2012-06-29

Time to Cancel Via and the CBC

Via Rail 6403 CBC Paint
With few exceptions, Via Rail is always more expensive than the bus. Via is also slower. Worse, passenger trains cause congestion on the heavily used rail network. Via is subsidized. Intercity bus travel isn't (and bus companies pay gas tax and, if they manage to make a profit, income tax).

If you have ever been stuck behind a slow moving clunker or an speed limit respecting intercity bus on a two lane highway, sending part of your gas tax to Via might make sense. But when was the last time that happened? We've four laned much of the country, with limited access to boot.

Time to drop Via from the federal budget.

Are Canadians not fat enough? Do they read too much? Do they not spend enough time listening to the radio in their cars? Why do we subsidize radio and TV? I'm a fan, and I probably get more out of the CBC-Radio-Canada than I pay in taxes. Still, I'm not sure I'd pay to watch Mr D or Artic Air...

Both the CBC and Via are comparatively small federal budget items. But if the priority is healthcare and education, they should go.

3 comments:

Scott @ Prog Blog said...

Sorry.. I respectfully disagree.. we should be adding more train service.. not less, and help get some of these cars off of the road. the government has cut in the past PROFITABLE rail service between cities.. which made absolutely no sense at all. Sorry.. but I respectfully think you're out to lunch on that point.


As for the CBC - its a national icon... I think a lot of people appreciate a public broadcaster.

Altavistagoogle said...

"Lunch" being the key word. I think it is immoral to take money from bugger flippers and sandwitch makers and spend it on passenger train travel. If only the upper middle class paid taxes, then sure, whatever. But that is not the case.

We didn't have to widen most of the eastern Transcanada highway, but we did. The Transcanada has plenty of vehicle capacity to spare, even more passenger capacity (bus). Via Rail is an unnecessary luxury with few, if any, social benefits. Increased bus use would make that mode of transportation even more convenient (by increasing the frequency of buses). There is a highway congestion problem entering and exiting major cities, but Via makes that worse by displacing passengers (Low speed suburban rail) and freight from the very congested Montreal and Toronto rail routes. Buses travel at similar speeds to other traffic. Intercity passenger trains are much faster than other trains, and therefore aggravate rail congestion.

The people who appreciate the public broadcaster can pay for it, just like people pay for AandE and HBO. You don't need to touch the taxes of the poor for that.

Altavistagoogle said...

That should be Burger flippers

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