18% more passengers travelled on VIA Rail's intercity trains over the Easter long weekend
MONTREAL - Many passengers travelled on VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) intercity trains in Quebec and Ontario over the Easter long weekend, posting its best performance in 10 years for this period. Between March 29 and April 3, VIA Rail transported over 83,000 people on the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, representing an 18% increase compared to 2017. Following a trend that started in 2014, passenger revenue was up nearly 20% compared to the same period last year.
More than half of these passengers travelled on VIA Rail trains within Ontario on routes that included Ottawa – Toronto, to which three return trips have been added since 2015 for a total of 10 departures per day in each direction. As for interprovincial travel, 28% of passengers travelled between Ontario and Quebec, particularly on the Montreal – Toronto and Montreal – Ottawa segments. Thursday, March 29 was the busiest day of the weekend.
Of the eight busiest segments, the most notable increases of the weekend were seen for segments east of Toronto (Kingston – Toronto and Oshawa – Ottawa) and in Southwestern Ontario between London and Toronto, where a greater number of passengers chose to take the train to visit family and friends, or enjoy a few days off.
"We are very pleased with these results as they attest to the impact of our transformation plan that we began implementing in 2014, which aims to create a more sustainable future for Canadians. Train travel is a passenger-focused, eco-friendly and accessible choice; we are seeing more Canadians opt for our intercity services in the Quebec-Windsor corridor for their trips. By leaving their cars at home, not only did these 83,000 passengers treat themselves to a more enjoyable travel experience, but they also contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and road congestion," said VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.