Sunday, February 22, 2009

No Hope for BC Cross Border Commuting?

Apparently the Canadian Federal Government is going to inject some cash into Via Rail that will see "quicker trips" for central Canada. The $407M in new funding leaves everyone guessing what specifically the money will be spent on. Even Via Rail has no solid plans to show anyone.

"But nearly a month after the Harper government announced the $407 million in new funding, the crown corporation in charge of passenger rail service in Canada has not been able to announce a comprehensive outline of how the money will be spent.

"I don't have the plan right now to show to people," said VIA Rail spokesperson Nadia Seraiocco in an interview. "In the next few weeks, our president will talk to us, probably about . . . highlights of the plan so that journalists can have a better idea, and the general population, of what's going on in terms of the investment."

She indicated that the corporation already outlined some of its needs, which include repairs or upgrades to passenger cars."

Here is BC of course, we are still stuck in passenger rail hell. No light rail system in sight, nor any big federal or provincial dollars for that. No money to upgrade any service between the south Fraser and the USA because the Canadian border officials don't like it. Instead of driving to Vancouver and parking my vehicle in a combat zone, I simply drive to Bellingham and catch the AMTRAK to Seattle or Portland. I also park my vehicle in a well-secured AMTRAK parking lot in Fairheaven (Bellingham).  This is having me put my money into the US economy, but then again does the Canadian government give us any options or really care? I blogged about the Canadian federal roadblocks to commuting south of the border at the end of this article last year. We also had several informational posts on the AMTRAK Cascades train service last year as well, so comb the 2008 posts for details. 

1 comment:

bregalad said...

Poor Via. They have no plan because, as usual, they didn't expect to have enough money to run their existing services let alone expand them. Maybe it would help if they weren't paying to run ads for the Toronto-Montreal service here in Vancouver.

The Canadian border thing is a disgrace plain and simple. We should have regular high speed trains between Vancouver and all Amtrak destinations within a day of here.