Funding a cinch if we get what was promised

The total project cost (downtown Victoria through a hub at Saanich’s Uptown to Station Avenue in Langford) is estimated at $950 million. Ending the rail line at Six Mile (the junction with the E&N) would be $770 million. In my view, the critical passenger mass – where the train would collect the largest number of passengers – is at Six Mile. The track from Six Mile to Station Avenue can be considered for a future phase.

B.C. Transit also revealed just maintaining its current bus-based service would cost $250 million. A rapid bus service would cost about $550 million, but would need to be converted to LRT within 10 to 15 years. That’s twice the cost for the same outcome.

So far, the provincial government has offered little more than platitudes when it comes to pitching in funds. Interestingly, when the Evergreen Line (Coquitlam to Vancouver) was announced, senior governments pledged over $800 million toward the $1.3-billion project.

The long-ago announced $14-billion Provincial Transit Plan ear-marked close to $1 billion for the Capital Region. An LRT system that will cut emissions and double ridership is a perfect candidate.

As the federal government emerges from the election campaign, it must step up to the plate as well. Its willingness to chip in for the Canada Line and Evergreen Line on the Lower Mainland should extend to LRT in the CRD.

The two-thirds funding from senior governments brings the local share of Victoria-to-Six Mile LRT to $257 million. That’s equal to the cost of doing nothing – a cost taxpayers would bear alone.

It’s time for the provincial government to step up and deliver on its promised Transit Plan funding. Let’s get our federal partner at the table as well. Their combined support for transit helped Lower Mainland commuters out of traffic congestion and home to their families sooner. Surely Capital Region residents deserve the same.

Dean Murdock

Saanich councillor

Just Posted

Our Place Society asks for men’s clothing donations

Victoria non-profit short on men’s clothes, has 80 per cent male clientele

Transit looking for more feedback on Sooke plan. Again.

Once approved, the plan could take seven years to implement

MISSING: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins

Atkins was last seen downtown on Dec. 2 and now could be in Sooke

Full buses leave Colwood woman fuming over commute from West Shore

BC Transit plans to add eight double-deckers in 2020, will rotate on 50 and 61 routes

Saanich councillor tries his hand at design with cycling T-shirt

Positive response has avid cyclist considering making more to share

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Most Read