BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTOVancouver Island is a poor second when it comes to transportation priorities, says letter writer.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Island deserves government funding for rail

We do not need another study, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Giving up on passenger rail is a defeatist sort of attitude, Letters, Jan. 22.

It is with deep disappointment and disillusionment that I learn of the province’s short-sighted decision to delay meaningful progress on the re-introduction of passenger rail pending consideration of including this service in a South Island Transportation Study, which is contemplated for release in 2020. The study document will I am sure be followed by an endless succession of meetings. This decision is essentially an exercise in ‘kicking the can down the road’ in an effort to avoid making a decision.

We do not need another study. The province is willing to invest $1.7 billion for rail on the mainland while failing to recognize the benefits of investing a small fraction of this amount to complete 300 kilometres of passenger rail on the Island. We could be forgiven for concluding that we are a poor second when it comes to provincial transportation priorities, particularly priorities that offer sizeable social benefits and sizeable returns on investment through sensible accommodation of growth.

If the current government is unable or unwilling to accommodate our legitimate interests in a timely fashion, then we should elect a government that will.

G.A. Thompson, Nanoose Bay

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Giving up on passenger rail is a defeatist attitude

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Elect those who support rail

To the editor,

The train schedule that I was exposed to when I first arrived here to live was the same as many others that Via Rail offered as service. The lines that Via wanted to cut first seemed to be scheduled to make sure they weren’t user-friendly. The train to Victoria should have originated in Nanaimo early morning and returned to Nanaimo at dinner time for the needs of commuters first. It didn’t benefit a tourist for day travel or a commuter. Of course there was no ridership except for the die-hards.

We pay carbon taxes here on the Island to pay for the SkyTrains in Vancouver. Why can’t we have those taxes to put a train on our Island?

Nanaimo should be the transportation hub for the Island. It is the centre and an easy commute coming from the mainland. It would benefit our hotels, our downtown, restaurants, improve the overall economy and provide jobs.

The rail bed is the start obviously. Equipment is cheap. To just roll over and say it’s a lost cause just isn’t the answer. The Island will only get more populated and I rather see a future rail service with people riding in rail cars pointing at the beautiful place we live versus billions being spent blasting rock to increase the highways and destroying what we care about.

B. Johnston, Nanaimo

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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 or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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