Deteriorated Financial Condition and Costly Future Challenges

T-RCED-94-145: Published: Mar 23, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed Amtrak's financial condition and the near-term challenges facing the corporation. GAO noted that: (1) over the past 3 years, Amtrak's financial condition has deteriorated because of its vast responsibility and limited resources; (2) although Amtrak's efforts to generate additional revenue and reduce operating expenses have helped short-term financial problems, they will not be able to cure long-term financial problems; (3) although Amtrak reported that its revenues covered about 80 percent of its operations in 1993, its estimate did not accurately reflect its financial condition because it did not include all operating expenses; (4) Amtrak needs to maintain its aging passenger cars, modernize its repair facility and locomotive and passenger car fleet, acquire high-speed trains, continue rail improvements in the Northeast Corridor, and negotiate new agreements with freight railroads and labor unions to operate a viable nationwide network; and (5) Congress needs to reauthorize Amtrak's budget for 1995 to help address Amtrak's operating deficit.

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