Washington—On September 17, 2013, federal and city officials including District Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Karen Hedlund gathered at historic Washington Union Station to celebrate the opening of a new intercity bus terminal with ticket offices, waiting areas and restrooms.
With the addition of the bus facility, which concentrates bus services in one central location, travelers in the metropolitan area can now easily transfer between Amtrak, Maryland Area Regional Commuter and Virginia Railway Express trains, Metro trains and buses, DC Circulator and Capital Bikeshare. The future DC Streetcar will also serve the station.
During the ceremony, Hedlund observed, “Great cities need great train stations. D.C. is a great city and Union Station is on its way to become one of the 21st century’s best multimodal stations.” Earlier this year, Columbus Plaza, which fronts the station, was reopened following an 18 month, $10.8 million renovation. Work included the installation of wider sidewalks, new safety bollards and a better traffic-signal system.
In July 2012, Amtrak unveiled a proposed $7 billion master plan to guide the future long-term development of Union Station, which is the second busiest station in the Amtrak national network, welcoming more than 5 million passengers in the last fiscal year. Recognizing that the historic rail facility is often “operating beyond its capacity, especially during rush hours and peak travel periods,” the master plan focuses on the core needs of a multimodal transportation center by increasing capacity, providing a quality passenger experience and enhancing the vitality of the surrounding area via transportation and economic growth.