The Liberals Dangle A Very Stale Carrot
The BC Liberal election BS machine is now in full swing.
The Liberals announced a “commuter rail working group” to confirm the viability of commuter rail for the Capitol Region. This begs the question: “Who has the capability and knowledge to come to an answer on commuter rail?
What should be done, is what Rail for the Valley did and engage a professional, such as Leewood Projects to asses the viability of rail transit, but this will not happen, simply because the BC Liberals don’t want a rail solution for Victoria!
By engaging a transportation professional may give the government an answer they do not want, which is a commuter train would not be viable, but a TramTrain solution would not only be viable but affordable and the BC Liberals do not want affordable LRT in the province.
Added to the electoral BS, the E&N route has been promised to the very powerful cycling lobby, whose sole existence is sucking off the public teat!
Commuter rail working group announced for Greater Victoria
The BC Government is getting on board to produce a business case for commuter rail in Greater Victoria, due in the summer.
“I’m very pleased to announce that we have formed a working group that… the province will lead. We will complete the business case with the goal being to finally get on with commuter rail here on the E&N line from Langford into Vic West.” That was the announcement from Todd Stone as he stood with local mayors beside the currently unused E&N rail line.
There were no details on items such as cost, stops, ridership numbers, or what kind of train would be used. Minister Stone said those are the details they’ll have once the business case is done. If it adds up, the province can take it to the federal government to seek their support.
“We haven’t been at this place… where you have the full support of all the mayors in the region, the province at the table, the federal government interested,” said Stone, “we are on the cusp of something pretty special, but we’ve got to finish the work together.”
Many spectators were hoping for more solid news, not just another study, but Langford Mayor Stew Young told the crowd it is still a big move forward, “the missing link in this whole thing, to move commuter trains forward on this corridor, is the provincial government. This is the first time we’ve actually had the provincial government here saying ‘you know what? We like the idea, we’re going to move forward.’”
Young also says another piece of the puzzle is that the owner of the E&N rail line, the Island Corridor Foundation, has agreed to let them use the Victoria area stretch of the rail corridor.
This all comes after the developers of the Bayview Place condo project already put their own money into a study of a rail link between the West Shore and the Roundhouse property in Vic-West – a property they’re developing. They’ve had municipal governments and BC Transit at the table for that study and Bayview Place Development Manager Chris Reiter says what they found is “promising.” It’s their study that is going to the BC Government and Reiter says it’s part of the reason the province is coming to the table.
While the developer wouldn’t say much more, in the past they’ve said they think it’ll take about $10-million dollars to repair the tracks and get the service started and that a further three or four million dollars annually would be needed to help subsidize the train.
Now we see if the province also finds the results “promising.”