Commuter service from the West Shore to downtown along the E&N Rail corridor could be coming sooner than later

Increased optimism about future of commuter rail service from West Shore

Mayor Stew Young has productive discussions with Ministry, B.C. Transit

Langford Mayor Stew Young is more hopeful about the future of commuter rail on the West Shore than he has been in some time.

Young’s optimism is the result of conversations he’s had with Transportation Minister Todd Stone and B.C. Transit, including separate meetings with both parties last week, regarding the future of the E&N rail corridor and Langford’s desire to give downtown commuters another option to get to work.

“There’s good news now. It’s better news than we’ve had the last four or five years,” Young said.

“When you get politicians together for the common good, it’s going to really make a difference getting this train up and running again.”

The longtime mayor says the addition of another corridor into town is crucial for the growing municipality, and that growth has made the service more viable than ever.

Langford added more than 6,000 residents over the last five years according to the 2016 census, an increase of 20.9 per cent.

Beyond those figures, Young points to his municipality’s increasing density, as well as the density along the existing E&N route, as statistics that point to the potential for a commuter rail service. “It looks better from a viability standpoint than when there were 25,000 people living in Langford 10 years ago,” he noted.

He also mentioned that options beyond traditional rolling stock might be looked at, including a bus/rail hybrid that would give the service added flexibility.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, “there are a number of things that would need to be addressed in order to upgrade the rail line and ensure service is frequent enough to benefit commuters.”

“We look forward to continued discussion on this proposal,” the statement concluded.

Young plans to engage with First Nations groups in the coming weeks and hopes that significant progress can be made in a matter of months.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of meetings. We’ve been spending a lot of time on trying to get it right and making sure the numbers are correct,” he said.

He also isn’t concerned about the effect the provincial election might have on the process, believing that “everybody will support this.”

In the end, the future of commuter service along the E&N line will still depend on a number of factors, the most significant being the securing of funding. But Young is confident an opportunity still exists to move on an idea that has been the subject of circular discussions for the better part of a decade.

“From what I’m seeing, there is no other option except to get some people moving on that transportation corridor.”

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Just Posted

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read