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VIA Rail

Admiral Beez

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If you want better non-Corridor services, complain to your MP or the bureaucrats in Ottawa, because they are the ones who hold back their expansion…
The solution is to break apart VIA into two separate corporations…. one for the Windsor - Quebec corridor; another for the rest. Priority and attention on the former lends to neglect and inattention of the latter.
 

Urban Sky

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The solution is to break apart VIA into two separate corporations…. one for the Windsor - Quebec corridor; another for the rest. Priority and attention on the former lends to neglect and inattention of the latter.
Be careful what you wish for: Expanding services of a Crown Corporation doesn’t become any more politically attractive if its per-passenger subsidy figure is $600 rather than $60
 
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crs1026

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The practical reality which vexes VIA (and Amtrak) is that the amount of common infrastructure (maintenance bases, ticketing, OBS support, corporate functions) favours an integrated company. It makes no sense for VIA to have separate maintenance facilities in Toronto and Montreal for corridor vs LD trains.
People have spent the last 50 years trying to find an accounting treatment that separates the costs in a manner that all can accept….but those costs are lowest thanks to an integrated company.
The issue that gets in VIA’s way is politics, pure and simple.

- Paul
 

smallspy

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If you also include rolling stock procurement, Brightline (if successful) would probably be the first unsubsidized passenger rail serice in North America in over half a century…
Well, they certainly aren't required to pay back the billions in grant monies that they've already received.....

Dan
 

reaperexpress

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I gotta say VIA needs to update its mask policy. Having to on your mask between sips on a train full of vaccinated people is annoying and pointless.
I'm less concerned about the mask policy than I am about the vaccination certificate policy.

I've been noticing on VIA Moving Maps that trains are spending two or three times as long serving stops as the schedule indicates. For example, VIA trains seem to sit still for about 6 minutes at Kitchener and Guelph Stations, though the schedule only includes 2 minutes there. This occurs regardless of schedule adherence - trains consistently incur 4 minutes of delay at each major stop even when they were already 30+ minutes late. Meanwhile GO sits for about 1 minute and boards far more people, which is why GO's express trains (which aren't currently running) take about the same time from Kitchener to Toronto as VIA trains, despite making twice as many intermediate stops.

I have no evidence to indicate the reason for these delays, but one possibility is that they're checking vaccine certificates at the door, which means that it takes bloody forever to board passengers at busy stops such as Kichener and Guelph. I rode the French TGV during a period where they also had mandatory vaccination, and they just checked your certificate at your seat after you boarded and the train was already underway, while they also checked your ticket.
 

Urban Sky

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Well, they certainly aren't required to pay back the billions in grant monies that they've already received.....

Dan
I forgot to include the final step and that is that once you include infrastructure funding (like the kind which Brightline received), virtually no passenger rail service on this continent is unsubsidized...
 

kEiThZ

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I'm less concerned about the mask policy than I am about the vaccination certificate policy
It was just overkill. Demanding that a fully vaccinated train mask up is overkill. Pick one. Masking or vaccination. Mask policies are fine for transit where trips are 1-2 hrs max and the volume of passengers and points of entry would make checking vaccines onerous. Making fully vaccinated passengers mask up for 5 hrs is a good way to discourage ridership.
 

Urban Sky

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It was just overkill. Demanding that a fully vaccinated train mask up is overkill. Pick one. Masking or vaccination. Mask policies are fine for transit where trips are 1-2 hrs max and the volume of passengers and points of entry would make checking vaccines onerous. Making fully vaccinated passengers mask up for 5 hrs is a good way to discourage ridership.
Not sure about the mask policy, but isn’t the vaccination policy mandated by the federal government - with explicit reference to VIA Rail and RMR…?

Edit, here is the legislation for the vaccination mandate:
Also effective October 30, travellers departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. To allow travellers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, they risk not qualifying for travel as of November 30.

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping the transportation sector, including employees and travellers, safe and secure. Mandatory vaccination for the federally regulated air, rail, and marine sectors helps limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 and helps prevent against future outbreaks.
 
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reaperexpress

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Not sure about the mask policy, but isn’t the vaccination policy mandated by the federal government - with explicit reference to VIA Rail and RMR…?

Edit, here is the legislation for the vaccination mandate:

Yes the mandate came from the federal government. Neither I nor kEiThZ claimed that it was VIA's own initiative. The federal government is the one who needs to lift the mandate now that it is no longer necessary, given that it will have a negative impact on the use of intercity trains - which has both financial and environmental costs to society.

In the meantime VIA needs to ensure that the mandate is implemented in a manner which has as little impact on operations and customer experience as possible.
 

Urban Sky

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Yes the mandate came from the federal government. Neither I nor kEiThZ claimed that it was VIA's own initiative. The federal government is the one who needs to lift the mandate now that it is no longer necessary, given that it will have a negative impact on the use of intercity trains - which has both financial and environmental costs to society.

In the meantime VIA needs to ensure that the mandate is implemented in a manner which has as little impact on operations and customer experience as possible.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of vaccination mandates, as they reliably protect from exactly the kind of people who are most likely to infect you, but I agree that they by now severely undermine VIA’s commercial and operational viability…
 

reaperexpress

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Personally, I’m a huge fan of vaccination mandates, as they reliably protect from exactly the kind of people who are most likely to infect you, but I agree that they by now severely undermine VIA’s commercial and operational viability…
Sure, but barring people from using VIA Rail doesn't cause them to get vaccinated, it just means that they take a bus instead, or drive.
 

Fritter

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If VIA is allowed to lift it's federal mask/vaccine mandate/requirement before the airlines, the airlines will be kicking and screaming.
The whole Federal Transportation COVID mitigation policy needs to be updated to reflect current realities. Airports, Railways, Cruse ships etc. all have an additional burden that very few to no other developed countries currently have.
 

littlewill1166

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The whole Federal Transportation COVID mitigation policy needs to be updated to reflect current realities. Airports, Railways, Cruse ships etc. all have an additional burden that very few to no other developed countries currently have.
Maybe instead of complaining about the mask/vaccine mandate, you should take advantage of the lower fares, shorter lines, and an empty seat next to you currently available before the crowds of students come back in September, and the people who dislike masks/vaccines come back when the mandate is lifted.

Book between May 31 and June 8 and use promo code VIA2022 for upto 40% off fares.

Edit: At Kitchner a station attendant checks vaccine certificates.
 
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