Intercity Passenger Rail: Amtrak Needs to Improve Its Decisionmaking Process for Its Route and Service Proposals

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In light of its continuing financial deterioration and its stated goal of eliminating federal operating assistance by December 2002, Amtrak undertook several steps to improve its financial condition, including changing in its routes and services. Amtrak has been unsuccessful in implementing its Network Growth Strategy to shift its route and service plans for new routes and expanded services on the freight tracks over which it operates. Two years after announcing the new strategy, Amtrak has only implemented three routes, one of which was later canceled. Amtrak ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 12, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In light of its continuing financial deterioration and its stated goal of eliminating federal operating assistance by December 2002, Amtrak undertook several steps to improve its financial condition, including changing in its routes and services. Amtrak has been unsuccessful in implementing its Network Growth Strategy to shift its route and service plans for new routes and expanded services on the freight tracks over which it operates. Two years after announcing the new strategy, Amtrak has only implemented three routes, one of which was later canceled. Amtrak still plans to implement the remaining three routes, although later than planned. Increased mail and express revenues were the cornerstone of the new strategy. However, Amtrak overestimated the mail and express revenue expected. According to Amtrak, this overestimation occurred because (1) it had no empirical basis for its revenue estimates and (2) express shippers were reluctant to enter into contracts for service that did not yet exist. Six of the planned route actions were canceled because Amtrak overestimated the revenues associated with them. Amtrak was unable to reach agreement with freight railroads because they were concerned about (1) Amtrak's plans to operate additional trains in already congested areas, (2) Amtrak's plans to carry express merchandise that might compete with their own business, and (3) compensation that Amtrak would pay for use of their tracks."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 12, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Intercity Passenger Rail: Amtrak Needs to Improve Its Decisionmaking Process for Its Route and Service Proposals, report, April 12, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291011/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.