From Amtrak and NJ Transit, July 24, 2020:
Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have completed the first phase of the Ticketed Waiting Area refresh at New York Penn Station and opened the space for customers today [July 24] at the Amtrak Concourse on the Upper Level and 8th Avenue side of the Station. As part of the refresh, customers can expect 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.
To further simplify and safeguard the travel experience, the new space incorporates Amtrak’s new enhanced cleaning procedures, signage is also displayed 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.
“The refresh of the Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn Station is one of many ways Amtrak continues to focus on delivering a new standard of travel,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “We are grateful for the support of our partners at NJ TRANSIT and are thankful for our customers’ patience as they can now enjoy the new amenities in the space.”
Amtrak is also promoting new technology, contactless travel, physical distancing and other safety measures 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 an alternative 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.
“The upgrade of the Ticketed Waiting Area makes the NJ TRANSIT concourse even more convenient for our customers and is a prime example of what our renewed partnership with Amtrak can achieve,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “Whether it’s new customer amenities such as this, or together taking on the mega-projects of national significance like the new Portal Bridge, we are firmly committed to leveraging our partnership to raise the bar on regional rail travel which enhances our customers’ experience and drives the region’s economy.”
NJ TRANSIT has been deploying teams of Customer Service Ambassadors to assist customers returning to the mass transit system at major stations. Ambassadors are assisting customers, reminding them to maintain safe practices such as wearing face coverings, being cognizant of distancing where possible and providing masks to those who need them. The complete list of NJ TRANSIT’s “Ride to Recovery” guidelines can be found at NJTRANSIT.com/recovery.
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 project, which includes a $7.2 million total joint investment between Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT, has already started construction on the second phase and is planned to be completed and opened by early Fall 2020. A temporary space to accommodate passengers during the construction period will be near Tracks 13 and 14.
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.
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, and continued work on the Infrastructure Renewal program.