Comment 56287

By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 23:00:34

I find it very interesting that public transportation is frequently instructed to seek public-private partnerships to secure sufficient funding for expansions or new projects. How often do we demand private investment into new roads? Why should our public transportation system be denied public monies when our system which caters to the private automobile is not questioned as often?

This is a blanket statement and subject to accurate criticism/correction if it exists.

I also have wondered lately what the standard for success/effectiveness of a public transportation project or system is to all of those who are anti-spending. In the case of LRT along the B-Line, it has the potential to be used by a sizable proportion of the city's population, even in the narrowist view which would suggest that only lower city residents would use it. Is a transportation system with the potential to reach 1/5th to 2/5th of the city population a bad investment? No one could reasonably assume that all 500,000+ residents of Hamilton would use the LRT even once per year. However by the same token not all city residents use the Red Hill Expressway. Where is the line of acceptable use to justify the expenditure?

In a similar vein, what would we classify as successful ridership? And in what terms? Just passenger counts, or perhaps by vehicle counts along the corridor? If, in a modest scenario, Hamilton sees a decrease of 1% of vehicles travelling along the LRT corridor when it begins service. That percentage reduction would be equivalent to hundreds of fewer vehicle trips. That may seem insignificant but from a transportation engineering perspective it means a big difference in the network.

I ask these questions in an (perhaps vain) attempt to quantify the transportation side of the debate and get away from emotional arguments. The development and property value side I will leave to those with greater expertise.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-13 23:01:09

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