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Friday, May 24, 2013    

Amtrak board extends Boardman's contract


Amtrak's board has approved a new two-year, renewable contract for President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman, officials at the intercity passenger railroad announced yesterday. 

The contract extension will provide the organization with management stability, Amtrak officials say.

"Amtrak has gone through a lot of CEOs in a relatively short period of time. That's not an effective way to manage a business," said Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia during a press teleconference held yesterday. "We have an obligation … to make the business as efficient and effective as possible, and it's much more difficult to accomplish that if there's a revolving door at the leadership level."

From Boardman's perspective, the contract extension will enable him to complete some of the projects and initiatives that have evolved under his leadership, such as new equipment purchases for the Northeast Corridor, a major planning effort for the development of next-generation high-speed rail, a comprehensive employee safety program, and a range of capital projects designed to improve Amtrak's infrastructure, stations, maintenance shops and other facilities.

"It's not just about building the plans, it's about trying to deliver and execute on the things that need to be done," Boardman said during the teleconference.

Boardman was appointed president and CEO in November 2008, following a stint as federal railroad administrator. Under his leadership, Amtrak has posted record ridership and revenue, continued to reduce its need for federal operating support, paid down a significant amount of debt, recorded the best-ever systemwide on-time performance, expanded state-supported service, introduced Wi-Fi and eTicketing, and created and implemented a corporate strategic plan.

Angela Cotey

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