ev·o·lu·tion, n. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and better form.
In 2007, when the Government of Canada announced a five-year, $516 million investment to strengthen passenger rail services, VIA Rail Canada began to transform. Another $407 million was added in 2009 through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government’s economic stimulus program. Adding up to $923 million, the largest investment in VIA Rail’s history is being used to refurbish trains; add new tracks while also enhancing their safety; build or renovate stations; and, implement information technology services that take advantage of VIA’s world-class Wi-fi capability. You can read and see images of this system-wide transformation on VIA’s Transforming VIA website.
Starting in 2012, many aspects of this transformation will become visible. They will mark a new beginning for passenger-rail service as Canada prepares to mark its 150th anniversary, in 2017. Many things have changed since the train was used to settle, develop and consolidate our country. Public expectations for greater accountability and open governance can now be served through the use of social media tools.
And so, today we are launching VIA evolution, a blog that will provide insights into VIA’s transformation, as explained by its managers. Through VIA evolution, we will strive to provide first-hand accounts of how and why certain decisions – commercial, operational, strategic or financial – are being made. This blog adds to the on-going passenger and stakeholder dialogue initiated in 2011, through the launch of VIA’s Facebook page and Twitter presence
This blog will be hosted by the VIA executive responsible for its social media strategy. Various members of management will provide comments, opinions and insights on VIA’s day-to-day workings. In addition, you can expect to see a wide variety of content shared here, from interviews and editorial pieces, to photos and videos.
We will continue to share interesting promotions and introduce new products and features through our website and our social media profiles, like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. For this blog, we plan on posting every Thursday. We are also planning to hold discussions on Twitter, on a regular basis, using the hashtag #VIAevolution.
In closing, we invite you to assist us in launching this blog by telling us: What are the three things you would like us to discuss in the coming weeks?