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July 16, 2017

The price of eight new elevators? For PATCO, four years and $31 million

Transportation Patco
PATCO train Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

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

In an uncertainty that could rival only the reliance of on-time train arrivals or on-ride central air, accessibility in public transit is hardly a secure bet for commuters.

Wheelchair-bound Philadelphia riders who frequent the Broad Street or Norristown High-Speed Lines -- or would if they could -- know this problem all too well, as less than half of the BSL has wheelchair accessibility, and the NHSL has just four of 21 stops equipped for wheelchairs.

The Market-Frankford line has a better ratio, with the majority of station stops accessible, but the 13-stop PATCO line traveling between Camden County and Philadelphia is now making a push for full accessibility by 2022.

PATCO announced that elevators are on the way for the six remaining stations that don't have them, including the 12th-13th/Locust station stop, as well as Westmont and Ashland and Camden City Hall. The first elevator will be installed at the Haddonfield and Collingswood station, CBS3 reported.

The project will include a total of eight new elevators across six stations, the end project of a $31 million contract with DRPA. The multi-million deal to install elevators could take up four years to complete, PATCO said.

Construction is expected to begin either late 2017 or early 2018.