Build a rail service and people will come

I really wish we could have a vote on Vancouver Island regarding the desire to have a rail line or a multi-use path

I really wish we could have a vote on Vancouver Island regarding the desire to have a rail line or a multi-use path after ripping out the rail tracks.

There are a lot of vocal letter writers wanting the pathways, but do we honestly have the population to warrant this? And do the majority of our residents really think this is a great idea?

With Qualicum Beach having the oldest average age of any community in Canada, followed closely by Parksville, how many of us will use a path with electric bikes and electric chairs?

Or will the paths be taken over by the rude bullies who travel so many bike paths and run over anyone in their way? Do we need to make a path that maybe some international travellers will be attracted to?

As the population ages, many either lose their licences or prefer not to drive, particularly to Victoria where the majority of the cancer treatments and specialty surgeons are located.

There is a van that runs from Campbell River to Victoria every day, and many people have to make that trip every day for treatment — that’s over the Malahat summer and winter.

How often is that highway blocked and how many appointments are missed? That is why so many patients unhappily stay in Victoria each week for whatever they need.

We are trying to become a greener society and that means better transit for our population. Much of our transit does not pay for itself right away, if ever, but if you build it, the riders will come.

A rail line could be a wonderful day trip for cruise passengers to Qualicum Beach.  A regular schedule can get medical patients to Victoria or perhaps shoppers who would love a day and night in Chemainus or Victoria.

A rail line does not restrict its users to being physically fit and can be a fast, convenient method to get around.

The rail line fell out of use with poor maintenance, uneven scheduling and lack of responsibility. If you figure the cost, and in some places the downright impossibility, of creating a better road to Victoria as well as the impact of greenhouse gases… we need the rail line.

I think the reasons to rebuild it add up to benefiting more of our population than would a trail in its place.

Norma ReimerParksville

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Iconic white raven returns to Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Photographer John Domovich: ‘It blew me away when I first observed it’

Parksville’s Summer by the Sea event starts June 30

‘We are looking forward to providing a vibrant market’

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read