If things go as planned, the region could see the return of a commuter rail service that will operate between Langford and Victoria West.
The province has announced they are looking at formulating a business plan to get the E&N rail line running between Langford and Victoria West.
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, made the announcement Thursday morning in front of a media group at Esquimalt station.
“There has been strong community support for establishing a commuter service from the West Shore,” Stone said in a press release.
Stone also added, “If feasible, transit service along the E&N corridor from the West Shore would complement the investments we’re making in transit infrastructure in Greater Victoria, including a $10 million extension to the Douglas Street northbound bus lane, from Tolmie Avenue to the McKenzie interchange project, and the investment in the McKenzie interchange project itself, to address traffic congestion in the region.”
The proposal includes transit service on the 15-kilometre stretch between Westhills in Langford and Victoria West. The proposal centres on how quickly the population is growing in the region and how the population growth is continuing to cause congestion.
Stone emphasized that a business plan needs be put together to see if the project is feasible and how much it will cost. They’re hoping a plan will be ready for review in July, in accordance with Canada’s 150th birthday.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, Langford Mayor Stew Young and other members of the CRD where in attendance for the announcement.
Langford Mayor Stew Young told the group of reporters that “the highway is full and this one [Rail] is empty.” Young added, “The missing link in this whole thing, to move the commuter train forward, on this corridor, is the provincial government. This is the first time we’ve actually had the provincial government here saying you know what, we like the idea.”