NEW YORK, N.Y.  (CBS) – The Delaware Valley is one of the big winners in the award of $2 billion in federal transportation funds.

US transportation secretary Ray LaHood gave money to mass transit projects in 15 states, but almost one quarter of it ($450 million) will go to upgrade a 25-mile stretch of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between Morrisville (Bucks County), Pa. and New Brunswick, NJ, which will mean faster and more frequent service between Philadelphia and New York.

LaHood says it’s part of a long-term plan to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed trains by 2035 — and he says the federal funding will also have short-term benefits.

“High-speed rail will create thousands of quality, middle-class manufacturing (and) construction jobs right away,” LaHood said today in New York City.

The Keystone Corridor, near Harrisburg, is also getting funding, as is New Jersey Transit.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060