VIA Rail cancels trips across Canada: What are my travel options?
File photo of airport luggage (Pexels)
TORONTO -- VIA Rail is cancelling trips across the passenger train network as a result of ongoing anti-pipeline protests throughout the country.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the company said that it was left with “no other option” than to halt service effective immediately.
“Following an advisory from the infrastructure owner that they are ceasing all rail operations across their entire network, VIA Rail has no other option but to cancel its services, effective immediately and until further notice,” the statement reads.
The news leaves tens of thousands of GTA travellers without a way to get to destinations like Ottawa and Montreal.
CTV News Toronto will keep you updated on alternative travel options
Porter Airlines said it is already experiencing an increase in passengers this week on the Toronto-Ottawa and Toronto-Montreal routes as a result of the protests.
Regardless of the nationwide VIA Rail cancellations, Porter said that is has the ability to take new bookings on “short notice”.
“These routes have our most frequent service levels and we generally have capacity to accept new bookings on short notice,” Porter’s director of communications and public affairs Brad Cicero told CTV News Toronto Thursday.
“Some flights for the upcoming Family Day long weekend are already full, though,” Cicero said, adding that no new flights will be added “at this time”.
Megabus said that it’s also experiencing an influx of passengers in recent days.
“We are constantly monitoring our passenger demand and adding additional services as necessary,” spokesperson Sean Hughes told CTV News Toronto.
The company operates the Toronto, Kingston, Montreal routes.
Much like Megabus, Greyhound also operates several routes in and out of Toronto and are facing a “significant increase” in demand following the demonstrations.
“We are continuing to add additional buses and schedules for our new and loyal customers to cover the increase in activity,” Greyhound said in a statement to CTV News Toronto.
Travellers looking to make their way in or out of the city, who don’t mind sharing a car with a strangers, can find several listings for a small charge or in some cases, even for free.
In a tweet published Thursday evening, GO Transit said that their operations , as well as the UP Express, will be unaffected by the stoppage.