Lancaster mayor: Amtrak plans ‘botched’

Lancaster's Mayor Rick Gray blew the whistle on what he called “botched” plans at the Amtrak station.

Gray wants the company to better serve the more than 500,000 people who use the station every year.

The area outside the Lancaster Amtrak station, where travelers get dropped off, is supposed to be a bus stop. But Gray said there's a problem. Many busses are too long to fit in the driveway. It is a project Amtrak spent $14 million on the project a few years back.

“It's pathetic, really, that you could spend that much public money and have issues arise that anybody that was planning this thing should've thought about it years ago when it was designed,” said Gray.

“Well they have changed it recently, really not for the better,” said Mary Goldberg, who has taken the train from York to Lancaster for years. “It's less accessible. It's less convenient. It needs great improvement.”

But it is not just outside renovations that have people upset. Inside, Gray said a painting and plastering project lost steam.

“What has been done is the employee areas are all pristine and new, the areas used by the customers still look like a shanty,” said Gray. “It's one botched thing after another with this plan.”

Gray said he has no control over the projects, which is why he called on Amtrak to take action. He also contacted state senators with his concerns.

“Over half a million people a year use it. I think maybe their needs need to be taken into consideration,” said Gray. “That's all we're trying to do.”

Amtrak officials said they have proposed a plan to fix the bus issue, and are open to public suggestions.

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