Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2010/ Rally for Rails

Rally for Rails

So the Wonderful Waterloo people are holding a Rally for Rails to support Light Rail Transit in Waterloo Region. The rally will be held on Sunday December 5 from 12pm-1pm at Waterloo Town Square.

I plan to attend. I like the Wonderful Waterloo people -- they did more than anybody to raise awareness around the municipal elections, for one thing -- and my gut supports light rail even as my brain remains ambivalent.

I can say this much without hesitation: light rail captures the public imagination here. As I wrote in a previous entry, the "environmental assessment" meetings around rapid transit were packed. Rapid transit remains a favourite topic of our local newspaper (which may be why it stays in the public imagination). Overall, people like trains -- trains and planes are the only forms of mass transit middle-class people take voluntarily. Discussions around light rail dominated this municipal election campaign, even for races for which mass transit was out of jurisdiction.

There is no question that light rail would be expensive, and no question that the proposal put forth by the rapid transit committee was two-faced and infuriating. But the rapid transit issue is not resolved in this region, and it does not deserve to fade from public consciousness. Maybe that is reason enough to attend this rally.