Light Rail

LRT on Bill Kelly Show

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 07, 2014

Yesterday morning, I spoke with Bill Kelly on AM 900 CHML about the City's latest Light Rail Transit (LRT) brouhaha, spurred by Mayor Bob Bratina's recent blog post about a proposal to run LRT on the city's recreational rail trails.

You can listen to the 16-minute audio recording on Soundcloud:

A transcript will be forthcoming.

On the CHML Audio Vault, you can also listen to Kelly's subsequent interview with Mayor Bratina (select March 6, 9:00 AM, interview starts at 35:20). That segment doesn't seem to be hosted in an embeddable format.

Big thanks to Bill Kelly and CHML for the opportunity to discuss this important issue.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus and HuffPost. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

23 Comments

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By grahamm (registered) | Posted March 07, 2014 at 11:53:11

The gymnastics of his language to ensure 'truthiness' is astounding. I'm beginning to think he should just state his actual position so at least he can make sense when he speaks on the topic. Then council could empower a councillor who actually supported LRT when they voted for LRT (unanimously, I believe) and we would be able to move past these ridiculous antics.

Comment edited by grahamm on 2014-03-07 11:53:52

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 07, 2014 at 12:04:47

You did a heck of a job, Ryan. I'm also surprised that Bill did seem well-versed in the subject matter - I mean, he's got the friendly-interviewer knack for softballing everybody on his show and seems to be a chameleon with his political viewpoints, but it sounds like he'd done his homework and followed the Murray talk and at least some of the research.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 07, 2014 at 12:06:45

Well no wonder he can't be a champion for LRT. He's been quite busy clearing up one of the biggest questions Hamiltonians have been asking for years. I can sleep easier tonight knowing that:

as far as I understand we're a little different from, uh, from Russia

And, it's sure nice to put this age old head-scratcher to rest:

who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted March 07, 2014 at 12:54:27 in reply to Comment 98296

i laughed so hard i cried!

then i actually cried because this is real life and not a stoner comedy movie

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 07, 2014 at 14:14:26 in reply to Comment 98298

but it could be

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted March 07, 2014 at 12:32:20

Ryan, I am now serious about the need to have someone like you in public office. Your patience and demeanour is exemplary. You were on target and did not fall for Bill's masterful verbal gymnastics of sowing FUD while appearing to be fair. Very good work. How about RTH on cfmu?

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted March 07, 2014 at 13:52:04

I'm listening to the Bratina interview and he seems to view this as some sort of personal battle between him and "a certain faction and their blog" (presumably referring to this website).

He clearly does not understand that 1. contributors, commenters and readers of this website are citizens of Hamilton, not an organized group pushing any sort of "agenda". And 2. we are all on the same side here: the side of Hamilton.

Those who are pushing LRT information out are doing so because they love hamilton, not because they hate the mayor. He needs to stop taking it personally.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 14, 2014 at 23:52:54 in reply to Comment 98300

He clearly does not understand that 1. contributors, commenters and readers of this website are citizens of Hamilton, not an organized group pushing any sort of "agenda". And 2. we are all on the same side here: the side of Hamilton.

LOL. All this site does is push an agenda. Anti-car, pro-LRT, get rid of one way streets, bike lanes everywhere, and so on.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted March 15, 2014 at 14:37:14 in reply to Comment 98455

So safe streets = anti car. Got it.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 15, 2014 at 23:05:28 in reply to Comment 98475

Not at all. Safe streets does not equal anti-car. The "complete streets" myth is, as is the LRT, bus-only lanes, 2-way, etc.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's broken.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted March 16, 2014 at 09:34:13 in reply to Comment 98481

Again; so safe streets = anti car. Still got it.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 17, 2014 at 20:39:57 in reply to Comment 98489

No, your view appears to be the only way to safe streets is through the 'complete streets' myth.

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By HamiltonBrian (registered) | Posted March 07, 2014 at 14:16:49

I would hope that if I were ever contacted to commit to a public speaking event, or interview, that I could manage to communicate without all the "ums" and pauses. Each pause seems to send his train of thought, such that it is, somewhere else. Or maybe he really is that much of a master of obfuscation.

Comment edited by HamiltonBrian on 2014-03-07 14:17:27

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted March 09, 2014 at 10:11:41

Does anyone know what the operating costs are for the proposed 14 kilometer LRT line would be? What would the fare be, same as the bus, $2.55?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted March 10, 2014 at 09:29:40 in reply to Comment 98322

They would be less than the cost of operating a proposed 14 kilometre BRT. This is because BRT carries fewer passengers per vehicle, and therefore requires more vehicles and, most importantly to operating costs - more drivers. Drivers are the biggest operating cost of any transit line.

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By MAW MEE (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2014 at 19:39:39 in reply to Comment 98322

Don't you have anything better to do than ask stupid questions that nobody knows the answers to?

Why don't you do your own research instead of asking other people to do it for you? Oh because you don't actually WANT the information, you just want to waste everyone else's time. You are a classic time bandit.

Just shut up.

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:11:08

I found out the operating cost will be about $16 million per year. Why the snark?

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By because you are a time waster (anonymous) | Posted March 12, 2014 at 13:07:35

i'm glad you learned how to do your own research, now take that new skill and write comments that contribute to the discussion rather than inane questions that make other people spin their wheels for you

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted March 13, 2014 at 09:45:03

I also found out the operating costs will be area rated to the downtown wards LRT will serve. My original question was not inane, I thought RTH people were well informed and up to speed. Sorry I asked.

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By cool (anonymous) | Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:00:30 in reply to Comment 98405

apology accepted

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