Target drivers, not crossing

Editor:

Re: Victoria offers vision for tunnel, March 13

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Five George Massey Tunnel options are to be considered. One is a minor upgrade and four are massive capital projects. There should also be a sixth option.

The tunnel handles about 80,000 vehicles per day of which 77 per cent are single-occupant cars.

Assuming each single-occupant car goes through the tunnel twice each day, congestion is arguably caused by only about 30,000 drivers.

Could these drivers be induced to car pool or ride a bus? What if half of them did?

Tunnel congestion would be greatly relieved and we could save perhaps $3 billion that a new crossing might cost.

TransLink operates busses through the tunnel. They comprise about one per cent of rush hour tunnel traffic, but carry up to 26 per cent of people travelling through the tunnel. TransLink also encourages and facilitates carpooling.

There are park and ride lots in Tsawwassen, Ladner, and South Surrey that provide 75, 200 and 481 spaces, respectively. Of these, only 13 spaces are reserved for priority carpools. Obviously, more is needed to get drivers out of single-occupant cars.

Three billion dollars! Think about it. That's $100,000 per single-occupant car! For an insignificant fraction of that sum couldn't the Ministry of Transportation and/or TransLink provide strong and effective financial or other incentives to entice people onto busses and into carpools?

I believe they should at least try.

Ed Ries

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