MONTRÉAL, Canada – Recognized as the smart choice to meet the needs of Canadian travellers, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) was in high demand over the August long weekend. From Thursday, July 28th to Tuesday, August 2nd, VIA Rail transported 77,000 travellers on 353 trains, a 4.3% increase in ridership compared to the same period in 2015.
“We are proud of our performance last weekend,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, VIA Rail’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We knew how to adapt our offer for the long weekend, and our employees, both in station and on-board, once again demonstrated the excellent service that they are known for. This allowed more Canadians to choose an efficient and carefree way to travel, all while reducing their carbon footprint. Our strong performance can also be attributed to the employees who work in our four maintenance centres across the country. I want to thank them all for their excellent work.”
Lots of passengers were travelling this weekend, with the greatest number going from Montréal to Toronto on train 63 on August 1st. In response to this high demand, VIA Rail lengthened the train from the usual six cars to ten and used two locomotives, allowing the train to carry 570 passengers. In total, 69,859 people travelled by train in the Québec City – Windsor corridor. 5,300 passengers travelled on our longhaul trains between Montreal and Halifax, and Vancouver and Toronto. Friday, July 29th had the highest ridership across the network with some 16,364 passengers on-board. Several trains had occupancy rates of over 85% and some were even sold out.
On social media, passengers expressed their appreciation for the quality of customer service. There were 1,300 mentions of VIA Rail on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook during the long weekend.
Additionally, many VIA Rail customers stayed connected through our WiFi network. In the Québec City – Windsor corridor, more than 50,000 devices transmitted 5,874.7 GB of data, equivalent to 6 million website visits or emails (of 1 MB). On the Ocean, 495 devices transmitted close to 75 GB of data, representing more than 48,000 website visits or emails (of 1 MB).