Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said that the railroad is leveraging record ridership to reduce dependence on federal operating subsidies.
According to Boardman, in FY 2012 the federal government paid12 percent of Amtrak’s operating costs while Amtrak covered 88 percent with ticket sales and other revenue.
Boardman explained that while the railroad has taken actions to chip away at operating costs and increase revenue, a vital component of its success has been the federal government’s willingness to invest in the Amtrak national network.
Amtrak said, “Federal capital investment helps to reduce operating costs, supports the existing system, funds solutions to reduce future costs and provides the infrastructure and equipment to sustain ridership and revenue growth.”
“Previous federal capital investment levels have sufficed to keep the system going, but they are not going to be adequate in the future,” Boardman stated. “If we are to realize rail’s potential, we will need much higher levels of federal capital funding.”