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Rail News: Amtrak

Working group recommends Amtrak improve food, beverage offerings


After a year of study, a working group has submitted to Congress nearly two dozen recommendations for how Amtrak can improve its food and beverage offerings.

Congress created the group — made up of passenger advocates, state partners and Amtrak employees and management — as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). That measure required the group to file a report to Congress this month.

The group’s recommendations include clear ingredients lists, waste control efforts and technology improvements, such as internet connections to keep food items stocked and allow food to be purchased on board, Rail Passengers Association officials said in a press release.

RPA has called on Amtrak to improve its food and beverage offerings to passengers. The association helped draft the language in the IIJA that called for the working group’s formation.

The recommendations include short-term improvements, the establishment of follow-up committees to provide transparency and accountability, and requests from passengers and on-board employees addressing the needs of different service models across the country, RPA officials said.

"From handling immediate needs in the current environment to establishing industry best practices and looking to future tech solutions, this robust report makes a clear case for how Amtrak can improve over the next five years," stated the RPA release.

The report was filed with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Amtrak has 180 days to respond to the report and develop a plan to enact the recommendations.