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Travelers Aid Union Station Traces its Roots to 1913

Part of a National Network Helping Strand Travelers since 1851

Founded in 1913 by the YWCA, the Travelers Aid Society of Washington first went into service at the relatively new Union Station. Old editions of the Washington Post note that Travelers Aid volunteers were there in Union Station in March 1913 to assist travelers in the city for the first inauguration of Woodrow Wilson.

For a time, Travelers Aid shifted its operations away from Union Station when the terminal fell into disrepair and many operations were shuttered. Travelers Aid returned after a $160 million renovation restored the building to its former grandeur. Union Station is now a multi-faceted transportation hub for Amtrak, local rail transportation and many bus lines, including Greyhound.

Travelers Aid Society of Washington closed in 1997 due to financial challenges. At that point, Travelers Aid International took over the direct operations at Union Station along with the contracts at Washington Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.

The Union Station operations are funded with a grant from the District of Columbia and private donations.


More Travelers Aid History