Regarding the railway on the Island, I would hate to see the loss of the transportation corridor. We are an aging population and as driving licenses are lost, we are more reliant on bus services.
I have a sister living in Elizabeth, a suburb of Adelaide in Australia. Visiting there, as long as 20 years ago, I admired their transportation system.
They used the original train lines like ours. A bus would drive around Elizabeth picking up passengers. They drive to what had been the rail line. The passengers stayed on the bus. This was then clamped on to an electrified line. It then automatically took you to the city of Adelaide. No driver was needed.
On arrival in Adelaide the bus released, with passengers, then driven around Adelaide, passengers would leave the bus as desired.
With this system we could board a bus somewhere in Parksville. Stay on until Nanaimo.
On the same bus we could be dropped off at the ferry, shopping centres or the hospital. Another bus from Parksville could take you right down to Victoria.
The whole process could then be done in reverse.
This process could be in place in Qualicum Beach, Ladysmith and so on, all along the line. Think of all the gas emissions saved.