Opinion: BC Transit will be hard pressed to reject rail now

With both Victoria and Saanich councils coming out so strongly in favour of LRT along Douglas, I think BC Transit will find itself hardpressed to reject rail. It is pretty clear that senior BC Transit staff figure that Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, is a better short-term bet, given the realities of provincial funding, but if they do decide on bus, they are going to have to explain themselves to hostile councils, wondering why their wishes were completely ignored.

Of course, the political calculus may change . There is a great deal of political instability at the provincial level, a minority government in Ottawa that may fall in the spring, and the upcoming Nov 2011 municipal election. So by the time that BC Transit goes cap-in-hand for funding, they may be talking to three completely different governments. May we live in interesting times indeed.

If you want to take a look at how all the various options might look, BC Transit has a very nice set of [download id=”5″ format=”1″]