Comment 124294

By cyberfarer (registered) | Posted November 16, 2018 at 13:37:08

I think this article, while insightful, misses the essential argument for eliminating area ratings for transit. It is not specifically about expanding transit to suburbs, although that would be a benefit, but expanding service at all.

For example, CATCH Hamilton reported that Rymal Road service was not increased because Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson objected that a more frequent service would increase the property taxes of his constituents. That is the impact of Area Ratings. It stunts ALL transit expansion outside of the non-Area Rated wards and that includes services that cross into those wards. Area Ratings also place an unfair tax burden on pre-amalgamation Hamilton ratepayers.

The costs of expanding the BLAST network, for example, would fall disproportionately upon those wards. On top of that, though, councillors who routinely pay lip service to public transit may actively oppose implementing BLAST if it means higher taxes for their residents.

Eliminating area ratings may not be a panacea, but it is necessary for transit to be viable in Hamilton.

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