On June 26, the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a hearing on Benefits of Intercity Passenger Rail. Gov. Mark Schweiker, the chairman of Philadelphia's CEO Council for Growth and President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce testified on behalf of the Philadelphia business community, stressing the importance of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service to Philadelphia's economic competitiveness, and the importance of maintaining the Corridor infrastructure to SEPTA commuter service in the region.
His testimony included four key recommendations. They include:
1) Find a secure source of funding for intercity passenger rail.
2) Define "state of good repair" and provide funding to achieve it.
3) Improve trip time on the Northeast Corridor.
4) Require Amtrak to work with the states and commuter railroads along the Northeast Corridor to develop a plan to increase the capacity of the corridor.
The CEO Council for Growth is working with Regional Plan Association and others to form a business-civic coalition in the Northeast for investments in the Northeast Corridor and development of a long-term capital plan for improved and competitive intercity rail service.