Amtrak CEO: ‘More humility, listening skills’

October 19, 2010



HOPE, Ark. – Amtrak President Joseph Boardman told an audience here last week that poor service and arrogance were to blame for Amtrak’s loss of the contract to operate the Virginia Railway Express, reports the Hope Star newspaper.

The commuter service contract was lost to a French company, Keolis, which now operates the commuter trains between Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Amtrak lost the VRE contract “long before the bid,” said Boardman, as quoted by the newspaper. “We lost this contract because we didn’t take care of our customer … We were arrogant.”

The Hope Star quoted Boardman as saying Amtrak must demonstrate more “humility … be inclusive to those who want and have an idea … We need to share the decision making.”

 As reported by the Hope Star, Boardman said that as the federal railroad administrator, before becoming Amtrak’s CEO, he saw similar flaws in freight railroad management  — “They are good people, but way too autocratic; they depend too much on rules and not bringing ‘people’ people in, in an inclusionary way.”