Amtrak's Strategic Business Plan:

Progress to Date

RCED-96-187: Published: Jul 24, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1996.

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GAO reviewed Amtrak's Strategic Business Plan, focusing on: (1) specific planned actions and their expected results; (2) Amtrak's success in achieving financial improvements and its progress toward realizing its long-term goal of self-sufficiency; and (3) Amtrak's efforts to monitor the plan's implementation.

GAO found that: (1) by fiscal year (FY) 2001, Amtrak plans to reduce its annual operating loss to about $180 million, which it will offset with funds from sources other than federal subsidies; (2) Amtrak plans to double its revenues and hold operating cost increases to less than 20 percent through FY 2001; (3) Amtrak's actions reduced its FY 1995 operating loss by $171 million, which was $3 million less than expected; (4) Amtrak expects its 1995 loss-reduction efforts to produce $315 million in annual savings beginning in FY 1996; (5) Amtrak planned additional FY 1996 actions to reduce its operating loss by another $61.6 million, but severe winter weather reduced revenues and increased operating costs; (6) if Amtrak reaches its revised FY 1996 goal of a $5.2-million reduction, it will have reduced its operating loss by 30 percent overall; (7) two Amtrak business units are meeting or nearly meeting their goals, but one is not; (8) Amtrak has made progress in its plan's first 18 months, but it is too early to determine whether Amtrak will reach its operating self-sufficiency goal, because success depends on further improvements and realizing certain funding, service, and productivity assumptions; (9) two units' top management monitors implementation of specific plan actions and financial goals, while the third unit focuses on whether it is operating within its budget and makes department directors responsible for implementing and monitoring individual plan actions; and (10) Amtrak prepares monthly and quarterly reports based on monthly unit reports.

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