A record-breaking summer for VIA Rail

From June 21 to September 6, 2016:

926,000 passengers (increase of 4.8%)

839,000 passengers (increase of 5.3%)

26 000 passengers (decrease of 0.7%)

37 000 passengers (increase of 1%)

24 000 passengers (increase of 1.7%)

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) hit record highs for ridership this summer. More than 926 000 passengers were welcomed on board its trains from June 21 to September 6, 2016, an increase of 4.8% compared to the summer of 2015.

"Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the smarter way to preserve its natural beauty is to leave your car at home and discover it by train." said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail. "VIA Rail's growing popularity is due in a large part to the commitment of the employees in our call centres, stations, on board the trains and in maintenance centres. They continue to demonstrate their commitment to satisfying the needs of our customers with professionalism and in a more human way."

In anticipation of high ridership over the summer, we increased the capacity of several trains in the Québec City – Windsor corridor and adjusted our schedule in order to offer greater flexibility to the 839,000 passengers who chose to take the train.

The city of Toronto attracted the greatest number of travellers by far, followed closely by Montréal and Ottawa. These destinations were chosen by 269,000, 159,000, and 102,000 travellers respectively. Fridays were the busiest travel days, with an average of 14,000 people travelling per week on that day. August saw the highest ridership of the summer season. The week of August 8 to 14 was the busiest of the summer. During the month, more than 344,000 people chose to travel in comfort on the train. Additionally, since VIA Rail quadrupled the number of direct trips offered between Québec City, Montréal, and Ottawa, it has never been easier to plan a round trip between the nation's capital and Québec City. In fact, more than 139,000 passengers travelled between the two cities over the past few months.

In addition, 63,000 people chose to experience Canada firsthand by taking our long-distance trains between Montreal and Halifax (the Ocean), and Toronto-Vancouver (the Canadian).

Popular with the Younger Crowd
Many families took advantage of the special $15 kids' fare, which applied to all VIA Rail destinations. The offer was a great success, and more than 46,000 children travelled across our beautiful country by train.

As well, a record number of youths experienced Canada in one of the best ways possible using the Youth Summer Pass, which saw a growth of 16 % compared to 2015.

A Great Haul for Québec and Ontario Regional Services
Over the summer, VIA Rail also helped fishing enthusiasts live their passion for the great outdoors through travel between Montreal - Senneterre in Québec, and Sudbury - White River in Ontario. Biscotasing (Ontario), La Tuque (Québec) and Chapleau (Ontario) were among the most popular destinations. The sport lovers also brought along their own transportation – with one VIA Rail train carrying 16 canoes!

A Labour Day Record
VIA Rail employees were busy over the Labour Day long weekend. Close to 68,000 passengers travelled on trains heading across the country from September 1 to 6, an increase of 5.4% compared to previous year and new performance record.

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 about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, 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.

Image with caption: "VIA Rail Canada hit record highs for ridership this summer. On routes popular with outdoor enthusiasts - Montreal to Senneterre in Québec, and Sudbury to White River in Ontario, trains also transported sports equipment. One noteworthy train carried 16 canoes! (CNW Group/VIA Rail Canada Inc.)". Image available at: https://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160908_C6720_PHOTO_EN_768628.jpg

For further information: Mylène Bélanger, Advisor, Public Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6309, 1 877 393-8787, mylene_belanger@viarail.ca, media@viarail.ca


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