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VIA Rail Goes Mobile

March 22nd 2012 by Steve Del Bosco

It’s not a secret, Canadians are adopting new technologies faster than before, and are spending more and more of their time on mobile devices. In fact, mobile devices, whether phones or tablets, will soon be used more often to access the Web than PCs, and the proliferation of available apps is far from over. All these new technologies are enabling our customers to do an incredible number of things, and are indeed precious tools, especially when travelling.

Our marketing research has shown how Canadians want a simple and seamless travel experience that covers the entire trip, from planning to post-trip, no matter what the mode of transportation. Research has also proved how critical it is for our customers to always stay connected. Mobility – the ability to access information on the go – is now paramount. Innovations supporting this are a priority for us, and the development of the mobile booking engine perfectly fits this context.

Officially launched this week, this new tool offers

  1. Ticket or rail pass purchases in a secure environment
  2. Real-time departure and arrival time updates for all Québec City – Windsor trains
  3. Building or using a traveller profile to make ticket purchase easier and quicker, while better managing upcoming bookings

The mobile booking engine was developed following growing demand from our customers, as expressed through social media or by VIA Préférence members. We listened. What’s more is that we took great care in creating a tool that is user-friendly, simple, and accessible on any mobile device. We will also pursue our mobile strategy by adding many elements of the viarail.ca and viapreference.com Web sites. This will allow our customers to enjoy a complete one-stop and on-the-go mobile experience.

Try it out and let us know what you think. All you need to do is type m.viarail.ca on your mobile web browser.

 

About Steve Del Bosco

Steve Del Bosco
Steve Del Bosco joined VIA Rail Canada in 1978. Today, as Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Steve oversees all marketing and sales components and is also in charge of Customer Relations, Revenue Management and Pricing, and Business Development and Network Planning.
5 Comments Leave one →
  1. Jenn permalink

    Used the mobile version this morning to book a ticket. I was disappointed to discover the ‘pay directly from my bank account’ option was not available. Will VIA be restoring this payment method?

  2. Tom West permalink

    The new mobile site is very good – I may use it from my desktop!
    One minor gripe – could the ‘Book a train’ page please allow station names, not just codes?

  3. Ron Gray permalink

    I would like to win a trip to Vancouver because I always wanted to see the Rockies up close and my first two grandchildren live inVancouver.

  4. Richard Marginson permalink

    Hi everyone – thank you all for your comments!

    Jenn – VIA is planning to implement the “Pay directly from my bank account (Interac Online)” option. Thanks for your suggestion and your patience while we get it up and running!

    Tom – You can enter station names on iPhone and Android phones. Could you please let us know what mobile device it is you’re using?

    Ron – You still have time to enter our Facebook contest, and could win a trip to Vancouver on board the Canadian.

    http://www.facebook.com/viarailcanada?sk=app_325222724179590

    Best of luck!

    Thank you all once again!
    Richard Marginson
    Community Manager

  5. Alyssa permalink

    This is brutal! “Our marketing research…” Um, what market research did you have to do to realize all of Canada is now on smart phones, and basically every other mode of transportation allows you to book and use online tickets?! How many of my tax payer dollars did you have to utilize to come to that shocking truth?

    Seriously, welcome to the 21st century Via Rail.

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