VIA Rail popular with students over march break

HIGHLIGHTS
For the period of Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, March 19, 2017  

Québec City – Windsor corridor

  • 353,000 passengers on board
  • Most popular route: OttawaToronto (end to end)
  • More than 30% increase in travel by Unlimited Semester Pass holders
  • More than 10 % increase in children's ticket sales
  • Long Family Day weekend: 7.5% increase in ridership compared to 2016

MONTRÉAL, March 21, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Last Sunday was the final day of the Ontario and Quebec March break period, which lasted four weeks (Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, March 19, 2017). During this time, VIA Rail welcomed approximately 353,000 people to its Québec City – Windsor corridor trains.

Taking advantage of additional departures offered since last November, the majority of passengers (close to 53,000) travelled between Toronto and Ottawa. Friday, February 17 was most popular day for travel with some 18,000 people taking the train. The last week, travel plans for those who made the smart choice to take the train were not affected by the major snowstorm that struck southern Québec and Ontario. On Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15, VIA Rail transported an average of 12,000 passengers per day to destinations in the Québec City – Windsor corridor, during a time of the year when there is usually a daily average of 8,600 passengers.

"Our strong performance over March break reflects the ongoing efforts to implement initiatives that facilitate our customers' travels, and offer a schedule that matches theirs," said the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.  "These changes, which were inspired by our customer-centric strategy, are the driving force behind our successes for the last few months."

The train is popular with young travellers
Among travellers, many students sought to avoid traffic jams and opted instead to travel in the comfort of the train during their reading week. A more than 30% increase in travel among semester pass holders was seen compared to the same period last year. The Corridor trains also welcomed more children, and children's ticket sales increased more than 10% over the last three weeks (February 27 to March 19, 2017) compared to the three March break weeks last year. 

"Whether it's to travel home from university, or to explore a new destination, VIA Rail allows everyone to travel efficiently and stress-free all while reducing their carbon footprint.  The train is also a great place to do school work, study for an exam, or simply relax," added Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano.

A large turnout over Family Day
Over the Family Day long weekend (Thursday, February 16 to Wednesday, February 21), VIA Rail transported 74,000 people on its Québec City – Windsor Corridor trains, an increase of 7.5% in ridership compared to the same period in 2016. Several trains had an occupancy rate of more than 85% over the long weekend.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,600 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail

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SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: Mariam Diaby, Media Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6010 | 1 877 393-8787, mariam_diaby@viarail.ca | media@viarail.ca

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