Posts Tagged ‘VIA ridership’

VIA Annual Report Shows Ridership, Revenue Declines for 2020

May 25, 2021

The 2020 annual report of VIA Rail Canada shows how much the COVID-19 pandemic drove down ridership and revenue.

In 2020 VIA ridership was 1.15 million passenger trips, a 77 percent drop from more than 5 million trips in 2019.

Passenger revenue fell 80 percent to C$76 million from C$388 in 2019. Total revenues were C$92 million, down 77 percent from $411.1 million in 2019.

Service reductions in response to the pandemic triggered a 21.2 percent decline in operating expenses.

The carrier said it laid off 1,000 employees last summer and reduced working hours and salaries of some employees.

The report said most employees have or will eventually return to work while some workers have taken pay cuts. VIA said it plans to bring staff back as it gradually returns to full service.

In looking ahead, VIA said it is planning for a new equipment fleet for the Quebec City-Toronto corridor, a new reservation system, and the renovation of 72 Heritage cars.

Production of new trainsets began last year, VIA selected an onboard Wi-Fi provider and it made progress on the implementation of a computerized maintenance management information system.

Eight economy coach and four business Heritage cars were overhauled last year and partial overhauls were completed on 14 out of 15 P42 locomotives.

VIA said it established a working relationship with the Joint Project Office created by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

It said this has led the carrier to the “precipice of positive news” for a project to build dedicated passenger rail tracks between Québec City and Toronto.

During 2020, VIA said it launched a Universal Accessibility Policy and completed 18 projects under its three-year plan to adhere to the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, which took effect in June 2020.

VIA Carried 5M Passengers in 2019

June 24, 2020

VIA Rail Canada said this week it carried 5 million passengers last year, its highest ridership in 30 years and a 5.5 percent increase over 2018 levels.

The carrier said that 96 percent of passengers traveled for inter-city travel, 3 percent for long-distance travel and 1 percent for regional travel.

The Quebec City-Windsor Corridor recorded ridership of 4.7 million riders, a 5.5 percent year-over-year increase.

Revenue for 2019 totaled CA$411.1 million, an increase of CA$18.5 million compared with 2018. Total operating expenses reached CA$691.8 million, a nearly CA$27 million increase.

VIA is not expecting 2020 ridership to be a bountiful due to substantial ridership declines during the COVID-19 pandemic and protest blockades earlier in the year that led to service suspensions.

“Our immediate challenge is to convince Canadians that we are the safe way to travel as our response to the COVID-19 virus evolves,” said VIA Rail President and CEO Cynthia Garneau said in a news release.

 

VIA Ridership, Revenue Up in 3rd Quarter

December 4, 2019

VIA Rail Canada said this week that it saw its ridership increase by nearly 7 percent in the third quarter of 2019 when compared to the same period of 2018.

Passenger revenue in the 2019 third quarter rose by 1 percent when compared with 2018.

In a news release, VIA said it earned total passenger revenue of CA$113.4 million, an increase of CA$1.1 million compared with the previous year’s quarter. Total revenue reached CA$119 million.

VIA said it was the 15th consecutive quarter of increased ridership and the 22nd consecutive quarter of revenue growth.

The highest ridership percentage increase — about 27 percent — occurred on regional services. The passenger carrier attributed that ridership growth in part to the return of service between Winnipeg and Churchill in Manitoba.

Ridership and passenger revenue on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor rose 7.2 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.

Passenger revenue on the Montreal-to-Halifax service rose 9 percent versus the third quarter of 2018.

VIA Ridership, Revenue Up in 2nd Quarter

September 5, 2019

VIA Rail Canada said this week that is posted a 6.4 percent increase in ridership and a nearly 5 percent increase in passenger revenue in the second quarter, which ended June 30.

The comparisons are to the second quarter of 2018.

Total passenger revenue was CA$94.3 million, an increase of CA$420,000, compared with the previous year’s quarter. Total revenue reached nearly CA$100 million.

The carrier said in a news release that the increase represents the 14th straight quarter of increased ridership and the 21st consecutive quarter of revenue growth.

