PATCO gives free rides after week of delays caused by repairs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania-New Jersey rapid-transit system is giving passengers free rides following days of delays after a train hit part of a downed utility pole.

PATCO riders will not be charged from 6 to 9 a.m. Friday. Delaware River Port Authority chairman Ryan Boyer says the agency knows the service interruption caused significant strain and inconvenience for customers.

The trouble began when a PATCO train carrying 24 passengers hit the pole Monday morning in Camden, New Jersey, halting service and leaving thousands of commuters scrambling to get to work. The utility pole was hit first by a freight train on an upper track, leaving a section in the PATCO train's path.

Trains operated on a modified schedule until Thursday afternoon.

The 14-mile line serves 38,000 riders daily.