PATCO Freedom, a ticket system that doesn’t suck

PATCO ticket front

PATCO ticket back

PATCO, the people who bring us the wonderful speedline over the Ben Franklin Bridge, have a new ticket system! This past Monday was just my third time riding PATCO with the new system, but I’d finally thought to snap a photo with my camera phone before the turnstile ate my ticket.

PATCO Freedom is the new system of smart cards and paper tickets, and yes, it is so much easier than trying to figure out if I have enough coins to use the “exact change only” old magnetic card system. I haven’t used the smart card yet, which appears to be pretty awesome. Just load up a balance from your credit or debit card, hold up your card at the gate and ride anywhere at anytime, as the fare for that ride is deducted from your card. The smart cards can be used for PATCO station parking as well as train rides. Nifty!

Pictured here is the new paper ticket, which has a date stamp and expires after three days, so don’t buy these in advance! Every time I’ve used the vending machine so far it asks for cash, not a credit card, for payment, but I don’t think that is always the case.

This system seems to have been in place for about a year now, which just shows you how often I ride PATCO. I should ride more often! There are some neat and interesting places along several PATCO stops, like the Pop Shop in Collingswood, which I wrote about Monday.

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