Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lanes not Trains

Several years ago the Province of British Columbia missed an important opportunity to promote sustainable transportation when they rejected plans for improved passenger train service along the Whistler / Vancouver corridor and cancelled the existing passenger train service. Instead they invested huge sums in widening the highway along the same route in anticipation of the Olympics.

Now it has come to light that VANOC (the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee) shares the same preference for higher emission transportation.  VANOC was offered the use of passenger trains for the use during the Olympic period but opted not to use them.

Although the difference in ghg emissions between the buses that VANOC will use and train is not that significant, the infrastructure implications are much greater.   If VANOC has chose to use trains it would have sent important signal about sustainable transportation.  And it would have removed part of the justification for a highway expansions project that will leave a huge legacy of increased green house gas emissions.

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