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February 23, 2016

PATCO's text alert system back up for rail commuters

Service returns three days after PhillyVoice story

Patco Alerts
Patco Ben Franklin Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A Philadelphia-bound PATCO train on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

After being down for months, PATCO'S text alert system went back into service Monday – three days after a story in PhillyVoice about the system's failure.

One reader commented: "Boom. Text alerts back after publicity. Would you look at that."

John T. Hanson, executive director of PATCO’s parent, the Delaware River Port Authority, explained last Friday the text alert system had been hacked. He said making it secure had proven to be a problem, but he added no one's personal information was at risk.

Hanson had also said the issue was being worked on, but there were no timelines for getting it back online.

On Tuesday, he said security testing allowed the text alerts go back online Monday.

The agency appreciated the "vigilance" of its customers pushing it to get back into service, he said.