New Parking Lot Eyed for Lancaster Amtrak Station

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is proposing building a surface parking lot at the Amtrak station in Lancaster.

The 300-space lot would be constructed on land now owned by PennDOT. Development of the lot is expected to cost $15 million.

A pedestrian bridge would be built to connect the lot with the station.

Officials said that parking has long been tight at the station, which is served by Amtrak’s Keystone Service trains and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

The station currently has space for 236 vehicles. Lancaster is the second busiest station on the Keystone Corridor, trailing only 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

Many passengers have been forced to find street parking in a nearby residential neighborhood.

“If we want people to ride, you need adequate parking and a safe environment to board the train,” said Jennie Granger, PennDOT deputy secretary for multimodal transportation.

Lancaster handled 561,411 passengers in fiscal year 2018.

Granger said funding for the parking lot project is on hold due to a lawsuit contesting the use of Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increases for transit projects.

The suit was dismissed by a federal judge last month but a trucking industry group has said it will appeal that decision.

The parking lot will be situated on 3.67 acres PennDOT acquired two years ago on McGovern Avenue. It is located north of the station.

This location is adjacent to a 7-acre tract along Keller Avenue that PennDOT is eyeing for use as possible transit-oriented development that would include a cluster of housing, shops and offices.

That property, though, is privately owned although PennDOT is seeking to meet with the property owner to discuss the transit development vision.

The site has been vacant since 2012 when a hotel on the property was razed.

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