Light rail costly but sensible

Taxpayers in Greater Victoria might be suffering from sticker shock, but B.C. Transit’s billion-dollar plan for light rail deserves a long hard look.

The plan is pricey, but there are also plenty of reasons to believe the time is right to get behind this proposal.

Anyway you look at it, it’s going to be expensive to provide mass transit service to connect the region’s burgeoning population centres. And if the region is committed to providing such service, it should do it right.

Regional growth is expected to increase most quickly on the West Shore. That said, such a massive investment must also serve the bulk of the established population in Greater Victoria.

An initial build-out, connecting downtown Victoria and the Uptown hub in Saanich, would be a good start at allowing people to move through densely populated areas without the need for individual vehicles.

Of course, the plan possibly has the most appeal for commuters hoping to escape the notorious Colwood crawl, not to mention the Trans-Canada crawl.

Eventually, a fully realized light rail would help grow new neighbourhood centres as stations are built out to Langford. This would have the added benefit of allowing planners to control sprawl as well as funnelling traffic in and out of destinations in the most efficient manner.

It’s clear this is something residents want. Adding buses and high-occupancy vehicle lanes might seem more attractive as less costly options, but neither creates long-term benefits for Greater Victoria.

Transit’s announcement comes on the cusp of a federal election. Whomever represents us come Tuesday, championing our region in Ottawa should include working to secure funding to make B.C. Transit’s proposal a reality.

 

Just Posted

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

Almost 150 hectares purchased for parks in the CRD

Capital Regional District purchases two sites to increase park connectivity

Used books on sale at Nellie McClung library branch in Saanich this weekend

Admission of $10 Sunday afternoon when all books are free

Playoff hockey is where memories are made for Canadians

Royals GM, players, fans and broadcasters share top playoff memories

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read