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Doing the math on LRT operating and maintenance costs

Doing the math on LRT operating and maintenance costs

In approving by a 9-6 vote allowing staff to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with Metrolinx regarding the LRT project, Hamilton councillors raised some interesting issues regarding the operating and maintenance costs.

Staff had produced a report predicting that the gross cost of the operating and maintenance agreement would be the $20 Million figure that Metrolinx had suggested when representatives appeared before council earlier this month. To lower the costs, the staff report factored in savings that could be captured by taking 23 buses out of service. Assuming an overall 8 percent increase in ridership as a result of LRT, that would reduce the O&M cost to $6.4 Million.

What appeared to emerge from the discussion, was that at the same time as the city would save money by cutting buses, it would nonetheless continue to invest in the 10-year transit strategy which calls for increased service elsewhere in the system. The 10-year plan was recently reinstated after a one-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic. It calls for $9 million in additional transit spending in the current year, plus another $11 Million in what is described as “un-funded capital.”

Earlier, Amalgamated Transit Union President Eric Tuck and Anthony Marco of the Hamilton and District Labour Council had warned against any measure that would result in the displacement of drivers, reminding councillors that such displacement might be contrary to the collective agreement. Tuck also questioned the LRT project overall suggesting that it would not serve all of the city and that it would exacerbate the housing affordability issues in Hamilton.

Transit staff not able to provide answers to a number of questions about what bus service would look like in the lower city-once LRT was in place, suggesting the work on that issue will only begin now. Throughout the 12-year LRT journey, HSR have been  pointedly left out of the discussion, a reflection of a  pair of reports produced by former transit directors Don Hill and his successor David Dixon, both recommending significant upgrades to the existing bus system as a precursor to any discussion of higher-order transit.

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  • This is a dirty deal and so many are left with no housing, no hope. The homeless population will grow. because like people like myself ODSP does not keep pace. This is a human tragedy happening.

    This is not democracy, .

  • Your right Mike.Due to Covid many are working at home and if that continues ridership numbers will be Down .A real slap in the face to HSR sad the bread winner will lose his or her job.The other important issue is the LRT is a private operation.The Hamilton tax payer will have No Say in its operations.Much has to change in this city.Next election the mayor and some councillors have to go.Far to many scandals to ignore.Mayor Fred always spins a positive message but leaves out how Bad KW and Ottawa are operating.It won’t take long to see this was a mistake.

  • This poem that , comes to mind, The Masque of Anarchy, which commemorates the Peterloo Massacre in Manchestet, England on August 16, 1819, by Percy Shelly

    People gathered peacefully over lack of representation, the elite gave the order to the calvary to charge with Sabres swinging. The peasants have no right to gather.

    Last verse
    Rise like lions after slumber
    In unvanqyished number
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you
    Ye are many, they are few

  • Truth not always there.Silence on KW and Ottawa LRT problems.Silence is other tool example Sewergate council keeped silent on the leak of raw sewage.Thats just one of a number of scandals.TRUST JUST NOT THEIR.

  • On Twitter today, only Dr Ameil Joseph posted words on the ongoing evictions of the homeless tents He named it as it is, a gross injustice.. Like Mr Best said today on Bill Kelly show there is a difference between social and affordable housing. And people have to understand that even the language affordable housing is not affordable for those in the working class. Mr Best’s opinion is that they are purposely creating an underclass.

    Meanwhile others on Twitter are popping champagne corks without any thought or care to the growing inhumanity in our streets. Social housing is not being built or if it is like the area on James N, the number of units does not address the crisis. 46 out 440, it 10% meanwhile thousands are on wait lists and those lists are growing by each day.

    Fengate administers City Housing, yet has it fingers in the consortium. It really is a cabal, authoritarian capitalism or if you like fascism.

    Our elected leaders are suppose to watch and provide for all yet at all levels, every party shows they have their own self interests and definitely they have all contributed to the growing inhumanity of homelessness.

    Canada has no national housing strategy and focuses on things like shelters which are not healthy. It matters not reports about social determinates of health when they are all contributing to the growing inhumanity.

    Remember the poor houses of the Victorian era, same thing as the shelter health clinic network that does nothing but to erode people’s physical, mental and emotional health, as too many working in these fields blame the individuals and not the system our elected leaders have created.

    Even Dr Tim O’Shea wrote on Twitter anger should not be directed at the homeless living in tents, neighbors should be directing their angst at the elected leaders. Neighbors should be doing what they can to assist others and stop just looking at things from their bubble of privilege.

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