This has to be one of those "...and here's the rest of the story" things:
At a hearing, Mica went over the simple tally of how much you pay for food, and how much it really costs the taxpayer.
“It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15," said Mica. "Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40."
Geez, I think I can get a cheaper cheeseburger at the ballpark, which is saying something. And how can a cheeseburger actually cost $16.15? I don't know that I could accomplish that if I tried.
The column does finally get around to this at the end:
Reviews by the Inspector General have found internal problems with crime, which also contribute to losses when employees provide items at no cost, steal inventory, short the cash register, or sell non-Amtrak items.
Managing inventory and cash drawers is simpler than it has ever been with today's technology. If that's actually a significant part of the problem then management heads need to roll.
If it's not, then I wonder what the rest of the story is.
(via Outside The Beltway)