VIA Train from Melville to Winnipeg

VIA is advertising a $15 child fare. That’s for kids under 12 years of age.

Still, it’s $516.60 to go to Winnipeg for four days with the family of four, from Melville, SK (the closest train station to Regina). We’d have to rent or borrow a car to get there. They promise nothing regarding the departure time (or the arrival time).

I’d have to leave on days the train goes through, not days desired by work schedules.

Renting a car to go from Regina to Winnipeg can cost as little as $17/day, plus gas. Obviously the hour long drive to Melville would be better directed to Winnipeg which is only 5 hours away, and people skip the train option altogether.

It’s remained disappointing that the Liberal government has done nothing to make train travel less of a joke in our country. Now, we can’t even take a bus to Winnipeg.

WestJet flights for the same days as the VIA trip outlined above are $2,348.84. That includes: Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) $57.00 & an Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) of $180.00. Selecting a seat sale in September, that can be as low as $1,122.44.

 

Transportation Not Meeting Demand

It’s been kind of a bad year for transportation in Saskatchewan. Aside from the potential Supercharger for Swift Current, there haven’t been many tangible bright spots for Saskatchewan.

  • Premier Wall rejects the carbon tax plan to reduce emissions
  • SGI says they’re not considering a rebate on Zero Emission Vehicles, as they once had 5 years ago until Minister McMillian of SGI (now President McMillian of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Procurers) cancelled the rebate. Gee, no bad optics there, right? Just an oil industry lobbyist directly encouraging people to buy trucks over EV or hybrid vehicles.
  • The SaskParty closed and sold off the STC Crown, with no replacement for bus service apparently in mind. As a result, there’s no bus service between Saskatoon and Regina! I emailed a company reported in the news as seeking to offer service, and they replied:

    We have not been approved for scheduled passenger service yet

    Sincerely
    Mitch Blyth
    General Manager
    Carpe Diem Group featuring our new Land Jet mobile office division.
    Regina, Saskatoon & Yorkton Sk.
    []531-9626

  • Cumberland House still doesn’t have sufficient transportation to/from it.
  • Via Rail offered unlimited $150 passes and travel in July to youth under 25, then only to 1867 youth, then several thousand, but stopped before demand was satisfied, and failed to offer the pass for additional months, or add additional train service to meet the obvious demand. Saskatchewan only has Via service to 2 cities, Saskatoon and Melville. Regina, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current are left out even though they are on the Trans-Canada as is Calgary in Alberta.

Considering I was hoping a passenger rail line between Saskatoon and Regina could one day be built, it’s especially appalling that the government has ended bus service between the major cities this year.

So what can one person do? I attended the large rally at STC headquarters in March. I’ve pushed on City Council several times encouraging them to have Regina Transit buy STC resources and operate it on profitable routes as a money maker for the City, while providing a valuable service the province has abdicated itself from.

#OldNews about Alcohol and Planes

Roughly, it says:
“Alcohol makes lumps. Whoever is not satisfied, can see it in this photo, which was acquired last night after a driver who was under the influence of liquor, first drove to the gate of the High Sluis and then ended up at the motor line 7. The driver himself was a lucky escape, but one occupant and the tram driver were slightly injured.”

Alcohol maakt brokken. Wie daar nog niet van overtuigd is, kan het op deze foto zien, die genomen werd nadat gisteravond een autobestuurder, die onder invloed van sterke drank verkeerde, eerst tegen het hek van de Hoge Sluis reed en daarna terechtkwam tegen de motorwagen van lijn 7. De bestuurder zelf kwam met de schrik vrij, doch een inzittende en de bestuurder van de tram werden licht gewond.

Laying Down A Deadly Bluff

For ages now Canadians have been conditioned to accept that we “need” more pipelines to move more oil. Otherwise we’ll continue to exhaust train crews and have bombtrains in every town.

Now it slips out that the plan is for oil to grow even though we need to #LeaveItInTheGround to have a chance at not exceeding our atmosphere’s “carbon budget” which determines if climate change causes mass flooding and extinctions. This will happen during our lifetimes, if we don’t build the alternative transportation systems now.

Solar All Over California

Train station

Pawn shop

On our Amtrak trip through southern and central California, I watched the dry and irrigated fields fly by me at 133km/h. We stopped for the night in Bakersfield (the most conservative city in America, some figures show), and it was 41 degrees even with the sun down. The cement around the pool at night warmed my feet as if the hot sun was beating down on it only a moment earlier.

Large #solar farm north of Wasco CA
This large solar farm appears to be the one mentioned in this story about a Hanford Dairy.

Bridge and plane

"PALM BARF" in L.A.

Oil in L.A.
Los Angeles oil production. You can see how dry it is there.

2015-08-21_07-05-25

Hills covered with wind turbines north of Oakland.
Hills filled with wind turbines in California

Metal tends to rust near the ocean:
Rusty beach cruiser