Rochester, N.Y. – Passengers can’t even get a cup of coffee at Rochester’s downtown train station.
The “temporary” utilitarian facility was built in 1978. It has few amenities and is not handicapped accessible. Decades later, state officials say they’ve procured the funding and agreements from Amtrak to break ground next year on a new facility.
Amtrak has agreed to own and operate the new station.
The $23 million intermodal station will feature a new platform and room for buses, taxis, bicycles and hotel shuttles. There will also be information booths and space for retail.
The news comes at a time when Amtrak ridership is soaring in Upstate New York. In Rochester, travel is up 89 percent. A total of 144,000 passengers went through the Rochester station in Amtrak’s 2011-2012 fiscal year.
“Every person who walks off a train in Rochester deserves a grand welcome to a grand city,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, who said she’s been fighting for a new train station since the 1980s.
There’s another piece of welcome news for travelers. Amtrak and CSX came to an agreement that will alleviate the notorious bottlenecks in Albany. There will also be improvements to other areas of track along the corridor. That means fewer delays.