WATCH: A study of a commuter rail service from the West Shore to Victoria has been put on hold by the NDP government. Luisa Alvarez reports.
Last winter the former Liberal government promised a working group would tackle options for building a commuter link along the E&N railway corridor.
But with the change in government comes a change of plans and that promise has been put on hold.
Transportation Minister Claire Trevena defended their decision.
” What the previous government did was shortsighted, just ahead of the last election obviously trying to win them brownie points. What we want to do is make sure we get something viable for the E&N including the participation of all the stakeholders,” Trevena said.
But the need for a solution is clear, as the West Shore continues to expand the daily gridlock passing through the city is only getting worse.
” We are over 2,000 people moving to the West Shore every year. Even if half of them are driving and we assume each of them is going to carpool, that’s still a thousand cars added to the road every year,” says Josh Schmidt with the West Shore Chamber of Commerce.
The debate over how to build a new commuter link between the West Shore and Victoria has been going on for years, and some believe another study is not what’s needed.
” This is getting to the point now where there has been a lot of talk and we now need to have a solution,” says Langford Mayor Stew Young.
While the problem lingers, developer Ken Mariash says he’s ready and willing to get started now.
“I’m good to go, if we are welcome we are there, but we don’t want to go anywhere we are not welcome but, we are definitely know how to do this we have done it a hundred times. This is not our first rodeo” Mariash says.
And he’s confident if a partnership is established between him and the province, it could be up and running in 12 months.