Not enough riders to support rail

Re: Island rail service stopped in its tracks, News, April 15, 2011.

Politician, promoters, punters and pundits are at it again promoting the old E&N railway, and, it seems, without benefit of sound cost estimates and evaluation of the ridership — the actual number of rides per day from origin to destination, or from station to station.

As well, less than 18 per cent of the population of the area (Langford to Victoria) lives on the West Shore. What actual percentage of this population would actually support this commuter service? And at what cost per ride?

People keep bating around that $15 million is needed to upgrade the entire rail system and that it should be provided by the federal and provincial government as a handout. Just how do they arrive at this conclusion?

The amount of $15 million appears very low for the work needed. The simple rail-trail, originally estimated at $10 million, is now at some $21 million and is not completed.

Beware of promoters promising high returns and low cost when the reverse is the reality in the end.

Pierre Vallee



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