Special Report: Light Rail

LRT: Let's Reduce Trauma

The total cost of building the B-Line LRT is about equal to the financial cost of deaths, injuries and property damage caused by motor vehicle operators each and every year.

By Kevin Love
Published September 14, 2018

On September 13, 2018, Raise the Hammer published an article from Sean Hurley entitled, "LRT: Let's Reduce Taxes." Thank you, Sean, for this excellent argument. I will also point out that another major way that LRT will reduce taxes is by facilitating transportation mode shift away from our current car-dominated transportation system.

In our current transportation system, motor vehicle operators impose huge costs upon the people of Hamilton due to the deaths, injuries and property damage that they cause. We see from the City's Vision Zero web page that motor vehicle operators:

The average cost of motor vehicle crashes is $608 million each year in Hamilton.

In addition to this, motor vehicle operators poison and kill an average of 94 people per year in Hamilton for a cost of approximately $505 million. And not just in Hamilton! In the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) as a whole, motor vehicle operators poison and kill at least 712 people per year [PDF] for a whopping financial cost of $4.6 billion!

Serious multiple vehicle collision at the corner of King St W and Queen St N, the site of a B-Line LRT station (RTH file photo)
Serious multiple vehicle collision at the corner of King St W and Queen St N, the site of a B-Line LRT station (RTH file photo)

Returning to Hamilton, we see that the total cost of deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle operators killing and injuring people, as well as property damage in motor vehicle crashes, comes to an average of $1,013,000,000. Yes, that is the right number of zeros. Over a billion dollars each and every year.

In other words, the total cost of building the B-Line LRT is about equal to the financial cost of deaths, injuries and property damage caused by motor vehicle operators each and every year.

We can save up to a billion dollars each and every year by progressively shifting our transportation mode share away from car use and toward walking, cycling and public transit.

That is how to save tax money and reduce our taxes. Not to mention saving the lives of more than one hundred people each year who would otherwise be killed by motor vehicle operators in Hamilton.

The LRT is a key part of this shift, so Sean Hurley is doubly correct. LRT stands for Let's Reduce Taxes, and it also stands for Let's Reduce Trauma.

Kevin is a professional accountant and a retired infantry officer with the Canadian Forces. Kevin keeps encountering people who were students of his father, Dr. Robert Love, who was a professor at MacMaster University from 1977-2008. He lives near Durand Park in Hamilton and is currently Vice-Chair of the Hamilton Cycling Committee.

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By ImprovingTomorrow (registered) | Posted September 14, 2018 at 13:38:36

Transit is also a heck of a lot safer for people that ride it. If your goal is to get there safely, transit is ten times safer.

http://mobilitylab.org/2016/09/08/transi...

Here’s the full study for anyone that’s interested.

http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsand...

Comment edited by ImprovingTomorrow on 2018-09-14 13:39:18

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