Choosing Our Future: Sustainability !

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LRT or Tram Options for Victoria

Future Transit Choice for Victoria

We (ITO) have made several suggestions in the past and provided some comparisons of infrastructure costs. The following video describes what  will be the startup status of the E&N in 2015 when the planned upgrades are made; however, it is just the introduction of where we could be in 2020 if modernization, now feasible, can be funded by all level of governance or Public Private Partnerships for the infrastructure needed for such an objective: shortVideo 2009 presentation

Here is one of the latest options found suitable for Totonto: Taking TTC’s Bombardier Streetcar for a Ride

Your comments please:


The future?

How we got this far in rail transport (26 minute video)

And, the future:

The ET3 Transportation System Proposal (as found by one of our readers - Jeremy Vegh, 20 March 2012)

Video #1  and Video #2 Interested in the details? (Read More)

Elon Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ Train for Travel from LA to San Francisco in 30 Minutes - Marc Carter, 07/18/12

More Practical ? ; Look at: Vectus,    Upsalla Skyways

or, Smart Mass Transit  , or

This Futuristic Personal Transport Could Soon Be Part Of Your Daily Commute

P.S. Why every urban resident would wish to have such a futuristic system? See a  1.37 minute video

Transportation without Oil

Can we find sufficient re-newable energy sources to power all the current and future transportation requirements, especially in Canada and North America?  There are few areas that are as fortunate as British Columbia where, without the proposed new Site C dam, we still power 90% of our needs with hydro.

For a thorough analysis of those questions we refer you to the conclusions of the BC Sustainable Energy Association 21 March 2012 report: "Transportation Without Oil" - the on-line report and the video report.

Feel free to use our feedback options or to the options given by BCSEA.

How Salt Lake City got LRT started

When National Governance Fails

Though we have 2009 evidence by experrts:

Transport Corridors in North America - May 18th 2009
by Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Claude Comtois, Brian Slack

"...the market segment of domestic (North American) rail intermodalism is expected to grow substantially as the only available alternative to long distance trucking."

and, the inadequate capability our trucking and highway infrastructure to cope under the rising demand for goods, and the rising costs of trucking, we see (below) that national governments fail to deal with the alternative.
How the Transportation Bill Failed America
by Judith Rodin - Jun 30, 2012

"Cities like Los Angeles aren’t waiting for Congress. The state is creating community strategies that will boost public transit, walking and biking investment and concentrate housing near public transit. If the Los Angles plan, which the Rockefeller Foundation helped support, is implemented by 2035, 87 percent of housing will be within a half a mile of public transit. Working families will save an average of $3,000 a year on transportation.

This is what the people want. In fact, in 2008 the voters of Los Angeles decided to tax themselves and raise $40 billion to build out the city’s transit system. While cities like L.A. are taking the initiative, many still rely on federal transportation dollars to make plans like this happen, and that requires Congress to focus spending on our real transportation needs.

America (and we, ITO, include Canada) is also being left behind by the rest of the world."

Register your e-address here for regular updates on transit news and views.

Are you fed up with auto congestion?

A humorous look at the mess cars have made of our world. Ends with some simple fix-it suggestions.

Car Trouble: And How to Fix It from J.H. Crawford - Jan 2012 on Vimeo.

CRD Transit Authority Options


Note how Portland manages Regional Transit

Transit Investment Plan
A roadmap for TriMet's transportation investments

TriMet's Transit Investment Plan (TIP) is a roadmap for how we provide transit service to meet the needs of our growing region.

The plan is revised each year based on input from jurisdictional and community partners and the general public, and TriMet Board meetings. (View their Executive Summary)

CRD, that Plan could be adapted!! Let's make that our objective in 2015!


Louis Guilbault's evaluation of the VRRT estimates of rail construction costs prompted him to research and then write the editor of  the Victoria Times to state his concern that the costs exceeded that of other equivalent projects by $30 M per kilometer of track.  His letter was published in the last week of May and his research facts are now available here in printable format.  And updated here.

You be the judge.  If also concerned, please let your Councillor or Mayor know.


Challenge your CRD Councillors now and,  to find out who those are and what issues they support;

Click here

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LRT on Govt Street, Victoria  

Transportation News

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

 The Honourable Todd Stone (click here)


Current Letters & News

The most recent ITO Newsletters

referenced Isitt document


"Keep the roundhouse for trains and transportation"

Bob Trotter, Victoria Times Colonist, 3 Feb 2013


Transit technology will reduce accidents!

