Track repairs have slowed service on NJ Transit’s River Line since late August, but the modified schedule — which reduced the frequency of trains during weekday rush hours — has not translated into an exodus of riders.
A total of 664,360 passengers rode the Camden-to-Trenton line during the latest quarter of January through March, up 6.6 percent from the same quarter last year, according to the latest NJ Transit statistics.
Weekday ridership this past quarter averaged 8,540 passengers a day, and weekend ridership averaged 8,970 passengers daily.
More riders also took the train during the second quarter spanning October to December, which averaged 8,560 weekday riders and 9,650 weekend riders.
The increase in ridership occurred even though the line has operated under a reduced schedule since late August, after rains from Hurricane Irene caused an embankment to collapse on a section of rail between the Bordentown and Roebling stations, destroying a portion of track in the process.
The rails that were lost were not part of the main track that takes Trenton to Camden but were “passing siding,” described as an offshoot of track that allows two trains to pass each other on the largely single-track line.
Without the siding, NJ Transit was forced to alter its weekday service from trains arriving at stations every 15 minutes during weekday rush periods to every 30 minutes weekdays and weekends.
Work to repair the lost track continues, but NJ Transit officials have not said when it will be completed or when service at 15-minute intervals will be restored.