More News:

December 29, 2016

PATCO to offer free train rides on New Year's Eve

Transportation Patco
PATCO train Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A PATCO train crosses the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from New Jersey headed to Pennsylvania.

PATCO will offer passengers free train rides beginning 8 p.m. New Year's Eve through 4 a.m. New Year's Day morning to promote public safety, Delaware River Port Authority officials announced Thursday.

Fare gates will be open during those hours.

Between 6,000 to 7,000 passengers are expected take advantage of the free trips, DRPA CEO John Hanson said, adding it will cost PATCO about $20,000.

RELATED: PATCO plans to reopen dormant Franklin Square station in Philly

Ryan Boyer, chairman of the DRPA, who made the announcement, said the port authority is able to offer the free rides due to DRPA's financial health.

The DRPA currently has more than $540 million in its general fund and $111 million in a project fund.

Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash, DRPA's vice chair, said given the financial health of the port authority there are no plans for toll or fare increases in the near future.

Additionally, all of the authority's unions are under contract after several yeas of unsettled labor agreements.

Hanson said he's confident that the agency's 170 member police force will assure a safe New Years for everyone.