Green Party calls for common ground on high speed rail
SIDNEY, B.C. - The Green Party of Canada has released its second policy proposal in its challenge to all parties to go positive and find common ground in an effort to keep voters engaged.
“We are calling on all parties to agree that Canada will benefit environmentally, socially and economically from investing in high-speed rail on major corridors across the country. Fewer voters will stay at home on election day because they feel disgusted with the whole political process if we can show them some cooperation between parties,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.
The Green Party is proposing a national project to establish separate high-speed rail lines on the Windsor-Quebec and Calgary-Edmonton corridors, as well on the Halifax-Sydney and Regina-Saskatoon routes. These lines will as much as halve the travel time between major centres. With downtown-to-downtown service and no airport security delays, it will make taking the train faster and easier than flying.
“For example, high speed rail would cut travel time between Calgary and Edmonton by as much as fifty minutes compared to driving – to a busy family trying to fit everything into the day, fifty minutes is a lot,” said May. “Not only would the development of high speed rail infrastructure create jobs, but with the average Albertan spending 13% of their total household budget on transportation, it would provide commuters significant savings.”
According to Calgary-Edmonton High Speed Rail Pre-Feasibility Study, the average number of vehicles per family is 1.66 and the average distance traveled is 18,900 km per year, with an average vehicle operating cost of 25 cents per km. Given these costs, a high speed rail line could save a family up to $4000 per year.
“I believe we can all agree the benefits of high speed rail links would be significant for both regional and national economies,” said May. “Building the necessary infrastructure will create jobs. Separating freight from passenger rail traffic will allow both to move faster and cheaper, enhancing Canada’s economic competitiveness. And better rail service will take cars off the roads and reduce air travel between major cities, reducing our national greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our highways.”
“High speed rail on major corridors in Canada. I think it’s an idea where all parties can find common ground and agree,” said May.
The statement is on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ckm-otj7UU
Saanich-Gulf Islands Communications Director
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