Philadelphia, PA

Pandemic Precautions at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station

Roz Warren

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Pandemic Safety Sign at 30th Street Stationphoto by author

30th Street Station, officially William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, is Philadelphia’s main railroad station, a major stop on Amtrak’s Northeast and Keystone corridors. It is also a major commuter rail station.

Will your travel plans be taking you to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station soon? Here’s what you can expect when it comes to COVID awareness and precautions.

Masking Up

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30th street stationphoto by author

I took Amtrak from Philadelphia to New York City a week ago. The good news is that 30th Street Station is hyper-aware when it comes to COVID prevention. Loudspeakers made frequent annoucnments telling passengers that they had to wear masks. And signs everywhere told passengers to mask up and social distance. 

And travelers were obeying those signs. Everyone was masked. Not only that but most folks wore their masks properly, not just over their mouths or on their chins. I saw very few noses. 

In fact one of the few people I saw whose mask didn’t cover his nose was an Amtrak officer with a dog. Did I bother him about it? Absolutely not! I never harass anyone who is carrying a firearm. Plus, he maintained a safe distance, so there was really nothing to complain about. 

When I asked another Amtrak employee if she was expected to enforce masking, she said, “I don’t confront anyone about it. But if you want to ask me a question and I can see your nose? I don’t answer you until you put your mask on properly.”

Social Distancing

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social distancing at 30th Street Stationphoto by author

There were plenty of signs telling travelers to stay six feet away from each other and most passengers did just that. Folks waiting in line to purchase tickets or to board trains spaced themselves out pretty well. As did most of the travelers sitting on those long wooden benches in the main concourse.

Oddly, there was one bench where nobody was properly masked. Were they vaccinated? Scofflaws? And how did they all know to sit there? Who knows?

But I joined them — at a careful distance of course — when I wanted to remove my mask to enjoy a cup of coffee.

The Food Court

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Food court currently closedphoto by author

The food court was closed, although Saxby’s Coffee and the Dunkin Donuts were open and doing brisk business. So were the eateries off the main concourse. (The bookstore was also open.) But all of the tables in the food court had been removed. 

The takeaway?

If you plan to travel through Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station any time soon and are concerned about COVID? I wouldn’t worry. The station is vast and well-ventilated, and masking and social distancing are definitely the rule. Everything appears to be COVID safe and under control.

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Roz Warren, the author of JUST ANOTHER DAY AT YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, has appeared on both the Today Show and Morning Edition, writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times, and has been included in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Drop her a line at roSwarren@gmail.com.

Bala Cynwyd, PA
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