To the editor,
Rail is, by far, the most equitable mode of ground-based transportation as there are no age, health, ability, income impediments, and no requirements for vehicle operator ownership, licensing, and associated expenses.
Resurrecting our Island rail service will check many socio-economic boxes including access to affordable housing, a response to traffic congestion with its related GHG emissions, an alternative to regular highway closures, and would relieve pressure resulting from municipal densification.
There are some who state the cost is too great; however, we do not question the cost of other transportation infrastructure or place the burden of profitability on our road systems – how long should we expect to wait for years of investment in widening sections of the Trans-Canada Highway to break even? The ICF has presented a net-revenue positive business case to the province.
There are some who feel the corridor should be converted to trails. This position does not consider the current court case that requires a commitment to a rail service by March 14. A solution that is specifically devoted to trails will exclude a significant segment of our population and will permanently end the possibility of migrating commuters and freight from our already over-burdened road system. The ICF business case promotes the co-existence of both rails and trails.
There is a conversation with future generations that we will want to avoid: ‘We missed our chance, and the opportunity was lost forever.’
It’s time for us to work together and build a lasting legacy – it’s time to get Island rail ‘back on track.’
Paul Robinson, Victoria
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press Media or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
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