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VIA Rail’s second quarter results confirm need for modernization plan

VIA Rail’s second quarter results confirm need for modernization plan

Following the quarterly meeting of its Board of Directors in Halifax, N.S., VIA Rail Canada released its second quarter 2012 results.

The Corporation’s ridership and revenues were lower than in the same period last year, due partially to continued economic uncertainty affecting travel markets. However, as a result of stringent cost management measures, the Corporation’s bottom line was within approved funding levels for the quarter.

“We responded to challenging market conditions with aggressive cost management measures that helped us maintain expenses below the same period last year, reducing the impact of reduced ridership levels as much as possible while still making passenger rail a more attractive option for customers,” explained VIA President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Laliberté.

The Corporation also reported an increase in both revenues per employee and revenues per seat mile compared with the first quarter of 2012. At the end of the quarter, VIA also announced important adjustments to its services in the pursuit of its goal to transform passenger rail into an attractive, efficient, competitive and affordable travel service. To this end, VIA announced last June that it will make changes to help the Corporation withstand market fluctuations, respond to the changing needs of customers, and achieve sustainable growth in the future.

“While we faced a challenging second quarter, we remain optimistic that we can meet our financial objectives for 2012 (excluding pension costs). As we continue to transform and modernize passenger rail, we are building the kind of modern passenger service that customers and taxpayers want - one that is financially sustainable, delivers good value for taxpayers’ money, and is ready for future growth,” Mr. Laliberté said.