Light Rail

City: Strong Public Support for Light Rail

By RTH Staff
Published May 09, 2008

The city's department of public works just issued a press release summarizing the two public information centres it held this week on the Rapid Transit Feasibility Study (RTFS).

According to Jillian Stephen, the public works manager in charge of the rapid transit initiative, "We learned that there is strong support for transit improvements in Hamilton and light rail in particular."

The initial results from the comment forms are:

Stephen noted, "There is a sense of urgency to ensure that Hamilton is included in the first cut at the Metrolinx five-year capital budget being released this fall."

As citizens, we need to do everything we can to ensure that the city has a very strong mandate to push ahead with light rail so that council can support it and seek funding from the province.

If you haven't yet, please communicate your support for light rail. The city is still accepting comments for inclusing in its next report to the public works committee until May 20. To add your comment, visit the city's rapid transit website and download a comment form, send an email to rapidtransit@hamilton.ca, or call the office at (905) 546-2424 x1473.

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By Mountaineer (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 17:17:12

A mountain resident who has been around for a while was quoted in the paper. And she nailed it. Hamilton, she said, we've been there and done that and ripped up the tracks....find another way.

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By g. (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 18:32:41

i agree entirely! rail based public transit is old fashioned, i suggest we invest in technology that has a future like hoover pods or matter transference beams. i saw a show on it once and it looked really cool.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 19:12:48

we ripped up the tracks because HSR officials got in the sack with bus technology companies (would you really expect that they made that decision based on public interest??). Transit has stunk ever since they removed the tracks and overhead for trolley buses. LRT will finally allow Hamilton to function like a real city again. I'm excited that most residents are recognizing that.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 19:35:57

"A mountain resident who has been around for a while was quoted in the paper. And she nailed it. Hamilton, she said, we've been there and done that and ripped up the tracks....find another way."

Hey everybody! I think I found a "squelcher"!

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By rayell (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 19:50:12

"hoover pods" That would be awesome, riding your vacuum cleaner to work. Clean the streets as you go!

As for good old missus 'been there done that', well, lots of cities got rid of their streetcars during the 20th century, and lots of them are regretting doing it, and lots of them are thinking of putting streetcars back in. Hamilton has made a lot of dumb decisions over the years, I guess you just want us to keep on making them forever.

What nobrainer said -- don't be a squelcher. Too many Hamilton dreams have been squelched allready. We were once called The Ambitious City. I want to live in an ambitous city again.

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By For Light Rail (anonymous) | Posted May 09, 2008 at 20:58:49

Yes, that's a great idea for everyone to show their support for rapid transit, especially light rail. I went to the rapid transit website and filled out a comment form and sent it in. We can't let this opportunity pass us by. Do show your support for this initiative and complete one of those comment forms.

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By Al Rathbone (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2008 at 01:14:21

Anyone who knows Hamilton's transit history will know that Hamilton streetcars were a successful business until Canada Coach Lines bought them and converted the system to buses.

After the conversion to buses, the situation got so bad CCL was forced to sell the HSR and itself to the city of Hamilton.

It turns out "been there done that" with streetcars is positive, but for buses it is negative.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted May 10, 2008 at 09:58:29

The percentages do not reflect that of a majority consensus. I was in the crowd and I saw very few regular folks there. The numbers are drawn out for our ROI chagrin and for the pleasure of people like Harry "Condo King" Stinson.

If we want this city to win We must employ here within Less consultant's boarded spin And more grounded noses worn thin

I'm not a SQUELCHER I'm a bad math mouthed BELCHER

I have not been shown how LRT is gonna put more cash into my pocket or for that matter, prevent it from leaving my pocket that much quicker. This is a 1.2 billion dollar pipe dream and if you want to see what "up in smoke" looks like, see my home page pics of a belching Chaiten and the sink hole we're headed in.

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By g. (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2008 at 13:34:25

i searched the city website for an hour but couldn't find the HSR mandate section that states one of the guiding principles of transit in hamilton should be generating revenue for WRCU2. nor could i find any mention that only "regular folk" as defined by WRCU2 get a say in the future of transit in hamilton. however, i can understand not wanting to give Harry Stinson a chance to comment, as his opinion might actually be well informed and based on fact as to what will benefit the city in the long term.

as far as bad poetry goes:

there once was a WRCU2 from Nantucket...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 10, 2008 at 15:44:31

Et tu, WRCU2? Like our old friend Baystreeter, you have set up a neat little Catch 22, where the opinions of people who show up to meetings don't count by virtue of the fact that they're the sort of people who bother to show up to meetings. We pay lip service to democratic ideals, but the minute citizens become engaged, we marginalize them by declaring them to be a special interest group. I wasn't at the Light Rail meeting (Does that make me "regular"? Am I allowed to have an opinion, or do you need to see my clothing and choice of caffeinated beverages first?), but I've been to plenty of other community meetings and I'm getting pretty sick of being told that I'm some kind of hippy who doesn't count just because I give a crap. Not only is this tiresome, but it's deeply dangerous to democracy, as it serves to discourage citizens from getting involved. Maybe that's the idea.

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By Rob (anonymous) | Posted May 11, 2008 at 01:12:32

Light rail *isn't* streetcars. This isn't putting back in what the HSR took out, though it is sad that those were taken out way back when.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted May 11, 2008 at 10:02:13

Golly g, your wont to chide does not bode well with me without first meeting together over crumb pits and t. Perhaps someday I'll meet with thee flamboyant friend of an LLC.

I speak (or write or pose weak prose) for all those whose nose is in transit as it comes and it goes. Harry took the bus home, he's putting his money where his mouth is and that is good for him. He has a plan and a vision. I'm not putting him down because he moves in different circles than I do. I write about the big numbers few of us regular folk can even begin to comprehend as we stretch out our pay checks to meet the week's end. I write from the quagmire of real life experiences of the common man. Because that is where I'm from and that is what I am. We, as in regular folk, generally do not have an informed, intelligible and coherent voice in the high tower's audience of choice. I only hope to empower those among us, to stand up and rejoice.

Thank you highwater for making a fair juxtaposition in lieu of g, the anonymously nameless, ramped of the most shameless, in-tent-city.

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By g. (anonymous) | Posted May 11, 2008 at 13:20:51

WRCU2, you still have made no argument as to why light rail transit is the lesser of the two transit options for hamilton. i have seen plenty of arguments for light rail but all you can come up with is that the real people of the city are not represented in the group supporting it. And that because Harry Stinson has seen some success, and some failure, on a scale few of us have the courage to attempt, his support is automatically seen as a self serving agenda. completely unlike your self serving agenda of wanting to pay lower taxes of course!

perhaps you have some, more than anecdotal, evidence of general public support for bus rapid transit, based on fact, that you would like to share with us.

perhaps you would like to share why light rail transit is, in your opinion, a pipe dream.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted May 12, 2008 at 08:40:15

nicely done Ryan :)

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted May 15, 2008 at 10:27:16

When LRT is built, perhaps we can arrange that WRCU2 can refrain from paying the transit levy.

Keep in mind, W... this will require you to wear an ankle cuff that disallows you entry to the train, the stations, and any new developments along the line.

But don't worry W, you can continue to pay at the pump and visit all of your favourite destinations by car. And before too long our $4.50 round trip fare will represent the cost of a single litre of your gasoline.

Bon voyage!

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