Monday, May 24, 2010

Amtrak: empty trains and empty hotel rooms

From Newsalert:

Citing the distractions of home life, Amtrak spent tens of thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and meals for 10 employees attending classes for train directors in Chicago — despite the fact each of the employees already lived and worked in the Chicago area.

One official said the $75,627 spent through the summer of 2008 was required to "avoid the stress and personal distraction that being at home can create," an explanation that Amtrak's office of inspector general didn't buy.
Investigators also found Amtrak paid for hotel rooms on weekends and that rooms sometimes were left unoccupied for nights at a time, according an inspector general's investigation into the expenditures. A report on the investigation was recently obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act.

My most newest warehouse backs up to one of the highly-touted, green'n'wholesome low-speed rail lines, and the trains go by several times a day. 
Most of the time they're as empty as the Galilean's tomb in Jerusalem. 
But if it makes sense for the government to run empty trains all day, are empty hotel rooms that big of a deal? 

1 comment:

Nick Rowe said...

Somebody take Amtrak out into the woods and put it out of it's mysery with a shotgun.

They're planning on building high-speed rail from LA to SF as if we're not already broke enough. A flight is already dirt cheap so why would anyone take a train?

If you think airplanes are terrorist magnets, wait til you see our trains exploding and derailing. Luckily Amtrak doesn't have enough passengers to make it a worthwhile target.

I rode intercity rail in Europe. It's nice when your country is tiny. My uncle lived here when BART was being built. The mere mention of it riles him. It was over budget, late to completion, and didn't deliver what was promised. Now it runs perpetual deficits.

They're cutting service on MUNI. I wish they'd just raise rates and cut salaries more. I'll pay more to gt the riff raff off my buses. No more zero marginal cost riding. Too many old Chinese women taking the bus every day to get frsh bok choy. They're raising senior fares from $15 to $20 a month for unlimited riding and they're howling about their fixed incomes. Like hell- they're richer than Joel Ostein.

I just moved and signed up for phone, garbage, electricity, cable, gas, water again. Nearly everything had a "lifeline" for the po'

It's bad enough they pay no taxes and are net beneficiaries of government, but then they pay close to NOTHING for the same services everyone else pays full price for. They use more and pay less. How's that for efficiency?