Friday, October 13, 2017

VIA thankful for Thanksgiving ridership surge

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VIA Rail Canada set ridership records over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. From Oct. 5 to 10, 2017, 193,900 passengers used VIA’s four main services—Cross-Canada, Quebec-Windsor, the Montréal-Halifax Ocean and the Toronto-Vancouver Canadian—for an average 20.8% increase over the same period in 2016, excluding the Ocean, which rose 5%.

This gain was also reflected in revenues, which rose an average of 23.8% across all four services, compared to 2016. Passengers covered a total distance of more than 34 million kilometers (21 million miles) on the 367 Cross-Canada Services trains that operated in that time period. Oct. 6 was that service’s busiest day, as 20,900 people traveled on the national network, generating C$1.7 million in revenues, the most in a single day since 2009.

Delineated by service, compared to the 2016 Canadian Thanksgiving weekend:

• VIA RAIL CROSS-CANADA SERVICES: 97,300 passengers, a 20.5% increase. More than 34 million kilometers (21 million miles) traveled, a 20% increase, with a 21% increase in passenger revenue.

• QUEBEC CITY-WINDSOR CORRIDOR: 92,700 passengers, a 22% increase, with a 20% increase in passenger revenue.

• TORONTO-VANCOUVER CANADIAN: 2,600 passengers, a 20% increase, with a 39% increase in passenger revenue.

• MONTRÉAL-HALIFAX OCEAN: 1,300 passengers, a 5% increase, with a 15% increase in passenger revenue. Montréal, October

“I am pleased to announce these excellent results, said VIA President and CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano. “We have set a new record, for the fifth long weekend in a row. Also, reaching the 20,000-passenger mark over one day shows that our ongoing efforts to improve the customer experience are paying off. We owe this success to our dedicated staff who provide exceptional service that has prompted more and more Canadians to choose the train as the greenest and safest way to travel.”

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