Results of a recent survey done by the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) suggest there is significant support for the return of passenger rail to Vancouver Island. The survey found over 80 per cent of respondents agree or strongly agree with revitalizing and modernizing the rail system.
“The tremendous response underscores the importance of this issue for our communities. The results should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the people of Vancouver Island want to see rail service restored,” said Larry Stevenson, CEO of the ICF.
The survey was available on the ICF’s website and promoted via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter between Sept. 18 and Sept. 26.
There were 2,979 respondents who supplied a postal code for regions adjacent to the rail corridor; an additional 754 responses were not included in the results because they gave postal codes outside the designated area.
Support was strongest in Victoria, where 86 per cent were in favour, followed by Port Alberni at 80 per cent. Slightly more than three quarters of respondents from Nanaimo said they were in favour of bringing back passenger rail.
Just under 80 per cent of those surveyed believed a rail system would be financially viable on Vancouver Island. The B.C. Ministry of Transportation (MoTI) estimated the cost of returning passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay at between $326 and 728 million when they completed an assessment earlier this year.
The survey was developed by Webstation Global Business Solutions on behalf of the ICF, according to the foundation’s website.