Claim: no-one will ride the trains
• Fact: It is impossible to measure something that doesn’t currently exist.
• When asked which mode of transportation should be the highest transportation priority in Canada, 56 percent choose rail, which is more than 5 times any other means of transportation. Cars rank distant second at 11 per cent, followed by buses and planes at 10 percent each.
• Two thirds of Canadians (67 percent) agree with the statement that “rail transportation should be the highest transportation priority in Canada.”
• A full 85 percent of Canadians believe the government should invest to improve tracks for commuter and inter-city train travel.
• Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) would recommend jobs in the railway sector to their friends or family members.
Claim: High speed rail is less energy efficient than driving
• Fact: Trains are 3 times as energy efficient as cars and 6 times as efficient as planes on a per passenger mile basis.
• Adding passengers to a train is done “with virtually no additional energy use” while adding car travellers means more cars on the road, with their own additional costs and pollution.
• Passenger rail remains a strong component of the Canadian Rail sector and offers a set of societal benefits including decreased road congestion, fewer vehicle accidents and environmental advantages such as air quality improvement.
Claim: Canada does not have the population density to support high-speed rail
• Fact: The Canadian population is not evenly spread out. It is densely clustered around major metropolitan areas – areas where high-speed rail projects are emerging
• In 2013 commuter rail moved a record 70 million passengers in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec – the three provinces with commuter rail services. Commuter railways averaged 342 passengers per train with a record 288 million commuter passenger-miles in 2012.
Claim: People won’t be able to reach their final destination from the train station.
• Fact: Intermodal transportation has been proven to the most effective, efficient and environmentally friendly way to move people. This is also referred to as mixed mode commuting which involves using two or more modes of transportation in a journey.
• Rail can offer quick transit to an urban area where passengers can disembark and access an array of options for completing a trip.
• Most modes of transportation have always been intermodal; for example, to get to the airport people have always needed to drive or be driven or take public transport (if available).
• There has been a recent decrease in young driver licensing, the top 8 reasons for not having a license follows: (1) too busy, not enough time to get a driver’s license (2) owning and maintaining a vehicle is too expensive (3) able to get transportation from others (4) prefer to walk or bike (5) prefer to use public transportation (6) concerned about how driving impacts the environment (7) able to communicate and/or conduct business online instead (8) disability/medical/vision problems.
Claim: High-speed rail will require huge government subsidies
• Fact: over $926 Million taxpayer dollars will be spent on provincial highway maintenance and preservation in 2014
• Parks Canada entry fees for Banff National Park help subsidize highway maintenance and clean up.
Fact: Let’s not forget the external, social costs of business as usual
• The dominance of private motor vehicles also imposes legal and medical costs – during 2012 136,595 collisions were reported on Alberta roadways. Property damage collisions (over $2000) represented 89.7% (122466) of this total while 10.1% (13822) were non-fatal injury collisions. Fatal collisions accounted for 0.2% (307) of the total reported collisions in Alberta.
• The land occupied by highways is the source of an enormous conversion of land to low-value use.
Claim: There are no alternatives modes of transportation for commuters and adventure seekers reaching Banff.
Fact: This is true, and you can join us in making a change.