Rail an integral part of commuter solution post-Blue Boat

Time to start utilizing the rail tracks with E & N out of commission

With the termination of the Blue Boat commuter service set for April 30, urgency for a replacement shuttle between the western communities and CFB Esquimalt – and by extension, Uptown and downtown Victoria – becomes apparent.

Running three Budd cars in tandem as a shuttle on the E & N railroad from Langford to Victoria West, might address the need for capacity on the commute. The train would need to make at least two trips each in the morning and evening to provide enough rush-hour capacity.

Potential rail commuters should be asked to sign up for the service and indicate their desired arrival times and normal departure times from specified destinations. This is required to plan both schedules and capacity for the rail shuttle and matching bus capacity from home to the Langford Station in the morning and returning in the evening. It is also needed to match shuttle bus capacities at the train stop at CFB Esquimalt, and at the Victoria West terminus, to forward commuters to and from their final destinations.

This rail commute might need to be continued indefinitely, to serve particular commuter destinations in the core communities, even after the proposed light-rail transit is operating between Langford and downtown Victoria.

The rail commute could be implemented quickly at little cost. It should help prevent a worsening of traffic congestion on the Trans-Canada Highway and on the Island Highway when the Blue Boat service is terminated, and it might relieve some of the existing congestion.

Two potential side benefits to this rail commute are easing some of the bus congestion in downtown Victoria and establishing commuter loyalty and cash flow for the E & N, to help it extend compatible services to communities north of Langford.

Ideally, a single daily or weekly commuter card could be developed to facilitate travel in both directions by rail and shuttle bus between Langford and destinations in the core communities.

Howard Willis

Victoria

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

Just Posted

Cherry Bomb Toys, which houses the National Toy Museum of Canada, has had a rough year

The property that’s home to Cherry Bomb Toys is listed at $2.6 million

Victoria hotel proposal threatens Old Town conservation, advocates say

Height requests defy historic district’s guidelines

Camosun College team working to turn Indigenous art into virtual reality

Expert team will scan Victoria Indigenous artist Carey Newman’s work The Witness Blanket

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read