Light Rail

Metrolinx Open House Needs High Turnout

By RTH Staff
Published October 28, 2008

This Thursday, October 30, 2008, Metrolinx will host an Open House from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Hamilton Convention Centre - Websters Room, 1 Summers Lane (at Main St. W.) in Hamilton.

It is vitally important that as many Hamilton residents attend as possible so that Metrolinx can see firsthand the strong public support for light rail rapid transit.

The Metrolinx mandate is to fund regional transportation projects that are transformational, not just incremental. We need to argue that BRT is only an incremental improvement on the rapid transit B-Line we already have, and will have only a minimal impact on ridership and economic development.

Light rail, by contrast, is truly transformational in the manner that Metrolinx envisions. It dramatically increases ridership, entices developers to invest in the transit corridor, and allows the HSR to redeploy its buses to improve transit across the entire city.

Metrolinx needs to see that public support for light rail remains strong - that last summer's enthusiasm was not just a flash in the pan, and that the community is united in its support. If they hold this meeting and the turnout is high, that in itself will lower the political risk for them to commit to big spending here in the near term.

Please help spread the word and try to attend if possible.

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By amalgamation (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2008 at 22:01:12

Hopefully lots of Hamilton residents who have long lived in the outlying areas such as Winona and Flamborough will be able to show up as well.

We need to demonstrate that support for this extravagance is far from universal. Our communities will see no benefit from this yet we will no doubt be paying for it either directly or indirectly.

Those that stand to benefit most from LRT have no doubt been vocal in their support while those who will not benefit have unfortunately been silent.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 28, 2008 at 22:20:58

sounds like you've been listening to margaret mccarthy for too long. LRT has the potential to bring about a boom to the lower city corridor along it's route. What does this mean?? New investment (money), new tax base (money), new jobs (money), new construction (money), new services for all the new residents, hotel guests and office workers (money). And to top it off, a huge makeover of the city's image which has long been pointed out by the wonderful folks in flamborough as the main reason for lack of investment in our city in recent decades. If you prefer, we can keep all the increased assessment in the old city. That way you can be happy in knowing that your area isn't benefiting at all from LRT. I'm sure folks in Ancaster, Stoney Creek and Dundas would be more than happy to see their taxes drop as the commercial and multi-residential sector booms to life in the lower city easing the burden on single home owners. I know I appreciate your generosity and will do everything possible to see that your portion of the new money is applied to my house instead.

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By amalgamation (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2008 at 22:27:41

I wish I was optimistic enough to believe that a rail line down the middle of King St. was the magic bullet that would turn Hamilton into a shining beacon of light... I lived in the heart of the downtown core for 20 years. A train is not going to fix all that is wrong.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 29, 2008 at 07:30:38

of course there is no magic bullet for anything in life. But LRT comes as close as you'll ever find.

Some more info here if you're interested:

www.hamiltonlightrail.com

And please keep in mind, many LRT systems have been built in US cities which are FAR worse than downtown Hamilton ever was at it's lowest point.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted October 29, 2008 at 22:52:01

amalgamation wrote: "I wish I was optimistic enough to believe that a rail line down the middle of King St. was the magic bullet that would turn Hamilton into a shining beacon of light..."

jason wrote: "...please keep in mind, many LRT systems have been built in US cities which are FAR worse than downtown Hamilton ever was at it's lowest point."

Jason is absolutely correct and could be referring to Buffalo's pitiful stagnation, which is our closest living relative of a once jubilant industrial region. The weakest limb of the old T H & B, which ran out of steam along with the once majestic beast known as the NY Central Hudson, a 4-6-4 steam driven loco-motive which even appeared royal at times. Back in the days of iron men and women that ironed, a half a century ago at least I imagine. Then about a quarter century back or so, Buffalo set out to grow with the LRT flow but lo and behold the glow did not show. Oh no, here we go...

Again and again suffragists for LRT are saying the new transit is gonna be all that and then some. Maybe it will. But amalgamation has brought up a very valid point, that the residents on the outskirts of town aren't going to reap the benefits of LRT right away, but instead will be helping to pay for it anyway. Amalgamation is worried that the city is going to have to tax us all harder and faster to compliment financing of the planned operation and to finally deploy it. But jason failed to mention that this particular project is funded almost entirely by Metrolinx and any relief of slack will be fueled by City Residents Underwritten Municipal Bonds or CRUMBS for short.

It's almost like in Saskatchewan, what might well be done here in Hamilton. Instead of raising our taxes, the leviers are gonna lower them hard and fast. At the same time we'll have an opportunity to esquire some of this flood of CRUMBS down at city hall, sort of as a way to put that money right back into the civilian circulatory system. The good thing about the arrangement is that a CRUMB may be purchased for whatever amount one wishes to spend, let's say 50 bucks. Now the best part of it is this, that CRUMB will be worth $100, DOUBLE in just seven years. That's right folks, you'll be tooting your horns in only 7 years time with twice as much money to spend than you have today! Ah, sweet Jubilee, no more Oy Oy Oy is me.

It's like when you mortgage a house. Is it half paid for after seven years of a 25 year loan? Not a chance in hell but you've damn near remitted in full to the lender by then with nearly 75% of the term remaining. It's the same principle applied with a CRUMB only WE become the bank and WE benefit by eliminating the meddle men.

Here's what ya gotta do. Pull your clean pressed slacks down to the convention center for the Metrolinx Open House and show your support by jeering, "CRUMBS For The LRT, We Want A Jubilee"

Just kidding of Bourse, and best wishes to our LRT crew, I gotta work late so I won't get to see you.

PS - It's not a "silver bullet" it's more of a mechanical Joan D'Arc, we're still ironing out the D'Tails

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 30, 2008 at 09:36:43

one thing to keep in mind about Buffalo's largely-failed LRT is that it doesn't really go where the people are. It runs from the university to downtown. That city is more car-dependent than Hamilton (if you can believe such a thing exists) which means suburban residents would need the LRT running out to their doorsteps in order to make it convenient to ride. Hamilton's B-Line corridor is densely packed with people, jobs, culture, recreation, entertainment, convention facilities etc.... in my opinion we can make an easy case for 7 stops in between Dundurn and Wellington due to the high density nature and concentration of destinations in the area. For reference point, Portlands LRT makes 7 stops within a 1.5 mile corridor in the heart of downtown. That's the beauty of LRT. Stops can be more spaced further outside of the city, but still convenient for area residents. With proper changes to our antiquated zoning bylaws our LRT corridor could flourish with urban, street-facing development.

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By volterwd (anonymous) | Posted November 05, 2008 at 20:49:21

I wish I had checked earlier... I would have loved to go. LRT would be a big boon... and I say this as a current bus goer.

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