30th Street Station may not be called that for much longer.
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia is hoping to rename the transit hub after his predecessor, former Congressman William “Bill” Gray III, who died last year.
With the entire Philadelphia delegation as co-sponsors, Fattah introduced the bill this week, calling Gray one of the station’s biggest supporters.
“Congressman Gray, as chair of the budget committee and as congressman from Philadelphia, was the major champion of Amtrak when the Reagan administration wanted to eliminate the subsidies,” Fattah said, adding that Gray was instrumental in securing tens of millions of dollars from Congress for a total structural overhaul of the station in the early ’90s.
“The only actual renovation and revitalization of the station took place under Bill Gray,” he said.
Gray also deserves the honor, Fattah said, because he never forgot where he came from despite rising to become the third-highest-ranking member of Congress.
“The key thing is all that he did locally in terms of focusing on the needs of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia community,” Fattah said.
The bill would formally redesignate the site William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. But Fattah said a shortened version of that name — Gray Station at 30th Street for short — shouldn’t have any trouble catching on.
“You know we have the Betsy Ross Bridge, the Walt Whitman Bridge, Kelly Drive. And we’ll have Gray Station at 30th Street.”
It is Amtrak’s third-busiest station, with more than 4 million riders per year.
The bill is awaiting a vote in the House Transportation Committee.