring cash.

Mike DeNardo
May 23, 2018 - 2:47 pm
PATCO train

Mike Dougherty-KYW Newsradio


LINDENWOLD, N.J. (KYW Newsradi) -- Advice for PATCO riders this weekend: Bring cash. A four-day computer upgrade means that PATCO's fare vending machines will not be able to accept credit or debit cards.

PATCO is replacing the 10-year-old computer framework running its Freedom Card system, said PATCO General Manager John Rink. 

"If you're coming to our stations this weekend, you'll only be able to buy paper tickets with cash," Rink said. Passengers won't be able to use credit or debit to add value to their Freedom Card, in person or online, from 7 p.m. Thursday until 4 a.m. Tuesday, he added. 

"If they have low value on their card, we recommend that they get there and load the value before seven o'clock on Thursday night," Rink said. The upgrade was scheduled over the holiday weekend to minimize disruption, he said.

"We're undertaking a project to upgrade our entire fare collection system, the back office that runs our Freedom Card," he said. 

Rink says the upgrade will pave the way for features uncluding integration with the SEPTA Key fare collection system.