Record Ridership For VIA Rail During Holiday Season
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
As harsh winter conditions swept across the country, many Canadians chose VIA Rail for their travel during the holiday season. From 18DEC to 7JAN, trains from coast to coast carried 308,000 passengers — 10% more than in 2016-2017. Revenue during the period rose by 12%.
The busiest day, Friday, 22DEC, saw VIA Rail trains transporting 20,700 passengers to their destinations.
"Our operations have been strained in recent weeks by cold spells and extreme winter storms. Over this busy season, we have doubled our efforts to limit the impact, provide good service and bring our passengers to their destinations safely. I thank our clients for their understanding and I want to acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of our front-line employees and our maintenance centers," said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and CEO of VIA Rail.
In the Québec City-Windsor corridor, over 291,500 passengers travelled on the trains serving communities in and between Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Windsor, Sarnia and Niagara Falls. Toronto-Ottawa was the most popular route: 35,800 travelled between these two cities over the period.
Toronto's Union Station, a transit point for 180,000 travellers, was especially busy during the holidays. Respectively, Montreal and Ottawa saw 92,000 and 78,000 passengers pass through their stations.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.