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Sorting through the math on Hamilton LRT

Sorting through the math on Hamilton LRT

As expected, by the same 9-6 margin as was the case at last week’s GIC meeting, Hamilton city council has authorized staff to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Metrolinx that will move the Hamilton LRT project another step closer to realization. This will be the second MOU the city has negotiated with Metrolinx in the journey that began in 2007. It’s a four-part resolution, three of which are largely aspirational. One part of the resolution recommends approval of a scenario which “anticipates a system-wide 8% ridership increase after the Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) is operating and a reduction of 29 buses in the LRT area, which will result in a net operating and maintenance cost of $6.4 million annually for the LRT,”

Nobody at this stage can anticipate whether an 8 percent increase in traffic will ensue, especially since staff have indicated they have no idea what the ridership impact will be when LRT displaces several bus routes already serving the corridor. Also, claiming a saving achieved by taking 29 buses out of service, would only work, if the decision is to permanently reduce the Bus fleet by that amount. But at last week’s GIC meeting staff pointed out that the city is committed to increasing bus hours elsewhere in the city by an amount greater than the supposed savings from cancelling buses from the LRT corridor. The best guess of the operating and Maintenance cost to the Hamilton taxpayer is still the full $20 Million annually estimated by Metrolinx, possibly even more, depending on any increase in bus hours of service that will be added over and above the displaced buses.

The motion also makes the suggestion that a future council scrap the downtown Hamilton CIPA development charge (DC) exemption which would find another $8 Million to apply against the LRT costs. However, a staff report strongly recommended against that move, saying the downtown economy is still fragile enough that the support is needed. Councilors who voted for LRT as a way of supporting downtown development, would likely find themselves up against the same development community, who will not want to see the subsidies reduced, LRT or no LRT.

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  • Well Mr Best, this project has been rammed thru yet the people of hamilton never got a chance for a referendum.

    You are correct that the amendment brought forward last meeting by Clr Ferguson, will not get approval period. Thus the claim of all these monies rolling in is a sham.

    The developers win and the people lose. A gentrification process will begin and many small businesses who have struggled thru pandemic, will not survive construction.

    I think about the bus that goes into university which currently gets people close to classes, LRT, people will have to walk, just like certain bus routes that go into neighborhoods, people will have to walk to LRT and then walk further to a stop. Not helpful or conducive for seniors or people with disabilities.

    Job creation, I highly doubt it as much of the work is skilled trades which are not suffering.

    If the voters are not paying attention to the truth that lack of representation has occurred, then the people have lost.

    Are they going to be building gulags to place all those of the underclass who can no longer affordable the housing that will not be affordable???

    Questions, questions, queztions

  • The common Factor here is the lack of truth.Facts hidden.No open book process’.This is what you get when the lack of TRUST in the mayor and council from past scandals.THAT HAS NOT CHANGED.Why do we have infrastuture Ontario on the LRT plan when the THF fiasco has not been settled? It’s disgusting to reward those who screwed the city.

  • Good day Ian, hope you are well.

    How can we trust when ideals like honesty, accountability, transparency are words that are thrown around opposed to being put into practice.

    One does have to have a level of black humor and laugh at the inane situation at all levels of government.

    I was listening to The Shift and the host Shane Hewitt had a guest how talked about little houses and that new technology has allowed for a very small houses with services such as bathrooms. The estimated purchase price would be around $25,000 which if one got a mortgage it would be affordable for low income people. Now of course it does not include the land where house could be set on. I just thought of the possibilities.

    I have concerns of the group, Stop the Sprawl. I’m not an advocate to keep taking farm land for track housing yet I’m not an advocate for the for profit driven developers who build housing that excludes one third of the population.

    I feel that this group stop the sprawl has excluded many who are low income. One could surmise they are in the arms of the developers and as middle to upper middle members have silenced low income voices. I’d like to know where executive director of environment hamilton resides? Is this person in the suburbs, protecting their own piece of land?? Just a question.

    It is all very messy.

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