The ridership just doesn’t exist in the proposed rapid-transit corridor between Victoria and Langford to justify the full-scale LRT cost.
The system would need to be at least three times busier during peak periods to even begin to approach efficient use of infrastructure and the associated costs to operate it.
More traffic congestion is caused by the LRT: one breakdown causes backups, and they cannot reroute rails.
Planners and engineers don’t need to agonize too much when choosing transit technology. Ridership projections make the choice obvious: Buses.
If area councils had endorsed and funded long-term plan for a transit add-on of this magnitude 10 or 15 years ago — a plan that would have included light rail, and buses — we’d probably see a couple of kilometres of new track built every year until that plan was complete.
So, no, Greater Victoria can not afford an LRT or other rail options. But we can afford a realistic, sensible and affordable plan first and then plan for 2030.