Imponderable #58: Amtrak

17 Aug

August 17, 2011

Well there is nothing Imponderable about this. It isn’t even remarkable. We are talking about the government. There are so many bureaucratic middle men and useless departments and commissioners and commissars and bloated political hacks and just plain stupidity that it would be Imponderable if it actually was run well and made money.

So if I find nothing Imponderable about it and it isn’t even remarkable (though it still angers me that the gov’t wastes my money like this) why did I post it this week?

Because it says that Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda.

Regular readers, know where I am going with this?

Yes you do.

Was this guy their best passenger?


5 Responses to “Imponderable #58: Amtrak”

  1. Thomas Stazyk August 17, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    That is amazing. But I’d like to know the back story–how is the accounting done and what is included in the fully loaded cost. Remember the military toilet seat fiasco a few years ago? It turned out it was really a function of the way the army accounting system allocates cost and had nothing to do with actual cash paid out.


    • bmj2k August 17, 2012 at 12:24 am #

      Good point. But I suspect that the cost is jacked up since Amtrak probably doesn’t handle this itself, it hires a company to do this and of course the bidding system doesn’t go to the highest bidder since they likely include ridculous clauses and things the winning company must adhere to which also serves to jack up the price. And I’m sure there is more.


      • Thomas Stazyk August 17, 2012 at 12:28 am #

        Agree–I’d love to know how much Pepsi is charging them. And they probably have a lot of waste too. It would be interesting to compare Amtrak’s food service profitability with the airlines.


  2. zathra August 17, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    They actually sell food on Amtrak ? I have reservations about consuming anything sold from a cart or trailer or other venue where the don’t at least use hand – sanitizer.

    I’m kind of like Adrianne Monk. His worst memory was of being buried alive – until he saw this hot dog vendor’s distribution warehouse. 😉


  3. Jimbo August 17, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    Imponderable? Nothing to see here…move along. Your gov’t in action!


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