Amtrak is losing tens of millions of dollars a year on food and beverage service even after years of cost cutting according to testimony from Inspector General Ted Alves before a Congressional committee, reports Bloomberg News. Almost all of last year’s $72 million in food-service losses were from providing meals on long-distance trains, Amtrak Inspector General Ted Alves said in prepared testimony for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last week. Contracting out some functions has the greatest potential to stem losses, he added.
Among his revelations, Alves testified that Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long- distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, costing Amtrak $428,000 in 2012. Meanwhile, Amtrak employees traveling on free passes consumed about $260,000 in complimentary meals on the Auto Train.