Amtrak holds a monopoly on food and beverage sales on Amtrak trains. That has not prevented the taxpayer-funded rail system from losing nearly $1 billion—a full $834 million—on those services since 2002, about $80 million a year. In 2011 Amtrak spent $206 million on food services but collected only about $121 million. A hamburger that goes for $9.50 on Amtrak costs taxpayers $16, according to critics of Amtrak on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A $2 drink costs taxpayers about $3.40 and labor adds nearly 60 percent overall, critics said. Also in play is subtraction by Amtrak employees.
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