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LETTER: Passenger rail on Vancouver Island is dead; people love their cars too much

Writer says people should get over the idea of resurrecting Island rail service
A passenger gets ready to board the Langtoria Greenline on Goldstream Ave. last fall. Low ridership led to the service’s cancellation in June 2017. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

To the Editor,

Re: This isn’t the end of the line for the train station, Letters, July 20, 2022

People must stop speculating that the start up of the railway on Vancouver Island would be economical. That will never happen.

Why? People want to drive their own cars.

The PGE railway (later BC Rail) had passenger service from North Vancouver to Lillooet, B.C. That service was cancelled as people found it more worthwhile to take their car for the four-hour drive to Lillooet.

In September 2016, Wilson’s Transport started up a daily commuter service for a bus from Langford/Colwood to Victoria. A 52-seat bus that supplied Wi-Fi and coffee included in your fare. In June 2017, Wilson’s had to suspend the service as the average daily passenger count was 18 people.

Before retirement, I drove from Lake Cowichan to Victoria return daily to my workplace. When meeting traffic coming on to Highway 1 out of Colwood and Langford, I noticed many cars with only one person in the car. That proves that 10 people living on the same street do not car pool, and each take their own car to work and are fine with paying a monthly rental fee to park their car while they are at work.

The same applies to long weekend ferry travel traffic: they line up for hours, get on the ferry, arrive at their relatives on the other side, park their car and never use it again until it is time to head home and line up again at the other end.

Use common sense and park the car at the ferry terminal and go on to the ferry as a walk-on passenger.

Having patience is the greatest victory in life, but there is no patience left in the people of today, thus the must in driving a car. In summary, the return of the railway on Vancouver is now history.

Joe Sawchuk,