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Old 06-27-2019, 07:51 PM
 
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I was planning out a trip from Montreal to Toronto and It's nearly $60 for a one way. It's literally just 4 hours away! How ridiculous. Does anyone have any insight into this?
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Well, by road, Montreal is actually about five hours away from Toronto. The train trip takes about the same amount of time, as I recall.

I'm not seeing a problem with $60 one-way on VIA between Montreal and Toronto. Thirty years ago, I think I paid $40 or $45 for the same trip. Fifteen or so years ago, I seem to recall a Toronto-Ottawa trip on VIA costing me about $45. Heck, at the same time, also about fifteen years ago, I recall paying $40 for a three-hour trip between Calgary and Edmonton--on a bus.

Inflation happens, and if one-way on VIA between Montreal and Toronto costs $60, that seems to me to be a good deal. Downtown-to-downtown service that connects to each city's subway; snacks, meals, and alcohol available for purchase; nice big seats; no security checkpoints taking away your bottle of water; and plenty of room for your luggage.

Just because I'm curious: what do you think the fare between Montreal and Toronto should be?
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Well, by road, Montreal is actually about five hours away from Toronto. The train trip takes about the same amount of time, as I recall.

I'm not seeing a problem with $60 one-way on VIA between Montreal and Toronto. Thirty years ago, I think I paid $40 or $45 for the same trip. Fifteen or so years ago, I seem to recall a Toronto-Ottawa trip on VIA costing me about $45. Heck, at the same time, also about fifteen years ago, I recall paying $40 for a three-hour trip between Calgary and Edmonton--on a bus.

Inflation happens, and if one-way on VIA between Montreal and Toronto costs $60, that seems to me to be a good deal. Downtown-to-downtown service that connects to each city's subway; snacks, meals, and alcohol available for purchase; nice big seats; no security checkpoints taking away your bottle of water; and plenty of room for your luggage.

Just because I'm curious: what do you think the fare between Montreal and Toronto should be?
I'm not disputing the benefits but it seems excessive for a non-high speed rail, for a one way, to a city five hours away. I was expecting it to be half that price at somewhere between $30-35. The business class seat at $109 is priced at almost the same value as a one way airline ticket which takes one hour. Which I probably might as well do. I thought Canada's transportation system was more like Europe.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:56 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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That seems reasonable. Here our AMTRAK train from Seattle to Portland Oregon is only 3.5 hours, and it's $35 USD.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
I'm not disputing the benefits but it seems excessive for a non-high speed rail, for a one way, to a city five hours away. I was expecting it to be half that price at somewhere between $30-35. The business class seat at $109 is priced at almost the same value as a one way airline ticket which takes one hour. Which I probably might as well do. I thought Canada's transportation system was more like Europe.
You can fly if you want... But personally, I'd rather take a 4-5 hour train ride versus a 1.5 hour flight. As mentioned above, no security checkpoints, big comfortable seats, meals, alcohol, etc. The mere fact that there isn't any such hassle as there is at the airport trying to board a flight makes it worthwhile IMO. It's easily the most comfortable method of transportation out there. Planes, unless you fly First Class, are extremely uncomfortable. And this is after the nightmare that involves navigating through busy airports.
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Old 06-28-2019, 01:25 PM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
I'm not disputing the benefits but it seems excessive for a non-high speed rail, for a one way, to a city five hours away. I was expecting it to be half that price at somewhere between $30-35. The business class seat at $109 is priced at almost the same value as a one way airline ticket which takes one hour. Which I probably might as well do. I thought Canada's transportation system was more like Europe.
Hmm not sure where you get the idea that a one way flight from MTL to Toronto is $100... I fly this route almost every 2 weeks on Air Canada or Porter, and I have never seen any roundtrip airfare below $250. On most days it's well above $400, sometimes going for as high as $700 to $800 if you are flying out on Monday mornings, because it's a very business-oriented route often bought out by business and corporate travelers.

The cheapest ticket for VIA between MTL and Toronto I've seen is $40 one way, if you buy 3 weeks in advance. The key, like all travel planning, is to plan and buy ahead. Any last minute travel, regardless of the mode of transportation, will likely be 2x, 3x, or 4x more expensive than normal fares if you just plan ahead.

