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Coronavirus in the US. What would Amtrak do?

Coronavirus in the US. What would Amtrak do?

Old Jan 31, 20, 3:54 pm
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Coronavirus in the US. What would Amtrak do?

Transportation to Asia is under explicit restriction or experiencing significant passenger decline as a result of personal choice or business policy. If the coronavirus spreads within the US, what would you do as an armchair CEO of Amtrak?
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:23 pm
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No use over thinking and/or over reacting to a hypothetical. (as tends to be the way in USA)
Many people on Amtrak today with flu passing that on to other passengers

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jan 31, 20 at 5:37 pm
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Old Feb 1, 20, 12:45 pm
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Make everyone in the country take a two-night train trip. Those with a fever at the end go to an isolation camp.
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Old Feb 3, 20, 6:35 am
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Many US companies established or rewrote their Pandemic policy as a result of SARS. The spread of Coronavirus has already triggered the first stages of Pandemic policy for many of them (sharing with employee's there is a policy, and what next steps would look like). Here's an excerpt from Amtrak's. By our own accounts Amtrak has trouble knowing winter is coming. For the sake of customers and employees, who don't have the option to "work from home", I hope what Amtrak does is early, effective, and visible.

Pandemic Flu Program

Amtrak has been actively working on the potential impact of pandemic flu on passengers, contractors and employees. A Pandemic Flu Task Group was organized in 2005, with representatives from impacted or key departments. During 2009, the company closely monitored the seasonal flu outbreak situation and followed Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

The company had already developed and activated its Pandemic Flu Plan when the Pandemic Emergency was announced in June 2009 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC.

Steps taken as part of the Pandemic Flu Plan included:

• Promoting healthy habits, like frequent hand washing, one of the primary prevention techniques.

• Providing the seasonal flu vaccine to employees who wish to protect themselves from the seasonal flu.

• Providing non-alcohol-based hand sanitizing wipes for use aboard trains (since a non-alcohol sanitizer is non-flammable and still CDC-acceptable) and alcohol-based hand sanitizers for other locations.

• Monitoring workforce absenteeism patterns and managing headcount to ensure or adjust continuity of operations at the division and department level.

Establishing and communicating protocols for handling customers, passengers and employees who are symptomatic.

• Implementing the Amtrak Serious Communicable Disease Protocol and procedures for employees interfacing with members of the traveling public who are or become ill.

• Providing flu kits (sanitizer, gloves, N95 mask) for on-board service employees, to be deployed at a time determined by the Chief Operating Officer.

• Implementing a Pandemic Leave Policy.

• Determining that current Amtrak cleaning practices using disinfectants for equipment cleaning are effective against flu viruses, including H1N1.

Amtrak provided seasonal flu vaccines to employees free of charge. More than 4,500 Amtrak employees took advantage of this voluntary vaccination program.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 3:33 pm
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When this new virus got hyped up in the media, Amtrak started using a special disinfectant in the on-board toilets before each train leaves home. That's the current response.
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Old Feb 11, 20, 1:40 am
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Originally Posted by etna View Post
Transportation to Asia is under explicit restriction or experiencing significant passenger decline as a result of personal choice or business policy. If the coronavirus spreads within the US, what would you do as an armchair CEO of Amtrak?
cease service to Asia? Oh, yeah, they don't serve Asia. And don't fly, although Anderson seems confused on that point.

Next!

Last edited by zephyr17; Feb 16, 20 at 1:12 pm
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Old Feb 26, 20, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
When this new virus got hyped up in the media, Amtrak started using a special disinfectant in the on-board toilets before each train leaves home. That's the current response.
The long-distance trains need to be better disinfected. Capital Limited for one. I've traveled on it for years-- coughing passengers, one girl lying on 2 seats, obviously sick, the conductor spoke to her and left her there -- then a man who was either drunk or sick, smelling to high heaven occupying 2 seats for the whole trip. Some of us moved into the observation car and stayed there for the next 8 hours - the bathrooms got so bad we got off in Maryland and took Metro home from there. Another time, a woman wearing a face mask, coughing for hours, right behind me -- People took one look at her and left the car -- I too moved away but it was too late-- I got terribly sick with a bad cold. And then there are the North Carolina (stinky, dirty) trains, and the Florida trains, crowded, stinky, dirty, gross bathrooms. This is all recent, by the way.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 9:00 pm
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The answer, thus far, is get sniped on change/cancel by JetBlue. Amtrak is off to a brilliant start.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 10:24 am
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Just got an email from the Amtrak CMO...

Dear Stimpy,

The safety of our customers and employees is Amtrak's top priority. We are closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and are taking action based on guidance from public health experts. In order to maintain a safe environment and address customer concerns, we are taking measures including: • Enhanced cleaning protocols. We have increased the frequency of cleaning service on our trains and at our stations. • Additional antibacterial products. We have increased the quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees throughout our trains and stations. • No change fees on bookings made through April 30, 2020. We are waiving change fees so you can book travel on Amtrak® with confidence, knowing you have the flexibility to change your plans.
We will continue to respond to the latest on Covid‑19 with customer and employee safety top of mind. As always, we will strive to create a safe and enjoyable experience for your Amtrak journey — and we hope to see you on board soon. Thank you for being an Amtrak Guest Rewards® member.
Sincerely,

Roger Harris
Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:16 pm
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Amtrak suspends nonstop Acela service between DC and New York due to coronavirus

Amtrak has cancelled its Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York as one of its safety measures amid concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus. The Acela nonstop service will be temporarily suspended starting Tuesday, March 10 until Tuesday, May 26.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/new...us/ar-BB10Sy1g
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Old Mar 8, 20, 4:07 am
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Hilarious that they call the removal of the non-stop train a "safety measure". It is actually safer as all those filthy people from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can't board the train.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 8:21 am
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To be fair, Amtrak's actual press release separates what they're doing for safety (cleaning more, allowing you to change/cancel) and what they're doing for business reasons (suspending the non-stops). The MSN article is morphing them together.

https://media.amtrak.com/2020/03/amt...e-environment/
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Old Mar 8, 20, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict View Post
Amtrak has cancelled its Acela nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and New York as one of its safety measures amid concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus. The Acela nonstop service will be temporarily suspended starting Tuesday, March 10 until Tuesday, May 26.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/new...us/ar-BB10Sy1g
Actually, what this suggests is that the nonstop Acela was not as profitable (or incurring greater losses) than the regular Acelas! The Coronavirus was a convenient excuse to cut that nonstop route.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Actually, what this suggests is that the nonstop Acela was not as profitable (or incurring greater losses) than the regular Acelas! The Coronavirus was a convenient excuse to cut that nonstop route.
Bingo!
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Old Mar 9, 20, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Actually, what this suggests is that the nonstop Acela was not as profitable (or incurring greater losses) than the regular Acelas! The Coronavirus was a convenient excuse to cut that nonstop route.
Which is not that surprising, really. I think it only shaved off 15-20 minutes from the trip, so not mich incentive for NYP or WAS passengers to pick the nonstop unless it is at the time they wanted to leave anyway. Whereas missing the chance to transport PHL passengers (and to a lesser extent BAL and WIL) presumably has a material opportunity cost.

What is surprising to me is how quickly they gave up on it. I feel like they just rolled out the nonstop a couple months ago.
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