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dowlingm

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And yet, her own quote in the VIA release states that she felt that her job was done:


Dan
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ssiguy2

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The Government!!

Since the government control the RR, she saw the writing on the wall that she was fighting a loosing battle to move VIA to a new level and it was a waste of her time to stay on as CEO as a yes person to the government.
Probably true but surely to God she knew this before accepting the job.

VIA is a political apparatus first and then a rail service provider. It is at the whim of Ottawa's finances and priorities which is why it is so slow, unreliable, and in 90% of the country, completely useless. I think Canadians would be far better served if Ottawa finally decides that the 40 year experiment of VIA has been a complete failure by nearly every metric and ditches it once and for all.

They should simply sell off it's assets to the highest bidder and let the private sector provide the service. Canadians would be far better served by a Brightline than VIA and would provide service to areas that need it and can be financially sustainable {ie Edmonton to Calgary} as opposed to being at the whim of politics and hence having to serve absurd routes ie Edmonton to Prince Rupert. Politics is 100% why you can't get to Calgary on a train but you can get to Churchill.
 

Bordercollie

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Probably true but surely to God she knew this before accepting the job.

VIA is a political apparatus first and then a rail service provider. It is at the whim of Ottawa's finances and priorities which is why it is so slow, unreliable, and in 90% of the country, completely useless. I think Canadians would be far better served if Ottawa finally decides that the 40 year experiment of VIA has been a complete failure by nearly every metric and ditches it once and for all.

They should simply sell off it's assets to the highest bidder and let the private sector provide the service. Canadians would be far better served by a Brightline than VIA and would provide service to areas that need it and can be financially sustainable {ie Edmonton to Calgary} as opposed to being at the whim of politics and hence having to serve absurd routes ie Edmonton to Prince Rupert. Politics is 100% why you can't get to Calgary on a train but you can get to Churchill.
The purpose of a national passenger rail service is to provide a service to the public.

Do you think Brightline is going to invest in the Canadian or Ocean?

You could put in mandates to provide minimum level of service to remote regions and provide a subsidy. They did that for Greyhound in northern areas and look how that ended.

There is not a single self sufficient public passenger railway in the world (even in Japan) it looses money and have cut services to rural communities and replaced it with buses to save costs.

In a territory as vast as Canada the only places railways will be competitive are the urban areas within 500km of each other.

More focus is required to improve travel times in those areas so that those funds can be used for Long Distance Services like the Ocean and the Canadian. I really think places like North Bay and Sudbury should have some kind of rail service at least 4x daily if you look at the traffic on highways 400 and 11.
 

ssiguy2

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The purpose of a national passenger rail service is to provide a service to the public.
You will have to explain that to the people of Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria, and St.John's.................they didn't get the memo.

I am NOT trying to blame VIA's horrible service on the administration itself. The reality is that VIA didn't have a chance to succeed as soon as it was created. It was told to run an effective passenger rail service without owning any tracks and having to serve every God forsaken outpost in the country. This has resulted in the service being poor, unreliable, slow, and expensive. People may love the idea of a government national rail passenger service but that does not change the fact that VIA has been a colossal failure by every metric.

In short, the VIA experiment didn't work and with every increasing freight traffic, there is no reason to think it will in the future. The government should do Canadians a favour and ditch the system once and for all.
 
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DirectionNorth

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You will have to explain that to the people of Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria, and St.John's.................they didn't get the memo.

I am NOT trying to blame VIA's horrible service on the administration itself. The reality is that VIA didn't have a chance to succeed as soon as it was created. It was told to run an effective passenger rail service without owning any tracks and having to serve every God forsaken outpost in the country. This has resulted in the service being poor, unreliable, slow, and expensive. People may love the idea of a government national rail passenger service but that does not change the fact that VIA has been a colossal failure by every metric.
... from lack of funding or poor service after high levels of funding? If it's the former, "ditch the system" does not solve the problem. Do you have any idea of how "a Brightline" would work? If so, can you explain (who decides service, owns the track, how do we make sure the service survives)? If not, can you stop spamming the "ditch VIA" line?
In short, the VIA experiment didn't work and with every increasing freight traffic, there is no reason to think it will in the future. The government should do Canadians a favour and ditch the system once and for all.
 

