Home For Christmas, But It Won't Be Green

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|December 20, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, more and more Canadians are looking for green transport options to get home for the holidays.

Train travel is by far the most ecologically friendly way to travel, and for many Canadians, traveling home in comfort by train is a cherished holiday experience.

VIA Rail and its dedicated employees provide an excellent and accommodating service, a convivial atmosphere and a warm, resilient transport solution that gets you home safely, even when the roads and airports are closed or impassable -- and not just to big cities, but all the small communities along the line.  Nothing truly connects Canadians like the train.

Until recently, federally-owned VIA Rail Canada has added capacity over the holiday period by adding cars to existing trains (with negligible increase in carbon output) and increasing departures on transcontinental trains to meet peak demand.

Regrettably, this year there will be fewer trains to take home for the holidays, and fewer seats available on them than ever before, forcing Canadians to leave a significant carbon footprint if they want to see their loved ones this season.

Due to decades of under-investment by the federal government, VIA Rail no longer has sufficient equipment to expand capacity during peak travel periods, and must turn away passengers and revenue.

It is harder to travel anywhere by public transport in Canada these days, and we have only fallen further and further behind in recent years. It is time for the federal government to invest in VIA Rail to meet the travel needs of Canadians coast-to-coast, in communities large-and-small.

Our Get Canada Back on Track campaign advocates for Canada to invest in new long-distance railcars to better serve Canadians, and increase services across the country in order to meet increasing demand -- especially among those seeking to travel home for the holidays in a comfortable, environmentally responsible way.

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Unifor is a Canadian union with a modern, inclusive approach to serving members and improving our workplaces and communities.