Why can't amtrak turn a profit
August 6, 2012 11:53 AM Subscribe
Why is Amtrak not profitable despite massive subsidies? And just how environmentally friendly is Amtrak?
posted by bluelight to Travel & Transportation (64 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm planning to do a lot of long-distance Amtrak trips in the upcoming year and at first one of the draws for me was the fact that its been advertised as an environmentally friendly way to travel. Upon doing some research, however, it turns out that Amtrak is mostly run on diesel (electric is mostly in the NE corridor), not to mention the amount of food presumably wasted. So not as environmentally friendly as one would think.
And with the recent splash across the net of how Amtrak can't even make the "easiest profit" as indicated by major food losses, I'm even more curious now. I've heard bits and pieces of how Amtrak is constantly on its deathbed and heavily dependent on government subsidies, how it was only supposed to be a temporary organization, and how part of the reason for its inefficiency is its bloated administration.
I'd love to hear thoughts about this, but more specifically, I'm looking for well-written articles on this subject (the un-profitability of Amtrak). Also, sources on how "green" Amtrak really is since running on diesel is only part of the equation since I suspect that Amtrak generates quite a bit of waste. But well-written articles on the benefits of Amtrak are also welcome as well since I've already booked my tickets and would love to hear those benefits too :)