Home News Creating a rail system should be considered in the upcoming budget
The plans to establish new highways and bridges for automobile usage in the upcoming budget is a sign of a healthy ambition in our new Administration.
The economic reality before us does provide much insight into the shift occurring globally in more developed nations across Europe and Asia. For the movement of goods and people, it has been shown that the railway is a much more economically feasible option over the long term, when compared to the road system. It allows for agriculture, manufacturing, and other productive-sector development, while also providing a less expensive means of transportation for citizens and visitors to those nations. The lower impact on the climate due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions is also very significant, and should be incorporated into our Green State Development Strategy.
The year 2025 is not far off, and the President-elect of the USA plans to reaffirm that country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. That would re-energise the global community’s efforts to accomplish the near-term climate change goals. We, as a nation, must also do our part, and raise the bar on our internal expectations.
The current Administration would benefit from taking a closer look at installing a rail system that connects our regions and towns. In the interim, a national transport system that also incorporates an improved ferry infrastructure would help to reduce the overall cost while allowing for more ecotourism. The upkeep of such a national transportation system would cost less over the long term, and that system should be able to withstand the elements much better than a road network would in our tropical climate. The ravages of the rainy season over the years have shown the pitfalls and expenses associated with upkeep of the current roadways. The ongoing move to electric and autonomous automobiles would require very high standards and extremely reliable road and electricity networks. These are areas that Guyana has struggled with over the decades, and the rail system would allow us to bypass these issues while still achieving the reliability, dependability, comfort, and low energy consumption goals that the automotive industry is pursuing.
We must admit that the British had it correct the first time, and there is no shame in being able to reverse the errors of the past. If it were still in place today, our rail system would have been the second oldest in the world. Restoring our rail system to its former glory would re-establish its heritage, which we can leverage in our tourism sector. This would also hold true in the case of an expansion of the system, as is being proposed.
Our farmers, workers and the economy would thank the Parliament if such a transportation system were put in place. The roads would also become much safer and less congested. The tourism sector would have much more to offer in sightseeing, and the everyday commuters would have more money in their pockets as a result of the savings.
The economic multiplier from establishing a rail and train system and the increased employment this would generate would be substantial, as has been shown historically. It has always been a great catalyst to an economic boom. Overall, it is a much better and more reliable infrastructural development option than that of the automobile & road system.
I am looking forward to the presentation of the upcoming budget and the clarification brought about by a constructive debate of the projects associated with such infrastructural investment options. Each dollar spent must have the greatest positive long-term impact possible. We are on the cusp of building a sustainable and successful future for our nation.