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Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan



With the demand for passenger rail continuing to rise and commercial growth continuing to occur in Philadelphia’s University City area, Amtrak, in partnership with Drexel University, Brandywine Realty Trust, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and other area stakeholders, initiated a joint planning effort for the 30th Street Station District—the third busiest facility in the Amtrak national network. Due for completion in 2016, the project will result in a joint district-wide master plan that addresses current and future conditions within the station with a focus on transportation operations, station facilities and early commercial and community development opportunities within the 175-acre (70.8-hectare) study area, including the potential development of air rights on the 80 acres (32 hectares) of Amtrak and SEPTA rail yards. Amtrak has developed a website for the project, with assistance from WSP USA, at http://www.phillydistrict30.com/.

We are providing project management support and preparing the plan’s transportation element. The firm is responsible for identifying facility and operational improvements to optimize current (2014) and future (2040) rail, transit, traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access and circulation; developing operating plans to accommodate anticipated commuter, intercity, high-speed rail and freight services provided by Amtrak, SEPTA, NJ TRANSIT and CSX; developing a pedestrian flow model to evaluate 2014 and 2040 concourse circulation improvements and determine the effect of concourse retail operations on passenger flow; identifying and assessing opportunities for incorporating innovative methodologies and best practices for station operations and train servicing, inspection and maintenance; and preparing a transportation operations program for 2040 containing three conceptual alternatives addressing the requirements for rail, transit and traffic operations as well as pedestrian access.

The 30th Street Station District Plan is one of the most important opportunities in the U.S. for re-envisioning rail and transit services and supporting transit-oriented development. It will strengthen the connection between the station and the community and transform the station into an intermodal transportation hub—a gateway to the northeast; an iconic destination with places to shop, meet and eat; and the epicenter of a vibrant urban mixed-use neighborhood.