Today, the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility released the following statement regarding this morning’s announcement by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood that nearly half of the available $2 billion of high-speed intercity passenger rail funds will be reallocated to states in the Northeast Megaregion, including $795 million to states along the Northeast Corridor:

“The Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility applauds the Obama Administration and Secretary LaHood, for their bold vision of bringing high-speed rail to the Northeast,” said Robert Yaro, Co-Chair of the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility and President of Regional Plan Association. “The Northeast Corridor is the main event in the American passenger rail system and the investments announced today mark the first step in achieving world class high-speed rail for America’s leading economic region.”

Funding for the Northeast Corridor will be used to upgrade some of the most congested sections of the corridor, increasing speeds, improving reliability, and adding much-needed capacity. Amtrak will receive $450 million for critical improvements on the Corridor, and seven Northeastern States will receive substantial sums for upgrades on the Corridor and other branch lines. The Northeast Corridor had previously only received a small share of funding in prior rounds of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, so the new investment is much appreciated by business leaders and stakeholders in the Northeast.

Rob Wonderling, Co-Chair of the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility, Chairman of the CEO Council for Growth and President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce said, “The additional funding for the Northeast Corridor is essential to ensuring a state of good repair, higher speeds, and better on time performance. As the primary market for high-speed rail service in the United States, the Northeast Corridor has the population density, concentrations of employment, connections to rail transit networks, and proven demand between cities to justify investments. This announcement is an important step to improve the corridor and enhance Greater Philadelphia’s global competitiveness and economic vitality. ”

Janet Raymond, Senior Vice President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and active member of the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility said, “The Greater Providence Ch