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VIA Rail posts Q1 ridership, revenue growth

VIA Rail’s first-quarter results represent the company’s 13th consecutive quarter of increased ridership.
Photo – VIA Rail Canada Inc.


VIA Rail Canada Inc. reported first-quarter 2019 rail ridership increased 5.1 percent to 1,145,000 riders and passenger revenue rose 8.4 percent to CA$77.6 million compared with the same quarter a year ago, the company announce yesterday.

The results represent the company’s 13th consecutive quarter of ridership increases and the 20th straight quarter of revenue growth, according to a VIA Rail press release.

Additionally, ridership and passenger revenue in the Quebec City-Windsor grew by 5 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, in the quarter versus the same period last year, VIA officials said.

VIA Rail officials attribute the increases to several system improvements, including: 

  • the creation of a winter readiness playbook by the mechanical and maintenance team to mitigate the effects of severe winter conditions. The playbook contributed to a 31 percent reduction in mechanic- and maintenance-related departure delays compared to the winter of 2017 to 2018;
  • the announcement of a new fleet destined for the Quebec-Windsor corridor from Siemens Canada; and 
  • the newly renovated Ottawa station constructed with a tactile and heated boarding platform, an access ramp at level with the train door, two new elevators and other way finding and echolocation obstacle detection technology for people with no or partial sight.