Ridership rose nearly 14 percent on its regional services. Much of the growth could be attributed to the return of service between Winnipeg and Churchill in Manitoba.

Ridership and passenger revenue on the Quebec City-Windsor corridor increased by 6.3 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

VIA Ridership, Revenue Rose in 1st Quarter

June 5, 2019

Ridership at VIA Rail Canada rose 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 to 1,145,000 riders.

The carrier said its revenue increased by 8.4 percent to CA$77.6 million. Both figures are in comparison with the first quarter of 2018.

In a news release, VIA said it has posted ridership gains in 13 consecutive quarters and revenue increases in 20 straight quarters.

Ridership in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor grew by 5 percent in the first quarter of this year.

VIA said that among the other highlights of the first quarter was the creation of a winter readiness playbook by the mechanical and maintenance team to mitigate the effects of severe winter conditions.

That helped lead to a 31 percent reduction in mechanic- and maintenance-related departure delays compared to the winter of 2017 to 2018.

The carrier also announced that it is acquiring new equipment from Siemens Canada that it will assign to Quebec-Windsor corridor trains and it has finished renovating the station in Ottawa.

The Ottawa station work included a tactile and heated boarding platform, an access ramp at level with train doors, two new elevators and other way finding and echolocation obstacle detection technology for those with no or partial sight.

VIA Gets Ridership Boost From Victoria Day

May 30, 2019

VIA Rail Canada said it carried more than 82,000 passengers during the Victoria Day weekend, an increase of 4 percent increase compared last year.

In a news release, VIA said this was its best ridership performance for this period in the past 10 years.

The busiest day was May 17 was the busiest day with more than 18,000 passengers riding VIA trains.

The Victoria Day travel period extended from May 16 to 21.

More than half of the passengers rode within Ontario, particularly between Ottawa and Toronto.

The Quebec City-Windsor corridor recorded 78,852 passengers, a 4.2 percent increase compared with 2018’s ridership.

VIA Reports Higher Ridership, Revenue in 2018

May 9, 2019

Ridership of VIA Rail Canada trains last year rose by 8 percent to 4.7 million, the carrier said this week.

Revenue was CA$392 in 2018, an increase of 7.4 percent over 2017.

The bulk of VIA ridership was concentrated in the corridor between Windsor, Ontario; and Quebec City, Quebec, where VIA carried 4.5 million passengers.

Last year marked the fourth consecutive year of ridership increases at VIA.

In a statement, VIA CEA Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said the results were a good way to mark the passenger carrier’s 40th anniversary.

“In all areas of the business, employees are working hard to attract more passengers, making them feel welcome and well-treated,” he said. “Thanks in large part to their efforts, the number of passenger miles traveled on VIA Rail has increased by 23 percent since 2014.”

Total 2018 operating expenses were CA$665 million, an increase of CA$34 million compared with 2017 expenses. VIA officials attributed that to additional expenses associated with added capacity.

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said the rise in revenue combined with efficient cost management and economies of scale have helped the company reduce the cost of mobility on Canadian taxpayers by 15 percent (subsidy per passenger mile, excluding pension past service cost).

VIA Revenue Up, Ridership Down Over Holidays

January 15, 2019

Revenue at VIA Rail Canada was up during the holiday season but ridership was down.

In a news release, the carrier said that between Dec. 18, 2018, and Jan. 7, 2019, it had revenue of CA$21.1 million, a 1.8 percent gain increase over the 2017 holiday season.

However, ridership in 2018 of 299,000 passengers was below the 308,000 carried a year ago. VIA said its busiest ridership day was Dec. 21 when it handled 19,000 passengers.

“This is our best financial performance in the past 10 years,” said VIA President and CEO Yves Desjardins‑Siciliano in a statement. “It’s a great way for us to close out [our] 40th anniversary and kick off 2019, with a growing number of Canadians choosing to avoid congestion and enjoy the comfort of the train.”

In the Quebec City-to-Windsor corridor, more than 283,000 passengers traveled on trains serving Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, London, Sarnia and Niagara Falls.

Toronto-Ottawa was the corridor’s most popular route over the holiday period, logging 37,400 passengers.