Rail funding not enough to make a difference

Funders should cover off other programs or step fully up to plate on rail

Re: Island rail project gains momentum (News, Jan. 25)

So the Island Corridor Foundation will receive $1.2 million from the CRD, $5.4 million from the five regional districts and $15 million from the federal and provincial governments to “… hopefully restore VIA rail service and initiate commuter rail service to Victoria.”

The intent is great, but what will this money accomplish? Victoria is spending nearly $100 million to replace a small bridge. I understand there are many bridges on the E&N Railway that are older and more poorly maintained than the Blue Bridge.

We spent more than $1 million refurbishing the Kinsol Trestle to support walkers and cyclists, not heavy, high-speed rail equipment. The E&N has nearly 100 kilometres of track that needs to be totally replaced. Walk it yourself and see if you believe the existing line would be safe with minor tie replacements. The E&N has no rolling stock and no staff or operating budget.

Are our elected representatives making purely political spending decisions, or will they produce a better transportation system? If they do open the door to improved transit, what is the future cost of following up on these initial expenditures?

If we are we going to pledge our future taxes and those of our children to an ever-escalating investment which has no return until fully completed, we should look at total costs and revenues, not just spread a little here and there with the hope of ‘catching the big one’ some day. A rail system may be the answer to some of Victoria’s transportation problems, but at what cost per passenger?

Seems to me that a little advanced planning by our leaders would stop this cash dribble before it starts. That money would serve a much better purpose if it was redirected to the homeless or drug rehabilitation.

Let’s stop pretending these piddly sums will have any impact on local transit. These minor budget allocations will be absorbed by consultant fees and some minor maintenance.

Best to fund it adequately or not fund it all all. This is a cheap, vote-buying effort and should be exposed as such.

Jim Knock

Esquimalt

Just Posted

West Shore lands Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Event coming to Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort Spa in February 2020

Victoria shoppers fund Jubliee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

Pacific FC to face off against HFX Wanderers FC at inaugural match

First game at Westhills Stadium on April 28

BC Housing remains open to modular housing in Saanich, but acknowledges slow regional up take

Only one project with 21 units underway in the Greater Victoria

WATCH: Suspect detained, Saanich Police confirm weapons threat a false alarm

Police event ends, residents return to their homes, shortly before noon, Friday, Feb. 22

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read