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Lone Star Express is a luxury passenger carrier in Texas. All seats are first class, and the following data are available:

 Number of seats per passenger train car 80 Average loan factor (percentage of seats filled) 70% Average full passenger fare \$160 Average variable cost per passenger \$75 Fixed operating cost per month \$3,000,000

Questions

a. What is the break-even point in passengers and revenues per month?

b. What is the break-even point in number of passenger train cars per month?

c. If Lone Star Express raises its average passenger fare to \$190, it is estimated that the average load factor will decrease to 60 percent. What will be the monthly break-even point in number of passenger cars?

d. (Refer to original data.) Fuel cost is a significant variable cost to any railway. If crude oil increases by \$ 20 per barrel, it is estimated that variable cost per passenger will rise to \$90. What will be the new break-even point in passengers and in number of passenger train cars?

e. Lone Star Express has experienced an increase in variable cost per passenger to \$ 85 and an increase in total fixed cost to \$ 3,400,000. The company has decided to raise the average fare to \$ 195. If the tax rate is 30 percent, how many passengers per month are needed to generate an after-tax profit of \$ 575,000?

f. (Use original data except as noted). Lone Star Express is considering offering a discounted fare of \$ 120, which the company believes would increase the load factor to 80 percent. Only the additional seats would be sold at the discounted fare. Additional monthly advertising cost would be \$ 180,000. How much pre-tax income would passengers traveling on the discounted fare provide Lone Star Express if the company has 50 passenger train cars per day, 30 days per month?

g. Lone Star Express has an opportunity to obtain a new route that would be traveled 20 times per month (i.e., 20 train cars per month). The company believes it can sell seats at \$ 175 on the route, but the load factor would be only 60 percent. Fixed cost would increase by \$ 250,000 per month for additional personnel, additional passenger train cars, maintenance, and so on. Variable cost per passenger would remain at \$ 75.

1. Should the company obtain the route?

2. How many passenger train cars must Lone Star Express operate to earn pre-tax income of \$120,000 per month on this route?

3. If the load factor could be increased to 75 percent, how many passenger train cars must be operated to earn pre-tax income of \$ 120,000 per month on this route?

4. What qualitative factors should be considered by Lone Star Express in making its decision about acquiring this route?