Daily headlines of vehicle collisions with other vehicles, property or people may soon be reduced, even eliminated!  You will find those solutions well described in the linked New York Times article.


"Smart Congestion Relief" -
A Comprehensive Analysis Of Traffic Congestion Costs and Congestion Reduction Benefits
27 December 2012 By Todd Litman,
Victoria Transport Policy Institute


by Robin Chown, open letter, Oct 15, 2012

The common denominator in Europe and:
"--- for any transit system to work with maximum effectiveness and to encourage transit use of all systems whether it be train, bus, street car or light rail, all should be interconnected, preferably at a central point for easy transfer from one to the other in order to maximize and promote convenient transit use."
Saving E&N essential for future generations

By Paul Walton, The Nanaimo Daily News August 28, 2012

The editor notes that the provincial election gives us an ideal opportunity to promote that vision. Will you help ITO achieve that objective?

p.s. Some would say today, 12 January 2013, that funding authority by 5 Regional Districts late in 2012 means your help is no longer needed; but not so, not until that passenger commuter service into Victoria begins to mitigate our traffic congestion on the Malahat and for Westshore communities. (LS)

Students push B.C. on transit changes
By Daniel Palmer - Victoria News, August 24, 2012

"Greater Victoria students are throwing their support behind the region’s municipalities who want greater control over B.C. Transit."


'Victoria Climbs Toward a $100-Million Bridge'

That link will take you to the latest JSB news that the 3 bidders on the contract have until 10 September 2012 to show their capability to stay within the $66M target set by City Hall.


Of Course People Will Ride California HSR
by Eric Jaffe of Atlantic Cities, Jul 09, 2012

"If California's train can make the full trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco in about 3 hours, it will capture roughly a third of business travelers and about 40 percent of the leisure market.

A more recent study, set for publication in the September issue of the journal Transport Policy, suggests that high-speed rail will not only cut into the air market but create its own travel demand."


ACTION Please !!

The ITO Display of Transit Options, 1 July 2012, had some 200 visitors & virtually all had that comment:

"WE want the E&N corridor for all-day commuting ASAP!"

The next ITO display: TBA


‘Vast majority’ an overstatement on public demand for LRT
    Action, not studies, needed on LRT
    First the E&N, then the LRT"
By Bill Macdonald, Oak Bay - Victoria News
Published: May 24, 2012


Electric rail transit should be next
By Redner Jones, Times Colonist May 24, 2012

Jeremy Watney Open Letter to Mayor Fortin, 18Apr2012; excerpts:

"Dear Mayor Fortin: I am --- disappointed with your lack of leadership in promoting a modern rail system along the Douglas Corridor and shocked when (link to) up-Island rail ---was severed"

"It is not too late to upgrade your OCP and present a complete, sustainable, integrated, green transportation system for our city."

Rail could solve Malahat

Published: Alberni News, March 29, 2012

(p.s. see the linked issues for May o5 and April 09, 2011)

Triumphs for network planning for public transit, not just light rail - Jerret Walker: 23 Mar 2012


Alternative to a New JSB Bridge

A sincere appeal has been made, 18 March, by a former shipyard manager suggesting that we all rethink the need for a new bridge: the commuter connection is more important!


"The number crunchers need to look beyond "ridership projections"

and consider the many other potential benefits of E&N commuter rail." - Freya Keddie
Nanaimo Daily News, 10 Mar 2012

Support for Rail Investments -  John Luton's blog  -   9 March 2012

Why Westshore Developers must pay attention to TOD

Only 3 options for getting downtown: car, boat or rail?            (Read More)

Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

found by Robert Trotter, 26 Feb 2012, in a  report by Angela Cotey, Associate Editor



 A rebuttal of all skeptics by Bob Trotter, ITO, 25 Jan 12:

For the Capital region, the E & N can provide the quickest implementation and most cost effective way of moving people from Westshore into town and to the Esquimalt base.  And it should be Transit running all day, not just rush hours.  Auto use in our city has long been at saturation.  Any added road space is immediately filled.  Rail tranist integrated with bus services relieves congestion.  North American cities that now have rail transit keep building more lines.  

