Via Rail reports surge in Easter weekend passengers

Via Rail reports surge in Easter weekend passengers

MONTREAL — VIA Rail Canada has reported a busy Easter holiday weekend, with more Canadians choosing to get on board VIA Rail trains during the weekend compared to last year. Between March 24-29, 74,000 passengers travelled on trains throughout the country, an increase of 7.4% compared to 2015.

“We’re very pleased to have been able to help travellers get to their destinations safely and comfortably over the long weekend,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These results, the best for both ridership and revenues in the past five years, tell us that more and more people are recognizing that the train is more than just another way of getting there; it is indeed a smarter way to travel.”

On the coast-to-coast network, the busiest day was Thursday, March 24, when some 16,500 passengers boarded trains. Several trains showed an occupancy rate of over 85%. There were no cancellations and 98.5% of all trains arrived on time or with only minor delays.

VIA Rail customers made good use of trains in the Quebec City–Windsor corridor, which proved the most popular over the long weekend, registering an increase of 7.2% in ridership and 11.8% in revenues compared to the same period in 2015.

Performance on VIA Rail’s longer-distance services like the ‘Canadian’ (Toronto-Vancouver) and the ‘Ocean’ (Halifax-Montréal) also improved significantly. Compared to last year, they welcomed 23.8% more passengers and revenues were up by 77.5%. The introduction of Prestige Class on the ‘Canadian’ was a major contributing factor to these significant increases.