Comment 123873

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted October 03, 2018 at 13:07:53

I realize that these comments come during an election campaign and that I don't even live in Hamilton. I also know that one wannabee city council candidate doesn't necessarily speak for a whole city. That being said, with a provincial government that doesn't necessarily share the same enthusiasm for LRT as the previous Liberal government and worrying sounds that provincial funding for future lines will most likely be, let's say, a lot less bountiful, it's most annoying to read so many Hamiltonians don't feel that LRT is the way to go.

Especially, after 10 years of hard but successful lobbying and planning, a rather vocal minority wants to derail the entire process just as construction is ready to begin. Most of all, you got all the money for the project and don't have to contribute the customary 33% of the capital costs. Will there be costs on Hamilton's budget because of the LRT? Yes, but considerably less costs to have to absorb than what the citizens of Waterloo and here in Ottawa have!

There's no nice way of saying it, these anti-LRT people in Hamilton are misinformed at best and at the worst, are flat out lying about LRT. I'm a trained professional planner and have dealt with this type of resistance to transportation projects before. Again, even though I don't live in Hamilton, these people are now pissing me off!

Here in Ottawa Stage 1 of the Confederation Line will hopefully open to the public (late) sometime in the early winter of 2019. Certain elements of Stage 2 are already under construction and will hopefully lead to three extensions (1 to the Trillium Line and 2 to the Confederation Line) being opened to the public in 3 separate phases in 2021, 2022 and 2023-24. The total for Stages 1 & 2 is around $5.1 Billion plus an extra $300 million of related city projects, so $5.4 Billion.

The city's share of this is a staggering $1.9 Billion. It's been painful and not everyone was happy about it, to say the least! The reality is that, there are no planned large infrastructure projects payed for by the City of Ottawa until 2031, because of the LRT program.

We are now planning for Stages 3 & 4. There is no set budget and Ottawa will need a lot of help post 2023-24 to keep building LRT. I have been told by a spy of mine that various Stage 3 LRT projects are almost ready for the Transit EA process.

To the anti-LRT people in Hamilton, you are dreaming if you think this Conservative provincial government will just keep $1 Billion plus in an account waiting for you to spend, while you decide what you want to do. I'm being nice when I say you are politically naive and extremely uninformed about what is good rapid transit. A decade of studies and planning have gone into what you simply dismiss as a poor choice. If you cancel LRT that Billion is gone! You won't see any of it. You are easily being duped by people who are not anti-LRT but anti-transit! International business and city planning experts the world over say LRT is the way to go. The days of wide suburban roads and low cost driving is over. The wealthy are moving back to the city, it's cheaper than living in far flung suburbs. As transportation costs increase in the coming years, the increase in land values downtown vs. the suburbs is showing off this new reality. It's cheaper for large companies to be attached to rapid transit stations than paying for enormously expensive to maintain parking lots in suburban office parks.

If you really don't want LRT in Hamilton, we here in Ottawa have a proposal for you. We want LRT and have been putting our money were are collective mouths are for years now! So we will just take your Billion in LRT funding match it to new federal funding and we'll happily build more LRT and yes, even more BRT. You guys won't have to worry about LRT sullying the City of Hamilton. With Ford in power, you will get nothing, not LRT or BRT funding. The time for whining about LRT is over make up your freaking minds!

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