It took PennDOT to do something right for the city and region

The LNP article “PennDOT buys land to add Lancaster Amtrak parking, but timetable undetermined” is indeed very good news because the painful shortage of parking at the Amtrak station has discouraged use of train service and thus thwarted downtown and regional development

It would have been even worse had not a decade ago, upon seeing the original plan to upgrade the station, NewsLanc’s publisher intervened with the planners to provide more commuter parking and to locate the spaces closer to the station.

It soon became all the more apparent that there was a far greater need for parking spaces than were provided. And  someone,  waiting on the train platform and looking across the tracks at the vacant land, might well have envisioned  a parking garage  with an upper floor bridge across the tracks and into the upper level of the station.

Certainly we did and we wrote about it several times.

Fortunately PennDOT has taken the initiative in this mater and hopefully the parking with associated commercial development on the 3.7 acre sites will be realized within the next two or three years.

To do this, it will take cooperation from Amtrak and Manheim Township.  Public support for the project should be universal.

More  good news from the point of view of tax payers is that the site is in Manheim Township, so gifts of taxpayer’s CRIZ money will not be involved. Hopefully the development will take place on its own merits.

Updated: August 22, 2017 — 7:24 pm


  1. A shortage of parking is not the sole reason for low ridership on Amtrak. It’s Amtrak’s inability to run a train in time more than 40%, 40 year old cars that may or may not have heat/air conditioning, trains that won’t run thru to New York due to neglecting infrastructure for 59 years,wifi that is worse than a 3rd world country (if it even works), and the continual increase in fares without any level of service improvement.

    I’m an every day commuter, so if PennDONT thinks adding a few designer stores and a garage that will charge $80/month to park is going to help the region, then they’re as dumb as we give them credit for.

  2. I doubt that the newslanc publisher’s opinions had any effect on the plans for the station.

  3. To “Anonymous”. Amtrak ridership from Lancaster is pretty healthy, not low. There is still room for improvement, though.

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