Light Rail

Letter: Durand Neighbourhood Association Supports Light Rail

By Letter to the Editor
Published July 12, 2011

July 12, 2011
Mayor Bob Bratina
and Members of City Council
Hamilton City Hall
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON
L8P 4Y5

Dear Sirs/Mesdames:

RE: Light Rail Transit (LRT)

We write to reiterate our unwavering support for LRT in the city of Hamilton and to strongly encourage you to champion LRT in the city.

As you are aware, LRT is a proven catalyst to economic development and growth. It reduces the use of single-occupancy vehicles and increases the use of public transit. LRT has a proven record of increasing ridership, averages more passengers per vehicle than a bus, is more handicapped accessible, and offers a quieter, smoother ride.

LRT would directly benefit the core, urban neighbourhoods and all of Hamilton by replacing polluting, noisy buses that crowd our streets, help to concentrate economic development downtown, increase business assessments to help reduce the residential tax-burden, and speed up travel to downtown and other areas of the city.

The province granted $3 million for the study of the LRT line from Eastgate to McMaster University precisely because it is the only sensible choice for the first LRT line. It is the most highly travelled route by car and bus (the B-line) and the ridership already exists on that route. There are many options for intensification apart from demolishing homes.

The city has a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive 100% of direct capital costs from higher government. That money will be given to another city if Hamilton's LRT project is not approved. The cost to Hamilton taxpayers in the short term will allow us to reap the proven economic development benefits of the LRT in the longer term. The majority of the city's costs will largely be streetscape improvements which are desperately needed in any event.

Thank you for your considered attention.

Yours truly,

Roberta Harman, President
Durand Neighbourhood Association

cc. Neighbourhood Associations;
Jill Stephen, City of Hamilton

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted July 12, 2011 at 14:55:33

The city has a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive 100% of direct capital costs from higher government.

We've been offered 100% capital costs?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 12, 2011 at 14:59:25 in reply to Comment 66065

Metrolinx has said all along that if the plan is approved, the Province will cover 100% of the basic capital cost. Anything over and beyond that, like upgraded stations, will be borne by the city.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-07-12 15:00:46

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 12, 2011 at 15:16:53 in reply to Comment 66066

So the whole business of laying track and platforms and buying trains and everything - that will be covered by the province?

I'm going to use a word that we're not supposed to use, because it's hurtful to people with a legitimate medical condition...

... but is the mayor freaking retarded?

Seriously? The whole justification for the goddamned stadium debacle was that there was money on the table if we wanted it. Now we've got an even bigger sum of money on the table for something useful and we're saying "y'know, the developers aren't interested".

Seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 12, 2011 at 15:32:32 in reply to Comment 66068

If there's a devil, it will be in the details. Right now City and Metrolinx staff are going through the capital costs line-by-line to determine whether each item falls under the tent of necessary costs. The Province might push back and argue that, say, a particular road resurfacing might not qualify if the City was already planning to do it.

The other big uncertainty, of course, is whether the Province actually commits to fund it, and if so, how soon that funding will be available.

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