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Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT Complete the Refresh of the Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn Station

Customers can feel safe, sit in comfort and enjoy modern amenities while waiting for their train

NEW YORK – Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have completed the second and final phase of the Ticketed Waiting Area refresh at New York Penn Station [1] at the Amtrak Concourse on the Upper Level and 8th Avenue side of the Station. The project, which includes a $7.2 million total joint investment between Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT, features new furniture and fixtures, including seats with electrical and USB outlets to charge devices, an upgraded ceiling complete with new LED lighting, a new information desk and a second entrance in close proximity to the NJ TRANSIT concourse, offering easy access towards the 7th Avenue side of the Station, two PIDS (Passenger Information Display Systems) boards that will display NJ TRANSIT departure information, and a lactation suite for nursing mothers [2]. Amtrak undertook the first steps to refresh the Ticketed Waiting Area in 2019 when it opened a Starbucks coffee bar in the space to provide customers with the opportunity to purchase refreshments and removed the exterior information booth to improve customer flow.

“Refreshing the Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn was a top priority before the pandemic, and it became even more important due to COVID-19 as these new amenities will allow Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT customers to feel confident in their safety when traveling,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “We thank our partners at NJ TRANSIT for their joint effort in refreshing the space and their shared commitment to keeping customers safe and improving the overall travel experience.”

“This partnership with Amtrak to refurbish the Ticketed Waiting Area will enhance the customer experience at Penn Station New York with a host of new amenities, such as new seating with outlets and USB ports to charge mobile devices, improved lighting and increased station access,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “In addition to the improvements at Penn Station, and despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have been actively advancing many projects during this period to improve everything from customer amenities and comfort to moving forward on the mega projects such as the new Portal Bridge and Raritan River Bridge. All of these efforts will ultimately result in a safer, more reliable transit system for all of our customers.” 

To further simplify and safeguard the travel experience, the new space features signage to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas, protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters, and customers and employees are required to wear face masks or an alternative facial covering while in stations and onboard trains. In addition, Amtrak is enhancing its disinfection measures in high touch areas in trains, stations and lounges in partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol [3]. Lysol disinfecting wipes, proven to be effective against the SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will be used in certain frequently touched areas where germs are most prevalent.

Amtrak is also promoting new technology, contactless travel, physical distancing and other safety measures [4] at New York Penn Station, including encouraging to arrive 30 minutes before departure and 60 minutes if in need of ticketing and/or baggage assistance and requiring all customers and employees wear face masks or a facial covering while in stations and onboard trains. More information on Amtrak’s New York Penn Station safety measures can be found at Amtrak.com/Info-NYP. [5]

NJ TRANSIT also continues its “SAFE NJ” customer awareness campaign which focuses on high visibility signage throughout the NJ TRANSIT system to maintain awareness of recommended best practices that ensure a healthier and safer transit system for all.

The Ticketed Waiting Area project is the continuation of several improvements Amtrak has been making to the Station since 2017 as it advances Amtrak’s plan to modernize stations, infrastructure, and trains on the Northeast Corridor. Other completed work to date includes the new LED lighting in the Rotunda area, refreshed restrooms, upgraded air conditioning, new furniture in ClubAcela, the installation of an Ultraviolet Germicidal irradiation (UVGI) system in one of the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) units in the Amtrak concourse, refreshed platforms and new wayfinding signage in advance of the January opening of the Moynihan Train Hall [6] , and continued work on the Infrastructure Renewal program.