Via Rail cuts, Transport Action

Cuts in service
Transcontinental Trains

On 27 Jun, 2012, at 10:01  David Jeanes reported on today's VIA Rail news release.

The Canadian: The Canadian currently provides three round trips per week, year round, between Toronto and Vancouver. Demand for this service is strong and growing during the summer months; VIA has invested more than $55 million to improve service along this route, and is upgrading equipment to meet customer needs.

Demand for this service during the off-peak season, however, is much lower, and has fallen steadily for the past 15 years. Three round trips per week during the off-peak season are no longer needed to meet demand. Beginning this November, The Canadian will offer two round trips per week during the off peak season.

The Ocean : The Ocean currently provides six round trips per week between Montréal and Halifax. VIA has invested more than $25 million to improve this service, and will continue to improve the value of this service to customers.

However, the current schedule, which has been essentially unchanged since 1990, no longer reflects current ridership or foreseeable market demand - ridership has dropped consistently for 15 years as other travel options (highways, air and bus services) have improved. Beginning this November, The Ocean will operate three round trips per week year round.

Quebec - Windsor Intercity Trains

The Montréal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle, where the demand for efficient intercity transportation is high and growing, is VIA's busiest market. In January 2012 VIA added new frequencies, including express services, between Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto. More frequencies will be added this year, and faster trains will reduce overall trip times.

The Southwestern Ontario market includes some of VIA's poorest-performing train services, where customer demand is very low. At the same time, new air services, and expanding commuter rail services in the Greater Toronto area, are further reducing the need for some weekday and weekend VIA services. Accordingly, VIA is reducing frequencies on some routes in Southwestern Ontario and will provide better integration with other public transportation services.

Montréal-Quebec City is a high demand market, and VIA hopes to add an additional frequency on this route later this year to meet the needs of customers.

Stories filed earlier in the day:

Via Rail to make service announcement Wednesday

Via Rail officials will be in the Maritimes Wednesday to make a service-related announcement. Jennifer Brown, president of Local 4005, said recently the union has received reports from well-placed sources that a pending service reduction will see the Ocean route reduced to three days a week. Brown said about 16 union jobs will be at risk if the Ocean is reduced to three days a week.

Workers believe Montreal-to-Halifax service will be reduced
CBC News Posted: Jun 27, 2012

Via Rail employees are bracing for cuts as officials arrive in Halifax for a service-related announcement, says the union that represents the workers.
The Halifax meeting is expected to begin at 10 a.m. AT at the Westin Nova Scotian.

Media Advisory - VIA Rail Canada to announce the next phase of its modernization project

MONTREAL, June 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Media representatives are invited to take part in a media briefing which will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, June 27th, starting at 9:30 a.m. Central Time (10:30 a.m. Eastern Time), with the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada, Mr. Marc Laliberté. An overview of the latest initiatives that are part of VIA's modernization project will be presented.

Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Time: 9:30 a.m. Central Time (10:30 Eastern Time)

Winnipeg Union Station
Citizenship Court
123 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Please note:

A phone conference will allow journalists from outside Winnipeg to be listening to the press briefing. A phone number will be provided on request.

For easier on-site registration and access, please confirm your presence in advance by calling the Media Relations team at 514 871-6137 or 1 877 393-8787.