Posts Tagged ‘Washington Union Station’

Buttigieg Meets With Amtrak, Transit Officials

February 6, 2021

Newly confirmed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg stood on a boarding platform at Washington Union Station on Friday to urge compliance with a federal mask mandate aboard trains, planes and buses.

Pete Buttigieg

He also pledged that the Biden Administration will provide financial relief for public transit systems through its American Rescue Plan.

The remarks came during a meeting with Amtrak and Washington public transit officials.

 “We depend on many essential workers for our economy and for our way of life,” Buttigieg said.

“And while many Americans are wrestling with the complexities of working from home, many other Americans don’t have the opportunity, or the option, to work from home, and they are supported by these extraordinary workers who look after the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of American travel.”

Buttigieg said that above all he wanted to thank transportation workers for making it possible for essential trips to be taken and essential goods and service to be delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mask mandate stems from an executive order signed by President Joseph Biden on Jan. 21 directing facial masks for domestic and international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its own mandate on Jan. 29 requiring the wearing of facial masks while on public transportation and while in transportation terminals.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration on Jan. 31 issued a security directive stating the mask mandate applies to passenger railroads, intercity bus services and public transportation.

In the meantime, a coalition of 22 transit agencies has called on Congress to provide $39.3 billion in pandemic relief to public transit systems in order to avoid further service and job cuts.

Biden Won’t be Riding Amtrak to Inauguration

January 15, 2021

Multiple news media reports indicate that President-elect Joe Biden will not travel via Amtrak to Washington for his inauguration on Jan. 20.

The plans to ride a train had never been officially announced.

The reports said that security concerns following a Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol led to scrapping the idea of coming to Washington by train.

Biden often rode Amtrak between his home in Delaware and Washington during his time as a member of the U.S. Senate.

One report indicated that security officers were concerned about being able to protect Biden as he arrived at Washington Union Station.

Amtrak to Expand Washington Union Station

April 1, 2016

Amtrak said this week that it would undertake a $50 million program to expand the concourse of Union Station in Washington, D.C.

In a news release, Amtrak said the project would result in approximately 20,000 square feet of additional passenger space, nearly doubling the concourse’s current capacity.

The project is in the design phase and will include new restrooms, boarding gates and seating.

Architects will use such features as natural light elements, resulting in a “vastly reconfigured, modernized and unified concourse,” Amtrak officials said.

Amtrak 4A primary purpose of the project is to improve accessibility, circulation, way-finding and multimodal connectivity.  The project is the first under the station’s 2nd Century plan.

Amtrak said it is working with the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, the Federal Railroad Administration and real estate developer Akridge.

“This work and other planned improvements will transform Union Station’s capacity and performance, befitting the vital regional gateway and civic hub the station has become since its redevelopment in 1988,” said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s executive vice president of Northeast Corridor business development.

Construction will begin this spring with phased work expected to start in 2017.

Union Station is used by Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express and Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains. It is currently operating beyond its capacity.