Sylvie Bourget

VIA Rail operates almost 500 trains weekly on 12,500 kilometres of track, and serves 450 communities across the country, from coast to coast and north to Hudson Bay. In a candid chat with Travel and Tour world, Sylvie Bourget, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Via Rail Canada talks about VIA Rail’s success story and why it is still considered as Canada’s best railway.

TTW – Tell us about VIA Rail’s overall performance in 2013

Sylvie Bourget : The results of the overall performance in2013 are notavailable yet. However, the First, Second and Third Quarterly reports of 2013 providesome insight.

During the first quarter, VIA Rail’s overall ridership remained steady on its whole network, reaching 936,000 travellers compared to 934,000 for the same period in 2012.Passenger-miles (the total number of miles travelled by all passengers) during the first quarter of 2013 increased 4.9%, up from 176 million in the first quarter of 2012 to 184 million in 2013.

During the second quarter, the passenger-miles(total number of miles travelled by all passengers)showeda 4 % increase, and ridership increased by 0.7%. However, the corporation’s results reflected an overall decrease in passenger revenues generated across its network of 3.8% compared to 2012.

In the third quarter, ridership on the total network saw a slight decrease of 2% – reaching 1 million passengers compared to 1.03 million in 2012. Passenger revenues totaled $72.2 million for the quarter, decreasing by 6.5% compared to the third quarter of 2012.



TTW – How is VIA Rail coping up with thetumultuous weather conditions?

Sylvie Bourget: During extreme weather conditions, all efforts are made to maintain our usual level of service. We are always preparing for the unexpected.We normally operate according to our regular schedule, and though some delays caused by the weather may be expected, we very rarely cancel departures. Taking the train is still one ofthe most reliable ways to travel in extreme weather conditions.



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