Environment & Sustainable Mobility

To learn more about VIA Rail's commitment to the environment, check out our most recent Sustainable Mobility ReportThis link opens in a new tab

The smarter way to travel

At VIA Rail, we are shaping the future of mobility. VIA Rail moves millions of passengers every year across Canada, and we are leading the way to alleviating congestion in cities and reducing transport emissions. There is a greater cause to be served using passenger rail —and that is to improve the health, environment and quality of life of Canadians.

Our vision is to be the smarter way to move people by making cities and communities more accessible, connected and sustainable. Our priority is to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, use resources efficiently, minimize waste, and promote the environmental benefits of rail by encouraging travellers to leave their cars at home and take the train.

Special projects

A beeutiful species

On April 22, 2019, Earth Day, VIA Rail was proud to announce its new partnership with Alvéole, an urban beekeeping company, as well as the subsequent installation of beehives on the roofs of four of its stations: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Québec City. This new partnership is a testament to VIA Rail's commitment to the protection of the environment and to the development of greener Canadian cities. This past summer, each of the four stations hosted two hives that housed up to 100,000 bees. Over the course of the warm months, Alvéole cared for the hives, ensuring the well-being of our bees. At the end of the season, the hives had produced over 800 jars of honey, which we donated to local charities with other honey-derived products for the benefit of the community. During the winter, the hives will be closed, allowing the bees can hibernate. We are proud of the success of this project, both for the wonderful benefits for our natural environment and for the involvement of our employees. The bees will be back next spring for another great year!

By fostering environmental awareness among the urban population, this partnership is part of VIA Rail's commitment to safeguarding the environment. By working to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste, and use resources efficiently, VIA Rail reiterates its commitment to sustainable mobility and its promise to building a brighter, greener future for all Canadians.

Read the press releasePDF 256kbThis link opens in a new tab


Facts and statistics


tonnes of CO 2-e of carbon avoided by VIA Rail trains in 2019 when compared to car travel.


less energy used on average by trains when compared to road transport.


reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions compared to 2005

Per passenger-kilometre as a result of various energy efficiency and reduction initiatives.


increased inter-modal ridership since 2012

With new partnership agreements continuously being formed.

Committed towards circular economy

Through optimization of equipment utilization and our waste minimization strategy.


Act on our commitment to the environment

As climate change is one of the most serious threats we face in the transportation sector, we have set ambitious targets as part of our commitment to the International Railways Union to reduce our GHG emissions.


In 2019, our fuel efficiency per passenger kilometer improved by 6.4% over the previous year, mainly due to car cycling optimization and our work with our Locomotive Engineers to minimize idling and conserve fuel when handling the train.

Energy efficiency at our buildings is being achieved through building retrofits, including lighting fixtures, air conditioning and boiler systems, and other building envelope refurbishments.

For example, improvements to the Toronto Maintenance Centre enabled us to reduce our energy and carbon emissions, by saving approximately 2.2 million kWh per year for the facility, translating into savings of $250,000 per year in operating expenses.

To learn more about VIA Rail's commitment to the environment, check out our most recent Sustainable Mobility ReportThis link opens in a new tab.