Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) today said that Amtrak has lost a staggering $833 million over the last ten years in its inefficient and wasteful food and beverage service.
"Over the last ten years, these losses have amounted to a staggering $833.8 million," Mica said. "It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15. Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40."
Mica led a Committee hearing today which revealed that, while Amtrak's food and beverage expenses in 2011 were $206 million, it only took in $121.5 million in revenue from the sale of items. Mica said, "Last year, taxpayers subsidized Amtrak's money-losing food and beverage operations by $84.5 million. This means that Amtrak has to spend $1.70 to bring in just one dollar of revenue.
"The rail service's food and beverage operation has 1,234 employees, and taking into account Amtrak's $84.5 million loss last year, that's $68, 476 per employee," Mica added.
"Unfortunately, this outrageous cost to hard-working Americans continues. These losses have been mounting for each of the last three years. What makes this more astonishing is that Amtrak food and beverage service is legally obligated to operate on a breakeven basis. Despite this requirement, and calls from Congress, GAO, and the Inspector General over the years to improve, Amtrak has still lost over three-quarters of a billion dollars in the last ten years," Mica said. "We have to end these unbelievable losses to the taxpayers."
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