30th Street Station Accessibility
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I took the Amtrak Crescent from Charlottesville, VA, to Philly’s iconic 30th Street Station, then from Philly to New York’s Penn Station. While my experiences with the Charlottesville and New York stations, as well as general notes about fares, can be found here, this was my first time passing through 30th Street Station. Overall, I was very impressed by the cleanliness and accessibility of the station.
Upon arrival, the train was level with the platform, so I only had to step over a two-inch gap. The platform itself was level with plenty of room and a clear path to the elevator. Although I did not have a wheeled mobility device with me, it seemed as though the small gap and foot traffic would be the most prominent barriers to physical access.
The gorgeous main terminal of the station offers plentiful seating on wooden benches. The aisles appeared plenty wide enough for wheeled mobility devices. The station did verbally announce all train arrivals, departures, and other updates over the loudspeaker, as well as indicating them on the arrivals and departures board. They did not, to my knowledge, provide captioning for these announcements on a screen. When it was time to board, stairs, escalators, and elevators were available to take patrons down to the platform. Because 30th Street Station is one of Amtrak’s busiest, they offer Red Cap baggage assistance for both boarding and disembarking. Simply flag down a uniformed attendant for complimentary assistance with your bags (tipping is recommended).
The station offers numerous food options, from fast food chains like Wendy’s to restaurants like Beck’s Cajun Café. I opted for a quick breakfast at Pret a Manger on my way out of town. They clearly indicated all ingredients on the food packaging, and even included gluten-free and vegetarian options. The food court area is a little cramped and would be somewhat difficult to navigate with a wheeled mobility device during high-traffic times. The doors do not have automatic door openers in this area of the station. I also failed to note any large-print or Braille menus offered at the restaurants, although staff were friendly and would most likely have assisted if I need these options.