What is the Canada 150 Youth Pass?
Via Rail Canada decided to create a special train pass to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday directed at youth, ages 18-25. The pass allows holders to travel anywhere in Canada with Via Rail for the summer for $150. If you think that’s an amazing once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal, you would be right. To compare, if you purchase an unlimited travel ticket from their site, it’s attached to a $1200 price tag.
Travelling by train is an amazing way to travel. Not only does it get you from point A to point B, but you get to see the landscape between cities along the way. See rolling hills, mile-long golden corn fields, the Rocky Mountains, and everything in between.
Before any youth between the ages of 18 and 25 get too excited, the Youth 150 Pass has in fact sold out. Within minutes of the passes being available, the VIA Rail website crashed and sales were suspended until everything could be fixed and rebooted. People waited on hold for hours waiting to speak to someone so that they could get their hands on a pass causing chaos during the entire time that the offer was on the table. There was such high demand that even Via Rail wasn’t prepared to handle the influx of youth rushing and waiting to unlock their Canadian travels.
For the lucky 4000 young travellers that got their hands on the golden ticket, we could not be more thrilled for you!
What Does This Tell Us?
First of all, it tells us that train travel is alive and well, and that 4000 Canadian youth are going to have an amazing summer visiting the country at length. More importantly, it tells us that youth enjoy travelling at cheap rates and in ways that allow them to get more bang for their buck. The pass offers no visible limitation - unlimited trips all summer, on any Via Rail line. Go from Montreal to Vancouver, from Calgary to Toronto as much as you want.
This could unlock a new way of thinking in terms of travelling within your own country. If more people start travelling by train, it could open up potential for future discounted passes and more tracks, stretching out to more areas to explore. If we use Europe as an example, travel is so accessible there whether it’s by train or plane - it’s very easy and feasible to go from England to France or from Italy to Germany. Perhaps that is what Canadian youth are looking for - an inexpensive way to enjoy summer and see more places.
Based on other millennial travel trends, an investment into their travel dreams doesn’t translate to property or deed and title - they want to spend as little as possible visiting the places that make their travel fees an investment into their experience. They aren’t thinking in terms of reliability or consistency or assets.
What do you think about cheaper travel options? Would you by a train pass if it meant you could travel as much as you wanted when you wanted? Let us know in the comments!