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Public weighs in on possible improvements to Baltimore Penn Station

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 31, 2018

There could soon be a new and improved Baltimore Penn Station.  And Amtrak wants your ideas.
There's no final plan but Amtrak says public input is crucial to creating a lasting improvement for the city.

"I'm here because this community is very important to us and what changes with it are very important to us," Baltimore resident, Fritz Meyer, told WMAR-2 News.

It was a packed house Tuesday night to talk about the future of a Charm City landmark; Penn Station.

"I'm really interested in how they're going to make this a hub, how they're going to tie it into the community, artists how they're going to be involved in the design of this and how they're going to train a workforce to work on this," Meyer said.

State leaders added their excitement already even without a concrete plan in place.

"Our station has been underutilized for a long time.  Three million people come through it a year and there's a lot of economic opportunity there.  I just see it as a golden opportunity to bring life to life," said Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings. 

Amtrak along with developer Penn Station Partners are asking for the public's help to create just that.

"No single document itemizes exactly what the community wants, what Amtrak wants, what our stakeholders want and what the developers want in one single plan," Amtrak's Brian Traylor, told WMAR2 News.

Tuesday's meeting also included roundtable discussions with people who depend on the streamlined mass transit system.

"I use the train station.  I use the light rail, our children use the Bolt Bus as a transportation hub it's really not connected well right now," said Meyer.

Tuesday was just the first of four public input meetings but Baltimore's location makes it a prime location for a more competitive and attractive train station.

"Baltimore is really at the center of the Northeast Corridor and in terms of the U.S. a powerhouse of economic activity and Baltimore is at the center of it," said Traylor.

Three more public input meetings are planned for the fall and winter.

But Amtrak and Penn station partners encourage people to reach out to them with ideas and suggestions beforehand.