Oh, Canada — slow as usual. Thanks to Rob Stevenson (The NEWS, April 7), and Noreen Bosnich (April 28) for their letters supporting the rail service for us Island people.
There are many people who cannot afford a car, and many people who are no longer able to drive because of age or disability, who would like to be able to hop on a train — as they do all over Europe — and ride from Parksville/Qualicum Beach to visit Victoria, or keep appointments with medical specialists etc., or travel up-Island when they desire.
This would also reduce traffic on the highway, traffic that people are always complaining about, especially on the Malahat, and relieve us from trying to negotiate snarled traffic at the north end of Victoria.
Of course, bringing the railway back into working order will be expensive; try ignoring the highway maintenance for 30 years and see how expensive that would be! And, we certainly do not need a 1952 engine pulling the cars — how about a newer, more fuel efficient model?
Up and back twice per day would be a welcome start. Once good service is established people will use it; nay sayers said the Canada Line (in Vancouver) was a waste of money and would not be used but was up to full ridership within weeks.
When the LRT first started in Edmonton many hard-heads still abused themselves and their cars driving around the city and trying to find parking places downtown; now the various station parking lots are full — even the slow learners are using the rail.
And no, Guy Dauncy, I am not going to hop on my very good Norco 6 mountain bike in Parksville and ride to shop at Costco on a bike trail, nor do I believe all the young families in our area are going to suddenly go out and buy bikes so the whole family can ride on a special bike trail.
Maybe you can convince some of your English friends or relatives to come here and show Canadians how to run a service like the ones I have ridden in Scotland and England; it would be greatly appreciated by many of us who lose our drivers licenses as we age.