Event provides communities with ways to improve local stations
WASHINGTON – To assist communities looking for ways to build, improve, redevelop or restore train stations to support the growing demand for passenger rail service, Amtrak is hosting its tenth Civic Conversation in Portland, Ore., to share its expertise and experience with local leaders. Since 2007, approximately 130 Amtrak-served communities have participated in these one-day conferences.
The event today will focus on the Empire Builder, Coast Starlight and Amtrak Cascades routes to include Amtrak-served communities in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Case studies and presentations of transportation-oriented development and funding sources are being presented. In addition, participants are receiving a review of the requirements and best practices needed to ensure their station complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Improving stations is vital to the continued interest and growth of passenger rail, as demonstrated by Amtrak setting monthly ridership records in the current fiscal year. This strong performance is part of a long-term trend that has seen America’s Railroad® set annual ridership records in nine of the last ten fiscal years, including nearly 31.2 million passengers in FY 2012.
Working with the communities to improve these stations is important, as roughly a third of all Amtrak stations are owned by local municipalities. Of the more than 500 stations Amtrak serves, other railroads own about 22 percent, Amtrak owns 14 percent (most of the Amtrakowned stations are in the Northeast), transit agencies and state Departments of Transportation own 12 percent and the remainder are held by various parties including private individuals and redevelopment agencies.
Amtrak created and maintains the GreatAmericanStations.com website that enables users to engage in an exchange of useful information and also provides a point of initial contact which can lead to potential partnerships in this initiative to rebuild and revitalize stations.
The website also provides information on station projects, station and signage planning guidelines, individualized station information, benefits of the restoration initiatives, tips on how communities can start a station renovation project and daily updates on Amtrak-related news items.
Amtrak held previous Civic Conversation events in St. Paul, Minn., Chicago; San Antonio, Texas; Savannah, Ga.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; Pittsburgh; Huntington, W.Va.; and Burlington, Vt.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.