Dear Secretary Buttigieg and Mr. Flynn:
As you begin to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we urge you to prioritize funding for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project (SEP). Union Station, a federally owned building of national significance, is the National Capital Region's principal intermodal transportation hub. The SEP advances the Biden administration's priorities by upgrading the efficiency, accessibility and resilience of the high-speed rail, intercity train, subway, bus and vehicle services that Union Station hosts. The SEP also ensures Union Station's seamless integration into a thriving mixed-use neighborhood in the nation's capital. Funding the SEP is a historic opportunity to invest public dollars efficiently to deliver results to millions of Americans.
Significant federal funding is essential to accommodate Union Station's projected long-term ridership growth. Pre-pandemic, more than 100,000 travelers and visitors passed through Union Station each day, which is more than either Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport. Union Station serves as the southern terminus of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and the northern terminus for multiple Southeast corridor lines. It is the first and second highest ridership station for the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) and the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter lines, respectively. Amtrak, MARC and VRE are all expecting unprecedented growth in ridership, with demand estimated to reach two or three times higher than pre-pandemic levels by 2040. However, according to the Federal Railroad Administration's assessment, this predicted growth will be constrained without infrastructure improvements at Union Station.
The SEP will ensure that Union Station remains a world-class facility that prioritizes intermodal transportation while providing an enhanced quality of life for people who live, work and visit the National Capital Region. The project should receive priority attention.
Thank you for your consideration.