Amtrak and the Postal Service are both little reminders that the government can lose money even providing a service that people need and charging them money for it.
This year, Amtrak lost $72 million on free food. There is indeed a free lunch… for Amtrak employees and passengers.
The taxpayer-subsidized rail line found its food service operation deep in red ink, even as it served the free wine, champagne and cheese to long distance riders and fed employees for free, according to Inspector General Ted Alves.
“Amtrak’s operating losses on food and beverage services have been a long-standing issue, and they contribute directly to the need for federal subsidies to support operations,” Alves told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to Bloomberg.
Alves said customers traveling on Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida enjoy complimentary wine and cheese and that sleeper-car passengers on three long-distance routes get free wine and champagne — freebies Alves said cost the company a whopping $428,000 in 2012.
“The Amtrak Inspector General has confirmed that Amtrak cooked the books to cover up food service losses that now approach $1 billion,” Florida Republican John Mica, the Government Operations Subcommittee’s chairman, reportedly said of the spending by the passenger railroad.
Amtrak has announced the launch of three microsites targeting specific segments of the population: MyBlackJourney.com, AmtrackRideWithPride.com and DescrubeNotreAmerica.com.
In an Amtrak news release, the government-funded intercity train service company says the new websites launched last week, “provide connections to Hispanic, African and LGBT travelers.”
“AmtrakRideWithPride.com speaks to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) traveler. The site is loaded with photos, testimonials and blog posts from Amtrak’s LGBT editor Mark Mastro,” the release says.
How much money will this cost? Short answer… probably a lot. But Obama Time means every part of government has to do this politically correct nonsense.
Also, true to form for Obama websites, they take a minute to load.