Bordercollie

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... from lack of funding or poor service after high levels of funding? If it's the former, "ditch the system" does not solve the problem. Do you have any idea of how "a Brightline" would work? If so, can you explain (who decides service, owns the track, how do we make sure the service survives)? If not, can you stop spamming the "ditch VIA" line?
There are solutions to this problem than just declaring it a faliure.
How about legislation to force railways to ensure passenger trains maintain a 80% on time performance? 90% if the government builds infrastructure to allow that such as passing sidings?

It will have to come one day when our roads are full and gas is $5 per L.
 

DirectionNorth

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There are solutions to this problem than just declaring it a failure.
How about legislation to force railways to ensure passenger trains maintain a 80% on time performance? 90% if the government builds infrastructure to allow that such as passing sidings?

It will have to come one day when our roads are full and gas is $5 per L.
I was responding to @ssiguy2's assertion that VIA is a failure, I don't think abandoning VIA is a good idea.
 

Bordercollie

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You will have to explain that to the people of Calgary, Saskatoon, Victoria, and St.John's.................they didn't get the memo.

I am NOT trying to blame VIA's horrible service on the administration itself. The reality is that VIA didn't have a chance to succeed as soon as it was created. It was told to run an effective passenger rail service without owning any tracks and having to serve every God forsaken outpost in the country. This has resulted in the service being poor, unreliable, slow, and expensive. People may love the idea of a government national rail passenger service but that does not change the fact that VIA has been a colossal failure by every metric.

In short, the VIA experiment didn't work and with every increasing freight traffic, there is no reason to think it will in the future. The government should do Canadians a favour and ditch the system once and for all.
Why dont you spend your energy lobbying your MP instead of complaining on this board. Maybe you should write a letter to the Minister of Transportation? PM's office? That would be more constructive.
 

EnviroTO

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I think the point being made is that VIA Rail needs to go back to basics. What is the value statement or guiding principle of the organization, and how does that resonate with the taxpayers and politicians of Canada? The TTC has metrics to decide, based on funding levels, which routes get cut and which get added because the anticipated demand meets a threshold. If VIA doesn't know what its goal is, how does it measure if it is doing well? Is Rocky Mountaineer providing better service than VIA or Amtrak on the routes they run, or is it a totally different service? Is the goal of the Canadian and Ocean to blow people away with amazing service and if so how are they doing on that? Is the goal to run a cross country train that is as cheap per seat as possible and if so how are they doing on that? Does VIA know what they are trying to do and do the taxpayers and politicians share that vision. It is hard to say you need money to improve the cross Canada trains without a goal, measure, and value statement that has public support. How is VIA going to add value to Canada?
 

ssiguy2

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Why dont you spend your energy lobbying your MP instead of complaining on this board. Maybe you should write a letter to the Minister of Transportation? PM's office? That would be more constructive.

I don't because I live in Vancouver.

VIA service to Vancouver is ridiculous and nobody uses it. If VIA was to shut down tomorrow NOBODY would notice and even fewer would care. The only reason it is maintained is for political reasons and that's the problem with VIA................politics trumps transportation policy. VIA in BC is as an effective transportation service as the Maid of the Mist for Niagara commuters.

VIA must rationalize it's service to provide and effective transportation service in the corridors that makes sense but that will never happen. This is why VIA has been {and will continue to be} a complete failure. VIA was not designed because we needed yet another government agency but rather because CP wanted to get out of the passenger rail service and so the government was forced to move in. The government did not want to create VIA but rather were forced to. The VIA rail experiment hasn't worked so why do people all of a sudden think some minor changes will somehow make it work now?
 

DirectionNorth

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I don't because I live in Vancouver.

VIA service to Vancouver is ridiculous and nobody uses it. If VIA was to shut down tomorrow NOBODY would notice and even fewer would care. The only reason it is maintained is for political reasons and that's the problem with VIA................politics trumps transportation policy. VIA in BC is as an effective transportation service as the Maid of the Mist for Niagara commuters.

