ATLANTA — While Amtrak has reduced how much it is losing on food and beverage service, the passenger railroad still lost $72 million in Fiscal Year 2012, according to a recent report from the inspector general.
Nearly all of the loss — $71.5 million — was on the railroad’s long-distance routes. The railroad did see an $800,000 profit on the Northeast Corridor.
The Auto Train was the biggest loser, hemorrhaging more than $13 million during the year, according to the inspector general’s report. The railroad’s food and beverage losses have totaled more than $1 billion over the last 12 years, according to U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.
“The Inspector General’s report confirms Amtrak’s inability to eliminate its food and beverage losses despite legal requirements to do so dating back to 1982,” Mica said in a statement. “As this report also confirms, Amtrak food service operations cry out for reform so that taxpayers are not stuck with picking up the check for this multimillion dollar tab.”
According to Mica, a federal law passed in 1981 required Amtrak to break even on its food and beverage service by 1982. However, that did not happen. The inspector general suggested Amtrak outsource its food and beverage operations as a way to stem its losses.
“Amtrak has never broken even on food and beverage service, and I intend to investigate these outrageous expenditures within our Government Operations Subcommittee,” Mica said. “Amtrak must be held accountable to the taxpayer and Congress. I will continue to fight to improve the cost-effectiveness of Amtrak’s money losing routes and stop these extreme losses.”