May 8, 2023
VIA RAIL POSTS EXCELLENT RECOVERY IN 2022
From January 1st to December 31, 2022
- Passenger revenues increased by $198.8 million (168.2%) compared to 2021, led by an increase in frequencies and higher demand;
- Operating funding decreased by 4.4% compared to 2021;
- VIA Rail welcomed its first passengers on board the new Corridor fleet and moved forward with the implementation of its modernization program.
MONTRÉAL, May 8, 2023 – Recovery, and the continued implementation of its modernization program are highlights of VIA Rail Canada’s (VIA Rail) activities over the 2022 calendar year as reflected in its 2022 financial statements. In a year that began with significant disruptions due to the public health crisis, the Corporation nonetheless recorded an increase in year over year ridership of 1.7 million passengers (118.4%).
“2022 was a rebuilding year that demonstrated the enduring relevance and popularity of passenger rail service in Canada, a time in which VIA Rail was delighted to welcome back Canadians from across the country,” states Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. “With the setting up of VIA HFR-VIA TGF Inc., another critical step was taken toward improving passenger rail service between Québec City and Toronto. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the Government of Canada for its confidence in VIA Rail, especially as we continue to promote passenger rail service in Canada as the smarter way to travel.”
Book Your Comeback
VIA Rail teams flawlessly rolled out the return to service in June and did so while achieving the Corporation’s best-ever safety record. VIA Rail was also the proud recipient of the 2022 Railway Association of Canada Safety Award that recognized VIA Rail for its excellence in training. The award cited the state-of-the-art simulator facility in Toronto, which enables realistic training in a safe environment.
“2022 saw us forge ahead with leading-edge initiatives, leveraging VIA Rail’s culture of collaboration among our dedicated team to continue to build the passenger rail system that Canada needs and deserves,” continues Françoise Bertrand. “As our trains returned in 2022, we were thrilled to welcome back our customers as their return is the true measure of the loyalty of Canadians to passenger rail in general and VIA Rail in particular.”
Pursuing Our Modernization
The rollout of VIA Rail’s new fleet of trains for the Québec City-Windsor corridor reached a new critical milestone in 2022 when we welcomed the first passengers on board. VIA Rail’s new trains are among the most accessible in the world, supporting barrier-free travel for all passengers. With more comfortable seats, braille and embossed signage and improved on board recycling options, they will transform passenger rail service in Canada. The modern engines will also reduce emissions and can be converted to diesel-electric dual mode. The trains will communicate directly with maintenance centres for real-time status updates, allowing for far more efficient maintenance.
2022 also saw VIA Rail push ahead with the development of its new reservation system which will launch in 2023. The upgraded system will put more power in the hands of VIA Rail customers, featuring an intuitive process that will make planning train travel much simpler. Customers will also be able to better manage their trip from booking, to changing seats, to rebooking to another date.
Putting Passengers First
VIA Rail was proud to be the first federal organization in 2022 to submit a multi-year accessibility plan under the Accessible Canada Act. Building on work that was already accomplished; the plan charts the course to a more inclusive and accessible travel experience for all passengers.
As a testament to its focus on continually enhancing customer experience aboard, for the fourth consecutive year, VIA Rail was named the most trusted transportation company in Canada, according to the 2022 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), published by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. The 2022 Canadian Reputation Study, published by Léger, also ranked VIA Rail first as the most trusted employer.
In 2022 VIA Rail continued to take steps to ensure that the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) is ingrained at all levels of the Corporation. Over the year, VIA Rail trained hundreds of managers on D&I and the program will be expanding to all professionals in 2023, particularly unionized employees.
Environmental Social Governance (ESG)
2022 saw VIA Rail release its five-year sustainability plan, which will ensure that the company embeds environmental, social and governance performance across its operations. This will help the Corporation be future ready and render it more resilient. Determined to continue moving forward on this path and reinforcing its commitment toward responsible business practices, VIA Rail became the first land transportation company in Canada to join the United Nations Global Compact last year. VIA Rail’s participation is a key foundational action that enables the Corporation to be part of a global movement and advance broader sustainable development and societal goals.
VIA Rail’s annual report is available at: https://media.viarail.ca/en/reports
About VIA Rail
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded ten Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.