The station, Amtrak's third-busiest, serves more than seven million Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ Transit passengers a year, but is isolated by a river, two expressways, a cordon of busy streets, and a wasteland of parking lots.
The master plan will "identify commercial development opportunities" around the station and develop "improved connectivity between the station and the neighboring community," including better auto, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access, Amtrak said.
In addition, the plan is expected to analyze ways to build above the Penn Coach Yards that stretch north of the station, blocking development.
Currently, the station is even more inaccessible than usual, surrounded by ongoing construction and newly installed scaffolding.
The scaffolding will be in place for years to protect pedestrians during a planned restoration of the limestone facade of the building.
The $60 million restoration won't start until Amtrak gets the money from Congress, and there is no indication when that might happen.
For nearly a year, the west entrance to the station has been blocked by construction to remake the pedestrian and parking plaza there. The surface work is to be completed by Thanksgiving, allowing the west entrance to reopen, although underground work will continue for another year.
That $30 million Amtrak project has involved replacing deteriorated structural columns, beams, and surface decking of the under-street parking facility beneath the station.
Opened in 1933 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, 30th Street Station handles 120 Amtrak trains, 960 SEPTA trains, and 26 NJ Transit trains each weekday. More than four million Amtrak passengers went through the station last year.
Parties interested in submitting master-plan proposals may contact contracting agent Carlton Myers in Amtrak's procurement department at firstname.lastname@example.org.