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August 03, 2012

Amtrak Has Lost $833 Million Over the Last Ten Years Serving Food and Beverages

Utterly damning numbers came out of yesterday's Congressional hearing on Amtrak funding.

It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15," said [Rep. John Mica (R-FL)]. "Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40."

To some on the panel like Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), whose family is in the restaurant business, the figures were hard to swallow.

"Obviously the business model here is not working," said Barletta, who joined the grumbling over why Amtrak can't just recover their costs on food and beverage service aboard trains.

Barletta made clear that technically, Amtrak is breaking the law, because Congress approved a plan many years ago that said the railroad must at least break even on food and beverage service.

Will anything change? I wouldn't bet on it. Here's what the union tool had to say about contracting out the food services to a private company (which would, presumably, be more interested in turning a profit):

"Why are some members of Congress promoting the elimination of good middle class jobs with decent pay and benefits?" asked Dwayne Bateman, who has been working for Amtrak since 1977 and is Vice General Chairman of a union that represents train service workers.

See, a tool.

There are more bad numbers at the link.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:38 AM

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