Senator Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a daily Amtrak rider, touted a new report released this week on the economic impacts of rail service in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). The report, produced by the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission, describes the NEC as “an engine of economic activity” for the region and details the immense costs associated with service disruptions along the corridor.
“The Northeast Corridor rail network is a vital economic artery for Delaware and the entire region,” Chris said. “While ridership has steadily increased, critical infrastructure investments needed to sustain Amtrak’s growth have been repeatedly deferred. This report demonstrates just what we stand to lose if we fail to invest in repairing and modernizing our infrastructure. Our economy, our communities, and millions of jobs depend on safe and efficient rail service along the Northeast Corridor. We’ve got to make strong, sustained investments now to ensure this vital service will be there for generations to come.”
The 457-mile NEC is one of the busiest and most complex rail corridors in the world, carrying 750,000 daily commuter rail and intercity passengers and 350,000 car-loads of freight each year. Workers traveling the NEC contribute $50 billion annually to the American economy. According to the report, the unexpected loss of the NEC, even for a single day, would cost up to $100 million per day as a result of higher congestion on roadways and lost productivity.
Other key findings from the report:
- Seven million jobs are located within five miles of a NEC rail station, almost a third of all jobs in the NEC Region.
- More than half of flight delays nationwide originate at New York and Philadelphia area airports. Amtrak relieves this pressure by carrying more intercity passengers for trips within the NEC Region than all airlines combined.
- The NEC connects the national freight rail network to east coast ports, linking manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Dakota to international customers.
- Automobile manufacturers, including Ford, Toyota, and Mitsubishi, use the NEC to bring their products to market. For one major automobile manufacturer, approximately 60 percent of its total exports use the NEC to reach ports in Maryland and New Jersey.
- Within one mile of NEC stations, 59 percent of all jobs are in knowledge industries – a far higher rate than the national average of 42 percent.
- 263 colleges and universities are located within five miles of NEC stations, totaling 435,000 students. The region is also home to a concentration of some of the nation's top hospitals, medical research institutions, and cultural attractions.
The complete report is available here: The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy.
Senator Coons spoke on the Senate floor on April 10 urging his colleagues to support critical investments in Amtrak. Click here to watch and read his remarks.