VIA must rationalize it's service to provide and effective transportation service in the corridors that makes sense but that will never happen. This is why VIA has been {and will continue to be} a complete failure. VIA was not designed because we needed yet another government agency but rather because CP wanted to get out of the passenger rail service and so the government was forced to move in. The government did not want to create VIA but rather were forced to. The VIA rail experiment hasn't worked so why do people all of a sudden think some minor changes will somehow make it work now?
So how would you change it?

I'll go first. First, VIA needs to become a transport-focused agency rather than a rail-based company. If buses are more effective at creating transport links than trains (which would be in smaller areas, hopefully/mostly), do that instead. We should also enable provincial funding for routes that the federal budget doesn't fund. If Alberta wants a Calgary-Edmonton service, they can lobby the feds, or they can pay VIA for it, like Amtrak. Finally, there needs to a review process every decade to check routes between cities of x population of y distance, to see the potential ridership of routes, and they can then lobby the feds for funding.

Remote services can get its own subsidy on top of the normal VIA subsidy, or it can be spun off to its own agency or the provinces.

That was an example off the top of my head.
 

ssiguy2

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I think the entire system should be turned over to a private company and let them run the service and they would run it far more efficiently than VIA and would only offer the services where the ridership would warrant. We should follow the Brightline example in the US. The line between Miami and soon to open Orlando is expected to have quadruple the number of riders as the current Amtrak service. They are building 350km of new higher speed track for just $2.1 billion and it is on-time and on-budget. Faster, much more reliable, and superior rail without a nickel of government money.

VIA should be forced to hand over all it's rolling stock and the rail lines it owns {ie Greater Ottawa and Windsor-Chatham} for a Win/QC corridor to the new rail provider in order for them to develop a truly effective rail system with new track. Ottawa should exempt all fares from GST/HST and in lieu of all this Ottawa can demand certain service levels,, set and maintain prices, and have all transit fares to the station deducted from the price.

VIA would turn into a bus system that would connect minor centres to the nearest rail station so millions would have access to rail service that don't have it now and those prices would also be deducted from the rail fare. In none rail corridors, VIA could be a bus service which would result in far faster trip times, much more reliability, and provide minimum twice daily service.
 

Urban Sky

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We should follow the Brightline example in the US. The line between Miami and soon to open Orlando is expected to have quadruple the number of riders as the current Amtrak service. They are building 350km of new higher speed track for just $2.1 billion and it is on-time and on-budget. Faster, much more reliable, and superior rail without a nickel of government money.
We can marble at Brightline all we want, but in the end, the passenger and freight operations along the Florida East Coast corridor are owned by the same investor, who also happened to own the adjacent lands required for its downtown terminals, whereas neither CN‘s executives nor its investors seem to see any synergies from exposing its freight operations to increased passenger rail traffic. As fascinating as the Brightline example is, you‘ll almost inevitably end up with something like HFR when you try to adapt it to a Canadian context…
 

kEiThZ

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We can marble at Brightline all we want, but in the end, the passenger and freight operations along the Florida East Coast corridor are owned by the same investor, who also happened to own the adjacent lands required for its downtown terminals,

There's a lot of people who don't get that many of these private rail enterprises only work with substantial real estate plays. It's the same for a lot of Asia's supposedly private subway systems.

Also, it's hilarious to see the folks that think privatization will somehow improve service. They've apparently not heard of the fiasco in the UK. If VIA was privatized, the only service left could well be Quebec-Windsor, and even that might be down to London-Quebec with fewer intermediate stops.
 

Darwinkgo

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Privatization does not necessarily mean without subsidy or service standards. Most certainly what privatization would do is lay bare what subsidies exist (including cross subsidies) and force the government to justify them, or the lack of them.

Like why is VIA funding critical links for community survival in some places, but provinces do in others? Is that VIA’s job? Is it VIA’s duty to provide service where provinces have refused to build roads? Is VIA’s job to run any service where a subsidy below a certain $/pax/mile would make it viable? Is VIA’s job to provide the illusion of usefulness while fuelling nostalgia and inbound visitation?
 

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