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Wireless Internet Service Launch in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor


Connected All The Way

MONTREAL, February 27, 2006 - VIA Rail Canada today officially launched its Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) access service on board its trains, in several stations and in Panorama lounges in the Québec City-Windsor corridor - a first in North America. The service is being offered starting today to all travellers between Montreal and Québec City and in many VIA 1 class cars between Montreal-Toronto. By the end of this year, all VIA 1 and Comfort class travellers will be able to access the Internet on all VIA intercity trains in Ontario and Quebec.

“We are excited at the prospect of offering Wireless Internet,” said Paul Côté, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail. He added that “this service will be of great benefit to frequent travellers and business people who will be able to log on to work, making productive use of their time. Travellers today are seeking ways to get more done in less time. Others will simply want to chat with family and friends during their trip. Thanks to Wi-Fi, they now have an option that makes their travel time even more productive, relaxing and enjoyable.”

“This is a significant milestone for VIA, not only because we are a leader in our industry with innovative technology, but because we are committed to bringing value to our customers. Our team is constantly working together to enrich the experience of travelling with VIA - people moving people, as we like to say. We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations by offering them an alternative - the human way to travel,” reinforced Mr. Côté.

In addition to VIA’s WI-Fi service, travellers have access to online bookings and self ticketing kiosks. This will ease the process of travelling at every single step, freeing staff to spend more time serving customers.

VIA will be offering three types of rate plans, adapted to travellers’ needs: a single-use plan, a full-day day plan and a monthly plan. The single-access plan, valid for 15 minutes, costs $3.99 and each additional minute costs $0.30. Full-day access, valid for 24 hours, costs $8.95. Frequent travellers can subscribe to a monthly plan at a cost of $46.

The system combines satellite and cellular communications and the Wi-Fi technology which allows access to the Internet. Thus, travellers using the Wi-Fi service provided by Opti-Fi will be able to take advantage of continuous wireless access on board. Passengers whose computers are equipped with Wi-Fi technology or who use personal digital assistants will automatically have the service available when they turn on their devices.

The Wireless Internet service offered by VIA is the result of a five-year partnership with Parsons, one of the world’s leading engineering and program management firms. Parsons has invested US $10 million in this partnership to implement a network focused on consumers, and offering a range of private and public applications.

About VIA
As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada’s mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger transportation services, both in Canada’s business corridor and in remote and rural regions of the country. Serving more than 450 communities with a 14,000-kilometer network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains, demand for rail services continues to grow as more Canadians turn to train travel as a safe and convenient travel choice. For more information, or to reserve a ticket, go to or call toll-free 1-888-VIARAIL

About Parsons Corporation
Parsons, which has offices in the Toronto area, is a leader in diversified markets such as transportation, infrastructure, production units, industrial processes, telecommunications, water, high technology, environment and planning. Parsons offers technical and management solutions to clients in the private sector around the world, and to government organizations at the federal, regional and municipal levels. To find out more about Parsons, visit their web site:


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