Amtrak is preparing to reduce its workforce by up to 20%, citing the effects of the pandemic.
“Our ridership and revenue levels have been down 95% or more year-over-year since the pandemic began,” CEO Bill Flynn wrote in a memo to employees.
The railroad company is projecting ridership levels in 2021 will be 50% of what it was in 2019.
Amtrak said the reduction is necessary to ensure they can “continue to make critical investments in our core and long-term growth strategies, while also keeping safety as our top priority.”
“We are currently working to finalize a plan for achieving these workforce reductions in FY 2021 and have started the process of designing our go-forward structure,” Flynn wrote.
“As we look ahead to FY 2021, it is clear we have no choice but to reduce our overhead structure to better align our costs with our revenues,” Flynn wrote.
In a letter to Congress, Amtrak said it needs $1.4 billion in supplemental funding for the next fiscal year — in addition to the $2.040 billion annual grant request the company submitted to Congress earlier this year. Amtrak received $1 billion through the CARES Act and the company has taken numerous cost-cutting measures to help offset revenue losses caused by the pandemic, including reducing schedules across its system.