Northeast corridor transit -- Pricing + usage studies?

I’ve just spent a month and change on the east coast (Washington) and thought in coming here I’d be able to easily get back and forth between NYC / Philly, but boy was I wrong. I’m blown away by how prohibitively expensive it is to take the trains here. It’s cheaper to fly–I can’t believe that makes economic sense.

Does anyone know anything about pricing / usage studies on the system? Having an accessible train system would be such an economic and environmental boon, it’s hard to believe they can’t do better than they are.