How do you run a train station without someone there selling tickets? Let’s hope we don’t have to find out, despite VIA’s announcement that it’s getting rid of its ticket staff at eight Canadian VIA stations, including Guelph’s and Kitchener’s.
VIA, which announced recently that it’s cutting the frequency of its trains here, now says it will also stop manning the eight stations. All, a VIA spokesperson says, in the name of “modernizing our services” and “adjusting our service to the demands of our customers.”
We doubt any VIA customers, even those equipped with the latest gizmos, have demanded that the national passenger rail company stop selling tickets in person at train stations.
The city’s model for the new Guelph Central Station, which will bring together all the buses and trains in one meeting place once renovations are completed to the train station, includes having a ticket agent at the train station. But the city’s purchase of the train station from VIA is subject to federal approval, as it’s a federally designated heritage building. That approval is taking a very long time, though, and in the meantime no renovations can take place.
Let’s hope something can be arranged before VIA’s Oct. 24 deadline for removing ticket agents.
Expecting people to jump through hoops to buy a train ticket is a bad idea.