See below fares for travel the week of July 23, from Toronto to Montreal. You can easily find fares all day from $40 to $49. https://reservia.viarail.ca/search/t...px?t=D&from=bc

Also, if you can score a business class seat on VIA for $109, I'd say go for it, because:

1. It's likely cheaper than the cheapest discount economy ticket on any airline
2. It includes very generous legroom, comfortable recliner seats where you can sleep while watching the views outside
3. The business class cabin serves a full, hot breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with many selections, entrees, dessert, and oh yea, unlimited complimentary booze because it includes a bar car for the 5 hr journey. Far more pleasant than spending 2-3 hrs at the airport, airport security, tiny airplane seats, the usual airport non-sense.
4. Free Wifi for both economy and business cabins
5. All in all on par with Amtrak's Acela Express First Class between Boston and DC (large seats, free liquor and wine, lunch/dinner included)


Last edited by bostonkid123; 06-28-2019 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,666 posts, read 8,737,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
I'm not disputing the benefits but it seems excessive for a non-high speed rail, for a one way, to a city five hours away. I was expecting it to be half that price at somewhere between $30-35. The business class seat at $109 is priced at almost the same value as a one way airline ticket which takes one hour. Which I probably might as well do. I thought Canada's transportation system was more like Europe.
Why?

Canada and Europe are nothing alike when it comes to a population that can support massive train infrastructure. Especially the cost of high-speed rail.

Depending on what countries you want to call Wester Europe, the population is nearly 400 million...Canada has 37 million in a much larger area.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:41 PM
 
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With the exception of a few routes, people use VIA rail for leisure purposes. I don't know anyone who took The Canadian to go on a business trip.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Southern Quebec
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I used to love travelling to Toronto from Montreal on Via Rail. I could relax, and back in the good ol' daze, sit in a smoking car, too.

Once on a trip from Montreal to Toronto I had to be seated in a non-smoking car because there were so many travelers aboard, so I'd leave my seat and head on over to the car 'next door', which was a smoking car. I sat beside a woman who hailed from Newfoundland as there was an empty seat beside her.

She was such a nice person, and it was my pleasure to have sat and talked with her. She was an older woman.

I'm sure she noticed that after a few smoke visits, I was less feeble on my feet, but she didn't say anything, Lord love her!

The last time I visited Toronto with Mr. Daynet, we flew there. It was to visit the late Ol' Mama Bin Laden, which is what we called the MIL - though he wasn't specifically related to her. Long story.

He managed to turn the trip into a soap opera, too...all what is it, fifty minutes of it? Nearby passengers were laughing. He's afraid of flying, and was sipping from a mickey of vodka well before he got on the plane.

He ordered a beer and promptly spilled it all over himself, and then ordered another one, which was brought to him.

I was sitting in the aisle seat, and Mr. Daynet was sitting beside the window, no one in between us....

The woman who was sitting in the aisle seat directly across from where I was sitting was snickering at some of the antics.

"I'm just the babysitter," I told her. I like to drink beer, too, but I stayed sober on this occasion.

When it came time to disembark after the plane landed, it got very funny! Something out of a Monty Python skit!
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Old 06-29-2019, 03:08 PM
 
6,431 posts, read 9,948,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonkid123 View Post
Hmm not sure where you get the idea that a one way flight from MTL to Toronto is $100... I fly this route almost every 2 weeks on Air Canada or Porter, and I have never seen any roundtrip airfare below $250. On most days it's well above $400, sometimes going for as high as $700 to $800 if you are flying out on Monday mornings, because it's a very business-oriented route often bought out by business and corporate travelers.
I would be flying one-way, not roundtrip. And tickets were found as low as $56 with Westjet and Transat with around $22 for 1 checked baggage. Unfortunately I would not be traveling on those days so I may have to settle for the slightly higher $78-80 tickets I saw.

Quote:
The cheapest ticket for VIA between MTL and Toronto I've seen is $40 one way, if you buy 3 weeks in advance. The key, like all travel planning, is to plan and buy ahead. Any last minute travel, regardless of the mode of transportation, will likely be 2x, 3x, or 4x more expensive than normal fares if you just plan ahead.
Well I am planning ahead seeing as how this trip would be in October. So all the prices I'm talking about reflect those times. All I've found are tickets for $49 but with taxes it's $57. Something I just realized however, I didn't convert any of these prices to U.S. currency. Doing that just now, I found the VIA tickets at $43 USD. Which is much more reasonable that what I thought. Yay me.

Quote:
Also, if you can score a business class seat on VIA for $109, I'd say go for it, because:

1. It's likely cheaper than the cheapest discount economy ticket on any airline
2. It includes very generous legroom, comfortable recliner seats where you can sleep while watching the views outside
3. The business class cabin serves a full, hot breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner with many selections, entrees, dessert, and oh yea, unlimited complimentary booze because it includes a bar car for the 5 hr journey. Far more pleasant than spending 2-3 hrs at the airport, airport security, tiny airplane seats, the usual airport non-sense.
4. Free Wifi for both economy and business cabins
5. All in all on par with Amtrak's Acela Express First Class between Boston and DC (large seats, free liquor and wine, lunch/dinner included)
I'll keep this in consideration. Is there anything worthwhile seeing on the train from Montreal to Toronto? Is it just country and fields?
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