Today, the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility (Business Alliance) sent a letter to members of Congress along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in support of increased funding for Amtrak. The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee is marking up legislation this week regarding Amtrak’s budget. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the CEO Council for Growth are founding members of the Business Alliance and are actively advocating for improvements to Amtrak along the NEC from New York to Washington, D.C. and are calling on Congress to fully fund Amtrak’s FY 2011 budget request of $2.6 billion.
Roughly one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product is the result of economic activity in the Northeast Megaregion, and Amtrak’s stability is vital to the economic competitiveness of our entire region. As future growth in this area depends on the ability to move people and goods quickly and reliably between the area’s urban centers, it is crucial to ensure that the Amtrak rail network is safe, reliable, and accessible. The NEC is the only high speed rail line in the nation, hosts dozens of commuter lines, and provides freight access to major ports and industries, moving more than 259 million passengers and 14 million car-miles of freight per year.