To the Editor,
I’m all for safety, but we all know the only thing that will really ‘fix’ the Malahat problem (until more cars inevitably come) is to widen and separate the road. Price: $250 million! (CTV-VI Feb 28)
That amount would rehabilitate the entire 289-kilometre length of the E&N from Victoria to Courtenay and Port Alberni not once, but twice.
(The BC government in 2009 estimated $123 million for full rehabilitation including stations.)
It would be far more than the estimated $73 million to put in commuter service between Langford and Victoria and, I wager, extend it over the Malahat and put enough trains on it to move thousands.
Freight (aka diesel in Goldstream), commuters, tourism— you name it, the E&N could handle it if our government chose to put as much money into it as it does highways.
It is up to government to put the money down, and create incentives for industry, business and people to move more efficiently. And on Vancouver Island, where more than 80 per cent of residents live within five kilometres of the E&N, that means rail.