E&N railbed impractical for mass transit


Re: “E&N rail-line group says it has confidence in its CEO,” Oct. 12.

How much longer is the public going to be deluded with the totally impractical dream of using the existing railbed for transit?

Anyone giving any thought to the issue knows that a double-deck railcar can accommodate only about 150 passengers. The need for transit is to move — in two short time periods each day — tens of thousands of commuters out of cars coming from the West Shore (and cross-Malahat) and the Saanich Peninsula to the core or to other worksites. Single-track rail can’t handle that capacity need and light-rail transit is inflexible when patterns and densities change over time.

The only practical way at present is to increase the bus fleet by, probably, about 200 double-decker buses, express where possible, on user-friendly routes crisscrossing the capital region (and cross-Malahat area). These routes should be based on factual knowledge of commuting patterns — routes between the cross-Malahat, West Shore, Peninsula and core — that can be changed as traffic patterns change.

This requires employer and employee input across the Capital Regional District about commuting patterns and a lot of computing power for the necessary route-creation algorithms, but it will ensure the positive result that rail fans demand. 

Roger Love


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