Philadelphia PA- Following Philadelphia’s selection as the site for the 2016 Democratic Convention, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Amtrak to expedite planned upgrades for 30th street station. With major events planned for Philadelphia in both 2015 and 2016, 30th Street Station is set for increased activity. Expediting planned upgrades to the station’s basic infrastructure will improve services and increase economic activity in the area.
“With two major events upcoming this is an exciting time for Philadelphia,” Senator Casey said. “Upgrades to one of the city’s key transportation hubs, 30th Street Station, is a key element in ensuring that Philadelphia is prepared. These upgrades will make 30th Street Station an increasingly attractive destination for visitors to the region. I’m urging Amtrak to expedite the infrastructure upgrades that have been in the planning stages since 2013.”
Upgrades to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station have been in planning stages since 2013. The improvements are slated to include infrastructure improvements and additions to 30th Street’s retail space. The improvements will aid the region as it receives a large influx of visitors over the next two years and lay the foundation for a broader redevelopment of the station and its surrounding areas.
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Dear Mr. Boardman:
I am writing to express my support for Amtrak and to encourage revitalization of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. With Philadelphia hosting the World Meeting of Families in 2015 and the Democratic National Convention in 2016, Amtrak has the potential to show off this historical landmark to the entire country. I therefore urge Amtrak to take steps now to prepare the station for the millions of visitors expected to come to Philadelphia to attend these events.
In October, I had the opportunity to tour 30th Street Station. During my visit, I participated in discussions with Amtrak and key stakeholders regarding both short-term efforts to revitalize the interior of the station and the long-term plan to develop the area surrounding 30th Street. The formation of a long-term plan for the station’s future is an important undertaking that will require continued input from stakeholders, including the public in general and the affected community in particular. I am confident that all parties are working in good faith to identify a sustainable long-term plan for the future of the station and the surrounding area. I look forward to continuing to receive updates related to this effort and working with all parties to move this initiative forward.
However, given that Philadelphia will be home to two major events in the span of seventeen months, now is the time to put into motion a plan for revitalization of the station’s interior. This historic facility provides for many visitors the first introduction to Philadelphia, or Pennsylvania as a whole, and we need to ensure it presents the best picture of what the Commonwealth has to offer for the millions of visitors that come to Philadelphia each year. As such, it is imperative that Amtrak take action to redevelop the interior of the station. In particular, I respectfully urge Amtrak to expedite its consideration of proposals to improve the retail options and dining choices inside the station, to refurbish basic facilities, such as the station’s bathrooms, and to address other outstanding challenges. I am confident that these improvements can be accomplished in a timely manner and therefore call on Amtrak to move forward with its review of plans that would address these issues.
Again, thank you for your attention to this matter. It is clear that all of this effort would be a benefit to Amtrak and the travelers it serves. Development of 30th Street Station must take place, not only to improve the experience of Amtrak passengers but also to increase the enormous economic development potential of this historic space. I look forward to continuing my strong relationship with Amtrak, and would like to assist in any way possible to make progress on these revitalization plans.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator