(Photo Credit: Redvertex)
Work underway to add new elevator and rebuild escalator at station’s busiest entrance
NEW YORK – Amtrak has started work on an accessibility improvement project to the 7th Avenue and 32nd Street entrance at New York Penn Station, taking advantage of adjacent private investments to improve the customer experience in this critical station entrance. The project will add an elevator to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and ease the path of travel for passengers who have wheeled luggage, strollers, and other heavy items. Work is also being done to widen this entrance and replace the stairs and the two existing escalators with three transit-grade escalators. Renderings of the new entranceway can be via the Amtrak Media Center.
“New York Penn Station is the front door to New York City, and by making the entrance more modern and accessible, customers can feel confident knowing Amtrak is rolling out the welcome mat,” said Amtrak Vice President of Stations, Facilities, Properties and Accessibility Dr. David Handera. “The work on the 7th Avenue and 32nd Street Entrance reflects Amtrak’s commitment to accessibility for all, the customer experience, and continuous improvement at the station.”
This new entrance design is only possible because of a public-private partnership with Vornado Realty Trust who is building a the new skylit canopy above the entrance and integrating it with a renovated 7th Avenue Plaza and Penn 2 office building expansion above. Work is expected to take place over the next 18 months.
Travelers wishing to access the station from the 7th Avenue side during this construction period have access via the escalators and elevator at the NJ TRANSIT entrance on 31st Street and 7th Avenue. This project comes on the heels of recent milestones for the Station’s expansion and reconstruction, continuing the momentum of improving the world’s busiest train station and its surrounding area. Both projects will ensure all entrances to the station are fully accessible.
Over the last five years, Amtrak has made more than $300 million in capital improvement investments at New York Penn Station, in addition to its investment in Moynihan Train Hall. This includes the “Art at Amtrak” public art program, a new ticketed waiting area for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak passengers, new wayfinding and signage throughout the facility, improved accessibility, and State-of-Good-Repair improvements throughout to enhance the reliability of service.
Amtrak has also completed 177 ADA station-related projects throughout its national network as part of the ADA Stations Program, including dedicating $82 million to bring 20 stations to full ADA compliance in the last fiscal year. The program is also advancing 120 station designs and 40 station construction projects as part of its ongoing commitment to providing accessibility for all of Amtrak’s customers. Since 2011, Amtrak has invested more than $489 million in accessibility upgrades throughout the country and intends to utilize newly-announced federal funding programs to continue this essential work.