BATHURST, NB, Oct. 22, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives from VIA Rail Canada met with local members of parliament and mayors in Bathurst today to discuss the future of passenger rail transportation in the region.
"Representatives from the region clearly explained their concerns and expressed their opinions on the recent announcements affecting rail transportation in New Brunswick. This meeting allowed us to assure them that VIA Rail shares their concerns and intends to continue to play a major role in the mobility of people living in the Maritimes," said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer and Corporate Secretary of VIA Rail, who is also a member of the Strategic Committee on Rail Assets established by the Government of New Brunswick. "This meeting also helped us to explain that the service adjustments—which take effect on October 25 and 27—are necessary because of the continued decline in traffic from 255,000 to 134,000 yearly passengers on The Ocean over the past 15 years. Our duty to properly manage Canadian taxpayers' money compels us to make difficult decisions."
Over the past five years, VIA Rail has invested more than 25 million dollars in repairing its locomotives and The Ocean's rolling stock, in addition to renovating its stations and infrastructure in the region. Furthermore, The Ocean service continues to be improved by adding a car with a panoramic view year-round.
Last year, VIA Rail developed a national intermodality strategy which involves working with regional carriers to harmonize schedules, facilitate multi-carrier ticketing and simplify passenger transportation. To this end, Marc Laliberté, Chief Executive Officer, appealed to local motorcoaches companies to partner with VIA Rail during a discussion before the Halifax Chamber of Commerce this past August.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's (www.viarail.ca) mandate is to provide safe, efficient, cost-effective passenger transportation in the country's two official languages. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. Recipient of the RAC's Safety Award in 2011 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted on by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media, VIA safely transports over four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided VIA Rail with nearly one billion dollars in capital investment funding. Follow the evolution of current projects at viarail.ca/TransformerVIA.
SOURCE: VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
Senior Media Relations Advisor
VIA Rail Canada
514-871-6137 | 1-877-393-8787