Railway best bang for our buck

To suggest this is just a bunch of friends is ludicrous.

Railway best bang for our buck

Re: “No business case for Island Railway”, (Citizen, Oct. 16)

This letter might be published after the election, but I am sure the railway debate will rage on, even though it should have ended years ago.

Over and over, grassroots movements have sprung up to save the railway from the short sighted vagaries of opposition and government MLAs. Why? Because people need it.

Again today, more than 80 per cent of over 3,000 surveyed have declared their support for rebuilding and using our railway and corridor to the fullest. This is in addition to the constant and repeated support from nearly every municipality, local elected official, and First Nations leader on the Island. To suggest this is just a bunch of friends is ludicrous. It is difficult to get 20 people to agree on lunch these days let alone nearly 3,000 on major transportation investment in a verified and statistically accurate survey.

We have all watched the billions pour into rapid transit on the Lower Mainland while options on the Island dwindle to sitting in your personal car stuck in traffic on either Highway 1, 19 or 4, all while directly adjacent the railway. The Lower Mainland system is built and subsidized by government based on need. With Vancouver Island approaching one million people, mostly south of Nanaimo, the need is here too.

Decades of data shows widening highways only induces those highways to fill. This new government must invest on the Island and the best bang for our buck is a modern, fast, and Island-wide railway system with cycling and walking pathways alongside. Let’s do it!

Sincerely, a regular traveller on Island Highways.

Chris Alemany

Port Alberni