Re: "Amtrak CEO Wants To Be A Good PR Guy "spinning" some interesting factoids, while ignoring and/or omitting important "facts"....
Date: 12-02-2019 - 19:31
It's interesting and a bit embarrassing that he doesn't seem to understand "passenger miles per train mile".
But, his fixation with "end to end" long distance traffic is consistent with his experience with a "load factor" oriented long distance "hub" based air carrier like Delta.
That choo-choo seat mile "turnover" math may just be too difficult for him to keep track of compared to the simplicity of airline "load factors".
This "number" on long distance costs appears to be highly questionable. It makes little sense compared to other estimates I've seen. This "number" supposedly comes from some kind of underlying "math" that provides a breakdown and "accounting" for these costs. This doesn't pass my "test", because it doesn't really "show the work" they supposedly did, to get this "answer".
This "number" is also irrelevant, as this "number" for long distance "costs" only, and doesn't show how these purported "total" long distance costs, relate to "total" long distance revenues. Or, even more important, it doesn't show the actual costs per train mile versus revenue per train mile, by route. It only shows "one side" of the "equation", which is a clever trick, but actually says nothing "using numbers" to make its "case".
I've not necessarily been a defender of thrice weekly services with high overhead costs. But, Anderson's long distance thesis, from this presentation, appears to be pure PR "sophistry" using this supposed long distance cost "number", to impress the simple minded (aka most of the media...).
Anderson also seems to like to take a lot of "credit" for emphasizing his "vison" on the "short distance" markets. Something that has been underway with State and Local support, without much real "help" at all from Amtrak's management for many years, long before he showed up like "might mouse" to "save the day".
The JPA's learned, a long time ago, not to depend on Amtrak's national system management for much of anything they really needed. If they had, we'd probably still be waiting for the services to start.