Amendment Seeks Amtrak OT Study

An amendment directing Amtrak’s inspector general to update an earlier audit of Amtrak’s on-time performance has been approved by the U.S. Senate.

The amendment was sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and approved as part of appropriations legislation being considered by the Senate.

In a news release, Durbin said the audit’s objective is to assess the financial impact of Amtrak’s on-time performance.

Durbin noted that during 2017 Amtrak’s long-distance trains were on time at stations just 45 percent of the time. Amtrak trains incurred more than 17,000 hours of delay due to freight trains on host railroads, which was a 35 percent increase over 2016.

“On-time performance has a direct impact on the number of people who ride Amtrak trains, how frequently they use them and how much they use them,” Durbin said on the Senate floor.

Amtrak said in a statement that it appreciates the bipartisan effort to bring more transparency to this topic.

“On-time performance is one of the biggest factors in Amtrak customer satisfaction and has been an ongoing challenge,” the Amtrak statement said. “We look forward to the report from the inspector general.”

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