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Letter: Rail editorial waste of readers’ time

Much better solutions to the provision of good public transportation

Rail editorial waste of readers’ time

Reply to: “Cannot afford to waste chance for rail”, Cowichan Citizen

The editorial “Cannot afford to waste chance for rail” (Feb. 2) implies that without the retun of rail sevice the public utility of the Island Corridor will be lost. Since there there is an alternative opportunity to use the corridor for public benefit, a continuous trail, the real waste here is to waste the readers time by encouraging the false hope that rail service will somehow return and that it will significantly reduce road traffic.

Anyone who has taken the time to read the rail corridor studies and transportation studies will understand that the Island population is insufficient to to support the very large investment required for modern rail transportaion. there are, however, much better solutions to the provision of good public transportation on the Island and for the use of the Island corridor.

Ironically the article highlights the success of bus service between Duncan and Victoria without connecting the the dots to recommend this successsful and cost effective alternative to cars for the rest of the island.

The editorial also comments negatively on the idea of an active transportation trail on the corridor. In terms of people served, the now defunct rail service provided at best 40,000 trips per year. The Galloping Goose/Lochside rail trail in the Capital Region accomodates 750,000 trips a year which includes pedestrians, bikes, wheelchairs, electric scooters, baby carriages, skateboards etc.

There are now two motions on the ICF (the owner Island Corridor) board agenda to look at uses other than rail for the corridor ond one to look at removing the rails. Hopefully this indicates a better understanding of the present situation than the editorial offers.

Corrine Thompson