Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Report says NEC moves a workforce that contributes $50 billion annually to national economy

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Track along the NEC Track along the NEC Amtrak

A new report details how the Northeast Corridor (NEC), carrying 750,000 daily Amtrak and commuter passengers, is a critical national asset, an economic engine for the U.S. and contributes about $50 billion a year to the national economy.

 

The report, The Northeast Corridor and the American Economy, produced by the NEC Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission (NEC Commission), also calculates that a loss of the NEC for a single day would cost nearly $100 million in transportation-related impacts and productivity losses.

The NEC mainline from Washington, D.C., to New York to Boston is a shared asset, used and supported by Amtrak, eight commuter rail operators and four freight railroads and connects eight states and the District of Columbia. In addition, it connects people and businesses to world-class centers of employment, finance, education, healthcare, government, tourism and entertainment and a variety of other economic and cultural destinations.

The report adds that the NEC carries more passengers within the NEC region than all the airlines combined and connects to the national freight rail network allowing Midwestern businesses and manufacturers to connect to east coast ports and the global economy.

"Our leaders in Washington need to read this report to understand the economic risk they are taking if they don't act now to reverse decades of underinvestment in the aging and deteriorating infrastructure of the NEC," said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

A previous report produced by the NEC Commission, Critical Infrastructure Needs on the Northeast Corridor, "recognizes that additional investment is necessary to renew and enhance the NEC as a world-class, high-performance rail corridor supporting the economic development and international competitiveness of the region and the nation."

Amtrak has requested $1.62 billion in federal capital and operating support in Fiscal Year 2015, as well as a change in federal policy to fund infrastructure improvements along the NEC.

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