VIA Rail is transforming to lead Canadians towards a more sustainable future

A press release from VIA Rail Canada; April 19, 2018:

2017 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Increased number of passenger trips: 4.39 million, +10.5% over 2016
  • Increased inter-modal ridership: +97% since 20121
  • Reduction in GHG emissions: -34% per passenger-kilometer since 2005
  • Investments in safety and efficiency: $88.4 million
  • Fewer train incidents: -77% per million train-miles since 2014
  • Increased average hours of training per employee: 46 hours, +48% over 2014

MONTREAL, April 19, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – In 2017, as VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) was preparing to mark its 40th anniversary, the company was looking to the future and laying the groundwork for a strategy intended to enhance the human experience through its flagship projects. Through its 2017 Sustainable Mobility Report, released today, the company highlights the actions it is taking to transform mobility and contribute to Canada’s inclusive growth.

Accomplishments include an increase in trips and in inter-modal ridership, along with a 34% drop in greenhouse gas emissions since 2015. The company has also invested over $88 million in safety and efficiency. Train incidents (calculated per million train-miles) have dropped by 77% through proactive risk assessment and by instilling a strong incident prevention culture throughout the corporation. Finally, employees have had almost 50% more hours of training, on average, since 2014, in support of VIA Rail’s ambition to become a personalized, connected, collaborative and responsible company.

“Today, more than ever, sustainable mobility lies at the very core of VIA Rail’s existence and largely determines the long-term success of our company. While 2017 was a strong year for us in terms of revenues and ridership, we also examined ways to maximize our contribution to sustainable mobility across the country,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail.

“We asked ourselves how we could make our stations more sustainable, so they could be greener and less energy consuming, more accessible, better integrated into the community and equipped with leading-edge technologies. We also reviewed operations in our maintenance centres to make them safer for our employees, and more sustainable, by selecting better products and disposing of them more safely,” added Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano.

“The challenge we have set for ourselves for the upcoming years is to enhance the human experience. Compared to any other mode of transport, trains offer the most inclusive environment. They present a unique opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together in a way that facilitates social cohesion. Buying a new 21st-century fleet for the Québec City-Windsor corridor, to replace our current rolling stock, will provide our passengers with a better travel experience and our employees with a safer and more efficient workplace,” concluded Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano.

The 2017 Sustainable Mobility Report describes VIA Rail’s accomplishments and objectives based on six pillars: the customer experience, socio-economic development, safety and security, the environment, being an attractive employer and managing our business responsibly. It can be downloaded at viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/governance-and-reports/sustainable-mobility-report.

About VIA Rail Canada
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 transports approximately 4.4 million passengers annually. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.