In response to customer demand, VIA Rail Canada will introduce new schedules in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle, effective January 24, 2012.
These important changes are expected to attract some 100,000 new passengers annually. The increased ridership will lead to an increase in revenues of several million dollars per year. This will reduce the need for government operating funding, good news for Canadian taxpayers.
Passengers on VIA’s new Ottawa-Toronto express trains will make the non-stop journey in just three hours and 57 minutes. These new trains will operate every day except Saturday, leaving Toronto and Ottawa in late afternoon.
Customers will also have the option of a new late evening departure from Ottawa for Montreal (Sunday through Friday), allowing them to extend their stay in Ottawa beyond the dinner hour. Ottawa-bound travellers from Montreal will also have more end-of-day choices.
Passengers travelling from Montreal to Toronto will be offered two new trains, bringing the total number of weekday departures to Toronto to ten.
These improvements are made possible by the federal government’s major capital investment in VIA. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested $923 million in VIA for capital improvement initiatives. Over $400 million of this funding is dedicated to rail infrastructure projects, much of this from the government’s Economic Action Plan, investments which will directly benefit Canadians and the country’s economy.
Over the coming year, VIA expects to complete other major rail infrastructure projects between Toronto and Brockville, allowing the passenger rail service to further improve reliability, and introduce more improvements, such as better trip times and more departures, including additional express trains between Toronto and Montreal. New or improved stations are also set to open later this year in Windsor, Oshawa, Cobourg and Belleville. See viarail.ca/transformingVIA to learn more.
Recent performance showing positive trend
VIA’s latest reported financial results were at the end of its third quarter in 2011, for the period ending September 30. Those results showed significant year-over-year improvements in passenger-miles, revenues and cost recovery. In fact, since 1990, VIA’s ridership has grown steadily, and revenues have almost doubled. During the same period, VIA’s cost recovery has improved by 79 percent – from 29 cents to 52 cents of revenue per dollar of operating expenses. To view the full quarterly report, go to http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/our-company/quarterly-reports/2011-third-quarter.