WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee that under the ongoing implementation of its strategic plan, "we intend to become America’s top intercity travel choice." The strategic plan (www.amtrak.com/ccurl/30/12/Strategic-Plan-2011-2015.pdf) was launched in October 2011 and explains Amtrak’s vision for an operation that will improve its service delivery, financial performance, and customer satisfaction.
"When we’re done, Amtrak will look more like a business and less like a government agency — and customers will find that our system is easier to use, more convenient, timelier, and more comfortable," Boardman said.
He explained that while there are still plenty of challenges ahead, "the basics for success are definitely here, and Amtrak is doing well." Amtrak just set the ninth ridership record in the last 10 years, posted record ticket revenues, had the best year in its history for on-time performance, and has cut its debt in half.
In addition, with modern passenger-friendly amenities like Wi-Fi and eTicketing, Amtrak said it has improved revenues and cut costs, which will benefit the company greatly in the years to come.
"These are real achievements, and they allow us the stability and the resources we need to take on the next step, which is transforming the company so that it can continue to provide competitive and attractive transportation services in a world that’s changing rapidly," he said.
"At its core, Amtrak is a great policy solution — with a cost recovery of 85 percent, we provide some of the lowest-cost, most efficient intercity passenger rail service in the world. Our challenge is to continue to improve," he added.
"We have a business imperative to transform the company so it delivers better and more efficient service to our customers. We can do it, and we will," Boardman stressed.
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