Baltimore’s Penn Station. Image via Google Maps.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $6 million to modernize Baltimore’s Penn Station, members of Maryland’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday.

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume, all Maryland Democrats, announced that the funding was secured through the federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

The RAISE grant funds for Penn Station will add to the $5 million that Maryland’s federal lawmakers already obtained for the project as part of a fiscal 2022 bill for improving transportation access and safety.

The RAISE program is funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will provide more than $7 billion of federal funds directly to Maryland over five years. That money will help the state improve roads, bridges, water infrastructure, and broadband internet; make infrastructure stand up better to climate change; and more.

In a joint statement, the Maryland lawmakers who were part of Wednesday’s announcement called Penn Station “the nation’s rail gateway to Baltimore and its local neighborhoods,” with more than three million passengers passing through the station annually.

“Investing in the station and its vicinity by creating safer and more useful connections between trains, buses, pedestrian and bike access, is one of the most important things we can do to support the city’s economy and livability,” they said.

The Maryland Department of Transportation said the project will improve streets to make walking, biking and other transportation around the station safer. The project will also make transit travel times more reliable and support increased ridership, which MDOT expects will double by 2040.

Amtrak has previously committed more than $100 million to make improvements to the Baltimore train station, including exterior upgrades, preparation for more retail and office spaces, construction of a three-level concourse for passengers on the north side of the train tracks, and more.

The development team overseeing the Penn Station upgrades will also revitalize the area around the train station, including the development of up to seven Amtrak-owned parcels.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...