The Holidays may be over, but there are still a few reasons for celebration here at VIA.
This month we are holding employee recognition events at many of our regional locations, and it is one of the best times of the year. I get to travel by train to our many locations, have more discussions with passengers about our services, and continue with the next chapter of the employee listening tour. At each location, the employees who are celebrating a commitment to VIA Rail that spans from 5 to 40 years of service are recognized. The loyalty and devotion of these employees have made their mark, and are a source of endless pride for VIA Rail. We can now boast the fact that we offer the best customer service in the passenger transportation industry, all categories combined. To those employees who are taking their well-earned retirement this year: VIA Rail thanks you for leaving behind a better company that the one you joined years ago. We hope you all enjoy the recognition events, which are a tangible sign of appreciation that you so wholeheartedly deserve.
In other news, since the launch of our partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), more than 8,000 trips have been made on VIA Rail trains by new Canadian citizens. This is a project that is near and dear to our hearts, for many reasons. Most of us have family stories about our ancestors arriving to Canada from another land, and many of us hear about the train trips that brought them to the cities and towns they now live in. There is quite simply no better way to learn about Canada than aboard a train. Over the next few years, VIA Rail will be working to make that statement ever truer, but turning the train into an opportunity to learn about Canada: through the food we serve, the entertainment we offer on board and through other projects that are currently in the works. Stay tuned!
Finally, 2015 is the year we recognize the bicentennial of Sir John A Macdonald, forefather of the Canadian national railroad. On the weekend of January 11th, we were in Kingston attending events to kick off this year of celebration. In 2015, the very well-received Salon theatre actors will once again board our trains – this time going both east and west on the Canadian and the Ocean routes – to enlighten and inform our passengers with songs and skits based on Sir John A and Canadian historic events. If you are lucky enough to be on one of these trains, prepare to be entertained!
As a member of the Canadian Marketing Association, VIA Rail was asked to participate in a video series that focused on the value of marketing to Canadian businesses. And as a firm believer in the power of marketing, we did not hesitate to respond positively to this request.
Aside from the being able to share our vision of marketing at VIA Rail, it is a privilege to have our interview stand along with those of the other interviewees, who include: Steve Levy, COO, Ipsos Reid, Kathey Haley, President, Union Pearson Express (a company with whom VIA Rail recently signed an intermodal agreement) and Bryan Pearson, President and CEO, LoyaltyOne.
The whole video series can be watched at www.CMAcsuite.ca and we’d love to hear your feedback about it. Please send a message through Twitter to @VIARailPrez including the hashtag #CMAcsuite.