Alex M wrote: ↑Sat May 16, 2020 8:26 am
I recall from the last monthly performance report that Amtrak put out that the Carolinian had a 3 million dollar operating surplus while the Piedmonts were breaking even or were not far from it. This seems that, from first glance, the NC services cover their costs. Of course, there are other expenses not visible that are PRIIA mandated so the real expense is not obvious.
North Carolina DOT said in a 2017 presentation
(same one listing the proposal to extend the Carolinian to New Haven) that in FFY 2016 the Carolinian had 75% farebox recovery while the Piedmont's was only 28%. Though of course this predates the 3rd Piedmont round trip, and NC projected farebox recovery increasing with the additional round trip(s), the end of the Piedmont Improvement Program slate of projects, and the opening of the new Charlotte Gateway Station. These Amtrak numbers from 2015-2016
on pg. 41 are similar to Amtrak's 2019 numbers and show the Carolinian with a surplus and the Piedmont not breaking even, but better than what 28% farebox recovery would suggest. I'm no accountant, but it definitely looks like the two sets of numbers are using different metrics. My uneducated guess is NCDOT's numbers for the Carolinian include only the Washington-Charlotte portion while Amtrak's numbers include the full route, which would also muddy a comparison, but it's not clear to me.