Strong Quarter For VIA, On-Time Performance Still Major Concern
VIA Rail Canada says its
3rd quarter closed with positive results across all its services,
from inter-city and long distance to regional services. Growth in revenues and
ridership was accompanied by improvement in employee engagement results, the
The quarter saw a 10%
increase in overall revenues compared to the Q3 2014, along with a 4% growth in
pax on VIA trains. For the Québec City –Windsorcorridor, ridership went up from 893,660 to 924,270 or 3.4% while
revenues increased by 8%.
completed the quarter with higher revenue and more passengers than the same
period last year - an astounding accomplishment,” said VIA Rail's President
& CEOYves Desjardins-Siciliano. “Of particular note is the
increase in both revenue and passengers on theToronto-Ottawa-Montrealcorridor. This growth confirms our confidence that there is an
ever-increasing demand for reliable, safe and environmentally-responsible
inter-city passenger rail services."
The company was also
heartened by the results of a company-wide employee engagement survey report
released during the quarter. More employees participated in the survey and the
outcome showed an increasing level of engagement. However, the company admits
that work and change still need to happen before employee engagement can reach
the level of the best Canadian companies. "Over the coming months, action
plans are being developed across all departments with the involvement of front
line employees. Our best is yet to come", said
The Government ofCanadaconfirmed capital
funding of$102 millionfor
VIA Rail this quarter. It will be used to improve the VIA Rail-owned
infrastructure and its services in and around theOttawaarea.
A major struggle for VIA
continues to be the ability to run trains on time on rail lines owned and
controlled by freight operators. VIA Rail trains on-time performance ranged
from 25.3% on theCanadianto 79.5% on theOceanand 73.8% on theQuebec-Windsorcorridor, a decline over last year's results.
on the limited infrastructure owned by VIA Rail is in the mid-90%. "The
plan we are developing to build a dedicated passenger rail infrastructure
within the busiestToronto–Ottawa– Montréal triangle will eliminate the challenges of sharing
tracks with freight trains," saidDesjardins-Siciliano.