Banff Alberta - Town of Banff officials met with Federal Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna two weeks ago to discuss vehicular congestion management in the townsite with a focus on how vehicles will impact both the town and the national park in 2017.
With the implementation of free national park passes for 2017 and large domestic and international marketing campaigns touting the beauty of Banff, there are fears that this summer will be one of the busiest on record in the town.
The meeting two weeks ago was an opportunity for Parks Canada and the Town of Banff to update the minister on the steps that have been taken for 2017, and Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said it opened the discussion for the possibility of mass transit between Banff and Lake Louise heading into 2018 and beyond.
Banff is also exploring the feasibility of re-instituting heavy rail passenger service between the Bow Valley and Calgary within the existing rail right-of-way.
Sorensen said that town officials told the minister of the need for re-instituting passenger rail transit from Calgary could be another opportunity for visitors to see the mountains, and acknowledged that Canadian Pacific would need to be a player in the discussions.
"It all stems back to needing to move away from private vehicles, and we're making large strides with transit, and we just feel rail could be another big opportunity for that," she said.
"It's just a dream. It's not a reality at this point, and so we're trying to at least keep that conversation open."
OKthePK Joint Bar Editor: Article abridged - non-rail related data removed.