Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amtrak Loses $32 Per Passenger on Avg. Acela Makes $41/passenger, Northeast Regional loses $5

Amtrak lost money on 41 of its 45 train lines in 2008, including a $145.23 per passenger loss on the Silver Star that serves Tampa on its New York-Miami run, a Pew Charitable Trusts research group reported Tuesday. System-wide losses ranged from about $5 to $462 per passenger. The average loss per passenger was about $32, four times the $8 per passenger Amtrak computed using different methods, according to the study by Subsidyscope, which reports on how federal subsidies are used.

The Northeast corridor has the highest passenger volume of any Amtrak route, greatly enhancing efficiency. The corridor's high-speed Acela Express made a profit of about $41 per passenger. The more heavily utilized Northeast Regional lost almost $5 per passenger.

Will Amtrak cut the biggest money losing accounts? I doubt it. There's complaints about Amtrak not being efficient but when certain routes are proven to be huge money losers they just never seem to go away.

I'm surprised to see the Northeast Regional trains lose almost $5/hour. If you look at the site: and choose the Northeast Regional line you'll see the line actually makes almost $20/passenger. But the site notes this disclaimer:

"Including depreciation and other unallocated costs adds an additional loss of $24.29 per passenger"

This total is deducted from every passenger across all Amtrak lines thus resulting in about a $5 loss for each Northeast Regional passenger. But the NEC regional is a money maker if you ask me. If you cut the most inefficient Amtrak lines, that $24.29 in 'other costs' will go down quite a bit I'm assuming resulting in all NEC trains showing a profit. Trains will make money where there is population density.


Post a Comment

<< Home