More Amtrak Conductors Are High or Drunk on the Job Than Ever Before

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: People board an Amtrak train at Penn Station on February 8, 2011 in New York City. Amtrak, a government-owned corporation, has joined up with New Jersey's two U.S. senators to propose a new rail link to New York City under the Hudson River. The "Gateway Project", which was formally proposed on Monday, would include two tunnels under the Hudson River and increase the train traffic under the river from 62 trains per day to 92 and cost an estimated $13.5 billion. This plan is looked at as an alternative after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed another rail link plan last year after he deemed it too costly to New Jersey residents. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt/2011 Getty Images

Passengers beware: A new report out by the Amtrak inspector general — yes, that's a real person — shows higher rates of conductors, mechanics, and engineers testing positive for drugs and alcohol than at any time in the past six years. And that's with Amtrak only testing about a third of its 4,400-strong workforce and only firing those who fail twice, the AP has learned. "These conditions increase the risk that a serious accident will occur that involves drugs or alcohol," the report warns, prompting Amtrak to up its drug test rate to at least 50 percent from now on. Which should totally put commuters' minds at ease.