Train to Victoria is independence

Imagine you’re a tourist just arrived in Victoria. You’re intrigued by the communities up island but getting there seems such a hassle.

Imagine you’re a young foreign tourist who has just arrived in Victoria. You’re intrigued by the smaller communities up island like Chemainus and Parksville but getting there seems like such a hassle that you don’t bother.

Imagine you’re a senior in Qualicum Beach who doesn’t drive. You fancy a day trip to Nanaimo’s Old Town, but lack of easy transport means you’re effectively trapped.

Imagine you’re the wife in a one-car family who would like to visit friends in Courtenay but hubby needs the wheels.

Or, imagine you’re a 37-year-old who could drive (me), but simply prefers to read and knit whilst being carried to Victoria on a civilized, green mode of transportation rather than face the nasty tail-gaters on the Malahat.

If only we had a fix that could serve our growing population and invest in the future of tourism here.

If only we had some kind of track that spanned the Island, connecting the cores of smaller communities as they do in Europe.

If only we could swiftly move 100 people together instead of sending 100 single-occupancy, gas-guzzling vehicles onto the highway.

Oh wait, this just in: we do have something and, by golly, it’s already halfway there.

Pipe dream, or sensible solution? Let’s not waste this opportunity to do right by the future of this Island.

I enthusiastically support any endeavour to bring back the passenger train and will gladly pay for it.

Prefer your car? Fine. But please don’t deny others the independence, choice and comfort that comes with the toot of the train.

Reb StevensonQualicum Beach

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