Light Rail

Metrolinx Head: Hamilton Has 'Big Headstart' as Next Major Project

By RTH Staff
Published May 17, 2010

In a breaking news story posted on the Spectator website, Metrolinx CEO Robert Pritchard is quoted saying that Hamilton has a "big headstart" on being the next major project in the Metrolinx plan to build a regional rapid transit system.

What that means in practical terms remains unclear, but it does provide cause for hope that Hamilton could achieve a light rail line along the east-west B-Line corridor before the heat death of the universe.

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By cynic (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 14:56:18

Yeah, Hamilton, your definitely next! We'll get around to your B-Line LRT at about half past never.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2010 at 15:46:26

I honestly don't get the fuss over LRT - how is it better than a bus? I mean, I can totally understand the appeal of larger rail projects, but I don't see what LRT gets you.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2010 at 16:23:15

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2010 at 16:25:16

Pxtl, take a look at this website specifically: http://hamiltonlightrail.com/article/abo...

Here's one paragraph from there. (Also note that light rail has signal priority so it's not slowed down by traffic lights, and the stops are further apart than bus stops, as it is rapid transit.)

Light rail, by contrast:

  • Attracts many more new riders
  • Has a much higher carrying capacity
  • Has a 25-75 percent lower operating cost per passenger
  • Attracts new private investment
  • Produces no emissions at the tailpipe and lower overall emissions, regardless of the method of electricty generation
  • Produces less overall greenhouse gases, and
  • Encourages high-quality intensification through transit oriented development

(or, err... what Ryan just said).

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-05-17 15:29:19

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 16:27:30

This is quite a positive announcement for Hamilton. It means we're likely to get the money before any of the other communities around here that don't already have a firm committment from the government.

The sarcasm in the main post is, I think, a little example of that "can't do" Hamilton attitude. Can we not just celebrate and be eager that we're one step closer to getting light rail? Do we really have to imagine that we're so far on the back burner that this good news is practically no news at all?

We're so pessimistic it's depressing!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 17, 2010 at 16:33:28

The sarcasm in the main post is, I think, a little example of that "can't do" Hamilton attitude.

Aww, at least allow us a little self-pitying humour once in a while. :)

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 16:37:44

Hey Robert, not sure how long you've been reading RTH but these guys were arguing for LRT in Hamilton back when it still got gales of laughter from the 'realists' but that didn't stop them promoting their vision. In alot of ways the RTH folks are the reason we're having an LRT debate at all. There's plenty of "can't-do attitude" in Hamilton but you won't find much of it here. Chalk it up to a dry sense of humor or maybe a bad day...

Comment edited by nobrainer on 2010-05-17 15:38:10

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 19:05:17

Sarcasm on the internet?!? Impossible!

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By bike hell (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 22:08:59

rails make me wet.

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 22:46:22

I believe an A line from the little hill they call the "mountain" to the downtown has real potential to improve the city. We need to get homeowners "up there" to come "down here" and spend some leisure time at the farmer's market, james st north art galleries, waterfront, locke st s, That is the only way to get them to buy in to undoing a generation of neglect to the downtown.

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By bike hell (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 23:10:55

Sadly they only go from "up there" to "down here" only to go directly "over there" to the nearest 403 ramp out of the city. Wouldn't it be nice to have the A-team lead them to the new GO station (also "down here") rather than flushing through the car sewer.

rails, man, I'm telling you.

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By beesplease (registered) | Posted May 17, 2010 at 23:54:29

No, seriously, we do have a 'headstart', given that Miller has been in a giant bun-fight with McGuinty lately. Plus, they plough money into Toronto and all they get is complaining and/or nobody notices because the new routes aren't in 'the Beach'.
Whereas the Hamilton investment would be HUGE NEWS in Hamilton (transformational and all that), and it would have McGuinty's name on it. It does seem though, that we're content to just sit and hold our breath while Miller jumps up and down demanding Toronto's share. We should at the very least make sure the province knows that if they choose Hamilton, it would be noticed, appreciated, and deliver the political goodwill.

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By Goboy (anonymous) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:12:56

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted May 18, 2010 at 11:41:12

^ Lame fail troll is lame.

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By Yeahbut (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 16:20:33

Main Street? King Street? What about the tenants of Aerotropolis and Freelton? Property would be much cheaper and the line could be diverted to get a subsidy to fill in the quarry near Greensville. Another line from Glanbrook to Grimsby should get that industrial park on the move too!

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By Rod (anonymous) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 18:57:41

Well, I hope, for Hamilton's sake, that the expressed sentiments are genuine; Lord knows, Hamilton's light rail line was needed yesterday.

That said, my confidence in Metrolinx and its head, Robert Prichard, is on a steady downward trajectory, so I have a tendency now to take any pronouncements emanating from that organization with more than a few grains of salt - and I would suggest that anyone else would be prudent to adopt the same stance.

Item: Not sure if anyone in Hamilton has been following the circus surrounding cost estimates for upgrading the Toronto-Peterborough rail line for passenger train service, but Mr. Prichard (an academic, with little or nothing in the way of transit or transportation experience in his background, it should be remembered) and his buddies have pulled a real stunt on that project - inflating the cost estimates by about seven times (total Metrolinx cost estimate for that now $540-million) compared to the cost of, on a cost per mile basis, for example, the Bradford to Barrie GO train extension. And now they are arguing that they can't proceed with the track upgrading because it is unaffordable!!

Careful. Wouldn't put it past Metrolinx to try the same stunt with Hamilton's LRT.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 19, 2010 at 19:39:59

ugh

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