(Speaking of freight), We so easily subsidize the trucking industry by providing road space for less than the cost yet think that rail should turn a profit.  For about the cost of one highway interchange ($25M) and in less than a year, the E & N line can move people past the Colwood Crawl.  The new bridge can carry loaded semi rigs and therefore can carry modern diesel powered light rail type tram-train vehicles as are used in Europe.  These vehicles (trams) operate on both heavy rail and light rail lines between downtowns and outlying communities.


Great News for the Prospects of the E&N!!

ICF Founder forms group to keep eye on Island Corridor Foundation
Jack Peake wants to get the E&N Railway back on track.

click here for the E&N Railway Action Group

It's not too late to save the E&N! - Chris Leigh


Here,  Brendan Read writes:

A letter to the BC Minister of Transport - 23 Nov 2011!


E&N offers quick economic boost
By Errol Miller, Times Colonist, November 15, 2011

"Build the E&N now, while planning the LRT for the future."


Malahat Solutions - November 2011

The link above offers two solutions - Rail or Bridge

Let us have your views soon so that our proposed Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will have a comprehensive problem to deal with.  It will be at least five years before an LRT system within the core routing of Westhills-Uptown-Downtown could be in operation! Perhaps a toll on the Malahat now (?) would go a long way towards funding which ever alternate the RTA approved. Even a re-construction of the E&N line will not be a permanent fix for the congestion of TC Hwy 1 by growing populations within CRD and CVRD in the next 20 years!

You can express your views briefly using the feedback form in the left column of this page, or in a direct e-mail to


Mayors push for new transit line for Surrey and Langley

Let us hope that CRD Councils will act likewise, post 19 Nov 2011.


A new Transportation Blog for your attention!

The South Fraser Transit Blog

A region in need of a common transportation authority, very much like our own CRD.  Note the significant pages devoted to explaining TOD. A transit blog worth a regular visit via bookmark, or more frequent tracking by signing-up for their mail list.


Chamber CEO in Ottawa for national transit strategy
Times Colonist October 26, 2011

"We have done the lion's share of policy development at the Canadian and B.C. Chamber about the importance of transit and public transit and the criteria around infrastructure spending for municipal priorities," Carter said.

E&N worth keeping despite past neglect
By Hendrik De Pagter, Times Colonist, 29 Sep 2011 (Read More)

"With climate change, fuel prices, preservation of our environment and sensible land-use policies important to all Vancouver Islanders, selling out the E&N is betraying our past and forfeiting our future."

Again, this is precisely what TMC and ITO have been advocating! 

Will the BC Government please respond!!


Commuter-rail study is a work in progress
Pilot project only way to gauge support for up-Island rail service
By Graham Bruce, Times Colonist, 28 Sep 2011 (Read More)

"The foundation's (ICF) focus is to sustain and improve freight and passenger rail service for Vancouver Island. To that end, a $15-million rail infrastructure application was put before the federal and provincial governments in October 2010."

The Malahat Coalition and IslandTransformations.Org support that application by ICF


LRT has worked here, and can again!

He says: "I keep reading letters claiming that LRT won't work in Greater Victoria because of lack of population and density." But, just look at the Home Page and items below which identify current success stories; and note also that:

"The main lesson to learn from failed LRTs is not to go for the mega-expensive version, but to develop
gradually (as Portland did). Use the E&N to Langford with new rails, ties, and rolling stock."

We agree Arne, that line could be operational within a year!!


Overpasses won't clear long traffic delays!
By Stephen Pierrot, Times Colonist - 14 Sep 2011

Denver Opens Their LRT System - 15 Aug 2011

Saanich to lobby feds and province for LRT funds -  Saanich News July 18, 2011

News from Kitchener-Waterloo (15 June 2011)

Waterloo region votes 9-2 in favour of light rail!


Save-the-rail plan comes under attack - Victoria News 25 May 2011

“The main issue with the E&N track relates directly to the track ties,” said Don McGregor, general manager of Southern Railway. If gifted $15 million, one quarter of all ties could be replaced, steel joints repaired and the track straightened for a smoother ride. The money would also fund an in-depth assessment of all bridges."

Plan for the Future - Rail Now! - Pettyfer - 3 Feb 11

Stop Funding Highways - Build Alternate Transit - Mortimore - 18 Jan 11

True Cost of Road Transport - Faulks - 13 Jan 2011

Another example of a good transit plan confounded by BC Ministry bias and inertia!

