I don't have much to say about the realignments that others have proposed or mentioned, however!; Although VIA trains are famously infrequent I don't think Ottawa-Montreal trains are really all that slow or inefficient. It's two hours from Ottawa to Montreal on VIA which is equivalent to driving in good traffic. I'll take that sort of speed in North America. It's not necessarily the same as Ottawa-Toronto which is nearly equivalent to driving but over a much longer distance and with much more annoying hurdles in between.An interesting idea, though I’m sure most on here would be vehemently opposed, as it doesn’t serve
the centre of the universeToronto.
I anticipate the day when trains can cruise between Toronto-Ottawa without having to trundle through Smiths Falls or Gananoque.
Are these prices one-way or round-trip? Most of my RTs are ~$120-130, sometimes $100 if i'm lucky. If you try to book Ottawa-Toronto today most of the trips in January are available starting from $54/59.If Via were deliberately cancelling the train, they would have waited until January, rather than cutting it right during the peak holiday travel season. Prices on Via are astronomical right now, which should theoretically indicate very high demand given that they use demand pricing. I travel fairly regularly between Ottawa and Toronto and it's been probably half a year since I've taken Via. My cutoff is $80 including tax, since that's the fixed price of a Red Arrow bus ticket (the premium bus with wide seats, better wifi than Via, and smoother ride than a Budd coach).
The last time I rode Via I was able to buy a ticket for $55 at the station an hour before departure when my Red Arrow bus was cancelled (Red Arrow gave a full refund). But the reason I had booked Red Arrow in the first place was that the Via ticket prices for that same train had been over $120 weeks earlier when I was shopping for tickets. Even an hour earlier (2h before departure) prices were over $100. The train itself was fairly empty so unless they suddenly tacked another coach on the back of the train, something is fishy with their pricing system.
As for the train being empty, it depends on where your boarding is and where your destination is. Under VIA's now-previous booking system if you boarded at either terminus (or close enough) you were assigned to the "Ottawa-Toronto Car", typically Car 5. The other cars were typically for people either boarding or deboarding somewhere in between. So, if you ended up in Car 4 you were probably sitting amongst Queens students coming from or going to Ottawa/Toronto, depending on the trip. If you book something like Ottawa-Belleville you're put into that car, meaning that your Car is either only busy until Kingston or only busy after Kingston, etc. All of this is moot now as VIA updates their ticket reservation system so that we actually have the freedom to dictate what seat we want to sit, and I can do my best cosplay of Man in Seat 61 on every VIA train in the Corridor.