Sir: I am writing to express my concern over the closure of the ticket kiosks at the Chatham VIA station.
I am a long-time train rider. I have seen many seniors at our local station, and with the proposed changes, some might not be tech savvy enough to use the new kiosks. It is not fair that they would have to purchase their tickets for full price on the train, as purchasing on board does not offer discounts. I feel that this might eliminate a large portion of the senior demographic in this area from using the train.
I have also noticed that there are a large number of students who use the train. I was also one of those students. Here my concern is two fold. While students are tech savvy enough to use the kiosks, what if the kiosks are not working? Again they have to purchase their tickets on the train with no discounts.
My second concern is the elimination of the baggage car on the Windsor/ Quebec corridor. This is one of the busiest train routes with a large number of students using this route to get to and from College and University. Without the baggage car, they would not be able to take anything more than the bare necessities on the train. This would affect the student demographic.
Cutting the baggage car would also eliminate people travelling with their pets, which I have done when I have moved, as I do not drive. Since travelling with pets is becoming more popular, this elimination of the baggage car eliminates another demographic of travellers.
What VIA is going to become is a glorified Greyhound service? It needs to be more.