Analysis of Fraser Valley Transit Study - Posted by John Buker(RftV) 11 Jan 2011

Douglas Corridor Thoughts - Victoria News - 15 Dec 2010

and  Times Colonist - 17 Dec 2010

Brennan Clarke re VICTORIA Transit Problems
—  Globe and Mail - Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010

Victoria and Saanich approve Douglas Corridor - TC 10 Dec 2010

LRT better than Busway - Trotter 18 Dec 10

No Busway Please! - 1 Dec 10

The ITO letter that prompted Saanich TOD action - 1 Nov 10

and, the Rail Valley News on Island Corridor Foundation Plans - 27 Oct 10

The E&N as Westshore Commuter "tomorrow"! - Trotter - 17 Oct 10

14 Oct 10 - 4 Victoria Gazette Letters  and Future Westshore Line - LSkaalen

Transit Planning? What Happened? - Andrew Spray- 24 Sep 10 

Rapid Transit with Tax Incentives - Avi Ickovitch - 15 Dec 2010

Transit NOW and for the Future - Avi Ickovitch - 15 Oct 2010

Transit for Seniors and the Handicapped - Avi Ickovitch - Sep 2010

Less Truck Traffic - Avi Ickovitch - 31 Aug 10

No cars or buses on Government St, Victoria - 27 Aug 10

Rail Service a Must!! - Trotter - 19 Aug 10

Give E&N a Chance to Succeed - Mark MacDonald-Business Examiner-Aug2010

Westshore Support for Rail on the Johnson Street Bridge - 28 July 10

Rail service worth subsidies - Dick Faulks, TC 24 July 10

Reducing dependence on cars and oil
Carolyn Herbert, TC - 24 Jun 10

BC Transit Reacts Positively to Public Demand for Streetcars! - 15 Jun 10 

Interchanges haven't eased congestion !

   Mid-town Victoria  Development   -  Rob Wickson  -  29 May 10



England's least car-dependent city!

Nottingham's investment in cycle tracks, a tram network and buses made it the top ranking city for green transport. Dan Milmo - The Guardian, Tuesday 14 September 2010 (NEW)


by Rob O ' Dell Arizona Daily Star: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Developers from the east end of downtown to the west side have touted the streetcar as the reason they plan to spend millions to try to revitalize downtown. (Another order for Oregon Iron Works; see article below.)

Welcome to United Streetcar - 1 July 2009

United Streetcar, LLC (a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, Inc.) and SKODA have partnered to produce modern, efficient, American-manufactured streetcars and to be a pioneering force in increasing urban transit options throughout the United States.  United Streetcar has completed manufacturing the first Buy-America compliant modern streetcar for the City of Portland, Oregon.

Arkansas trip persuades Augusta group to support trolley

After reading the story above, we hope the Victoria Transit Committee will at least visit Portland!

Calgary-Edmonton train on the slow road to approval
Link between Alberta's largest cities supported by latest report that found enough people would use the service, and the faster it is, the more riders it would have!

Katherine O'Neill Globe and Mail Tuesday, Jul. 07, 2009 07:36AM EDT  (click here for the full story)

And, get ready to attend the HSR Seminar in Red Deer - October 2009 (read more)

Then, think about similar benefits for a Victoria to Campbell River link!


China:  Wuhan-Guangzhou High Speed Rail Line Cuts travel time from 10 hours to 3 hours

From: HighSpeedRailCanada | December 27, 2009 | 18 views 

350 kph - China's high speed line - Wuhan-Guangzhou

243 kph - Japan's high speed trains average 

277 kph - France's TGV 

90 - 160 kph Canada's VIA Rail average Toronto-Montreal. 

"It is time for modern high speed rail in Canada!"

What about Canada?

New Rail Lines Spur Urban Revival

 Many cities are inspired by the success of Denver; Charlotte, N.C.;Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City and others in combining transit and development to revitalize downtowns and suburbs.

Government of Canada and VIA Rail announce new station for Cobourg !

Vancouver Canada Line Transit Oriented Development

Vancouver Olympic Line Now in Operation  Read Operational News Here

More videos of Olympic Line - Inside & Out!   Public Reaction Summary

And now,  June 2010,  Look at What Metrolinx Toronto is doing!

What about Victoria, BC, Canada?

Click Here for ITO presentation of cost & availability facts to the C4CR Group (when the file opens, click on the slide to advance the presentation)

i.e. In a few months, we could be ready to go on the current E&N line !!

Federal funds for E&N CRD Rail and Trail!!  and the Bridge!!

