- Focusing on customers leads to increased ridership & revenues
- Promoting sustainable mobility making VIA Rail a smarter way to move people
MONTRÉAL, May 6, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) issued its 2015 annual report today, noting an increase in both ridership and revenues for the first time in seven years, across the network, including regional train services. Total passenger-miles were up by some 1.7% year over year, buoyed by a rising trend line in the second half of the year that has continued into 2016. Revenues continued to show a year-over-year improvement, increasing by 6.2% compared to the year prior. As a result, VIA Rail's requirement for government operating funding decreased by 11.7% compared to the previous year, $13 million less than planned.
From the Annual Report, "There are many reasons to be optimistic, including the focus that our Government has on strengthening the Canadian economy through job-creating investments and sustainable transportation," said Eric Stefanson, VIA Rail's former Interim Chairman. "This year, the Government of Canada confirmed additional capital funding of $102 million for VIA Rail. This investment will be used to improve the infrastructure VIA Rail owns, as well as services in and around the Ottawa area. Keeping Canadians mobile is imperative to a strong and healthy economy."
"On behalf of VIA Rail and all of its employees, we'd like to thank Mr. Stefanson for his dedicated service. For over a year and a half, Mr. Stefanson has generously shared his time and expertise as interim Chairman of the Board. His extensive experience as a partner in his own accountancy firm as well as an elected official in Manitoba was of infinite value to the Crown corporation. Under his leadership, the Board of Directors supported VIA Rail as it evolved over the year, and contributed to the success we are reporting today," recognized VIA Rail's President and CEO, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano. "Fueled by the year's positive results and a renewed interest in the train as a greener, smarter travel option, I am very encouraged," added the President, "In the coming years, we will continue our efforts to increase our ridership, not only for the good of the Canadian economy and the Canadian population, but also for the good of the environment. In 2015, we reaffirmed our commitment to decreasing our environmental impact by taking the COP21 pledge to support international goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."
"But VIA Rail's greatest contribution to the reduction of GHGs is yet to come," Desjardins-Siciliano continued, "Our plan to build infrastructure dedicated to passengers will eliminate over five million car trips annually. This means a reduction of 10.8M tons of CO2 equivalent, over the life of the project. This represents 1.5% of Canada's total GHG emissions or 13% of all car emissions."
- New mobile application and redesigned Web site (viarail.ca)
- VIA Rail launches Instagram profile
- Launch of SMS/Email Train Alert Service
- Full implementation of Prestige Class on The Canadian
- New 50/50 seat configuration Economy Class cars enter service
- Intermodal partnership between VIA Rail and Union Pearson Express
- New Canrailpass introduced
- VIA Rail wins Railway Association of Canada Safety Award
- Honourable Mention for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) from the Risk Management Society (RIMS)
- More Ocean departures added for Holiday season
VIA Rail's annual report includes excerpts of VIA Rail's report on its corporate social responsibility. This year, the corporation's actions were published as a stand-alone document: the 2015 Sustainable Mobility Report. That report focused on our six 'pillars' of sustainability, which are to: provide the best customer experience; promote socio-economic development; operate safely and efficiently; reduce our impact on the environment; be an employer of choice and to maintain the public trust. The goal is to provide stakeholders with a global overview of how VIA Rail conducts its business in a responsible manner, and to align its reporting with recognized sustainable best practices.
An overview of VIA Rail's six pillars of sustainability can be found in the Sustainable Mobility section of the Annual Report. The full report can be found at viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/SUSTAINABLE_MOBILITY_REPORT_2015.pdf
VIA Rail's annual report is available to download at: viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/governance-and-reports/annual-report
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.
SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.