Now, it is decision time, let's get the commuter train on those rails too!!

OK, look at the Island Corridor Foundation Plans for that objective!

But, the MOT Study has flaws - Brendan Read - July 2010


A sustainable Sydney (AU) needs bikes and trams
Clover Moore
April 17, 2009 - 12:00AM

Around the world, smart cities are remaking themselves. They are investing in sustainable public transport and creating pedestrian-friendly environments, reducing their greenhouse emissions, cleaning the air, and providing places for people to meet and congregate.

Bordeaux: Fronting the French tramway revolution!

Article from the December 2002 edition of Tramways & Urban Transit

From 2004, trams will become the backbone of city transport, and one in two public transport users will be aboard a tram, C. J. Wansbeek reports. (see link above)

The Prime Mover- Architect   The type of trams

The Testimonies of Success: Europe  San Diego  Industry

But, in Victoria, British Columbia?

We seem to have moved nowhere since the positive outlook of September 2003


Seven years later, Why still Rubber and not Rail?  ... Why do we think on these in the way that we do? It has taken a long time and much effort to set our mind to think that way. How did it happen?

 Because of the short term vision of most politicians at all levels !

and, the automobile/oil industry cartel !

To find out why we North Americans tend to shun rail and accept road, please find a copy of this book and read it.

  Not boring.     Eye-opening.     Shocking.     Revealing.
"A streetcar named Conspire - Hooking the World on Oil and Blacktop"

Thoroughly researched over 16 years and written by a Victoria man - the book tells why and how the North American mind was set in favour of the internal combustion engine, beginning at a time when electric rail transport was highly profitable, efficient, clean and served major areas of this continent in both city and inter-city capacity.

I promise you; a new view of rail transit will come to you.

Orders can be placed directly with the author at

signed: Dick Faulks 20 May 2009

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Elevated LRT Option for Orange County, CA

Is that an option for Victoria (downtown)?  Click on the title above to read more.

Nanaimo may beat us to the punch!!

Signs of Change are Emerging!

Railway Gazette News

Canadians overwhelmingly support high-speed rail

Industry Poll - Railway Gazette, 29 July 2009

Will the global economic downturn encourage railway investment to improve environmental impact and reduce climate change?

Yes : 63.3%    No : 18.3%    Maybe: 18.4%


National Plans in the US and Canada

A multibillion-dollar Canadian high-speed rail project could inject new life into the domestic steel industry and allow the country to keep pace with a "visionary" plan launched last month by U.S. President Barack Obama, railway industry and public transit advocates said yesterday.

Now, if only Canada and the US will follow the lead of Europe in putting a Cap & Trade on Airlines, we might see some rapid redevelopment of high-speed rail lines for North America!! Read the details here.  Why fly between Edmonton and Calgary or Vancouver and Kelowna if you can get there as quickly as it would take you to get to and from home or business and the airport?

Progress of Rail in Canada

Most recent report by President and CEO Railway Association of Canada


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Impact of Booming Hybrid & Electric Car Market?

Will we be prepared for these changes in urban areas?

As reported in a spate of international articles, including Time, on the former software executive, Shai Agassi, and his company, Better Place has signed deals with governments in Israel, Denmark, Australia, California, Hawaii and Canada to build a web of electric car charging and battery replacement stations.  "Momentum behind electric vehicles continues to accelerate worldwide, as Ontario conducts a comprehensive study of financial incentives for consumers who buy electric cars and other ways to speed their introduction and adoption in Canada."

Read the article which predicts that transformation on our highways and in our cities,  and check all links;

It is a fascinating story; then, consider the fact that, unless we do something soon to improve urban mass transit facilities, we will still have "cleaner" cars clogging the access and exit routes of our cities.  Surely the only change in urban planning should be the provision of parking and "Better Place" servicing at our major transit stations on the outskirts of "downtown"!  Please help us to achieve that objective for Victoria.


Edison2 car sets new EPA fuel economy record at 350 MPGe


Build your own upgrade of a small gasoline car to all electric?  You can do it !!  Click here to see how a Pratt & Whitney Canada technician did it!!   Now, he says:

"For those who want to get familiar with the EV community, including bikes, this Web site is a must:

Don't look for my car there though; I'm presently converting my batteries from lead to LiFePo4(Litihium Ion Phosphate).  I'll join that site when my autonomy will be an honest and true 60 km."

"You can reach me at"....

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