The City of Mississauga issued a Novemer 30, 2012 news release after the recent Metrolinx announcement that Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Mississauga is part of the next phase of regional transport projects, but the funding has not yet been determined.
It leads with an extended quote from Mayor Hazel McCallion (paragraph breaks added for readability):
We are pleased with the announcement by Metrolinx yesterday that the LRT is part of its next wave of projects in the Big Move and we look forward to working with Metrolinx on the implementation of the LRT.
We have done our homework. Our residents have told us this is what they need and want. We have a completed feasibility study and resulting Master Plan. We are working towards bringing it to Mississauga.
We will face funding challenges and we are preparing for that. We are working with our funding partners including Metrolinx that has strongly supported us along the way.
Light Rail Transit continues to be a priority and we know it represents the future for our City. Light Rail Transit on Hurontario can be found in all aspects of our future planning. It will not be easy. Anything worth doing takes time, money and effort and we respect that and are thankful for the support we have received.
Let's see what's going on here.
Expressing happiness that LRT is part of the next phase of Metrolinx projects: check
Acknowledging public support for LRT: check
Referencing completed feasibility study: check
Confirming LRT is the preferred transit option: check
Confirming LRT is a priority: check
Renewed commitment to getting LRT built: check
LRT integrated into city planning: check
Identifying funding as a challenge to overcome, not a barrier: check
This is how you champion LRT for your city. Mississauga started after us in LRT planning but is moving quickly and decisively to complete the engineering, design, planning and political legwork necessary to be ready to seize the opportunity when it arrives.
In Hamilton, by contrast, we continue to drift aimlessly on LRT. The mayor is noncommittal, council seems more concerned about the cost than the opportunity, staff are practically mum on the progress of their planning and design work, and the public discussion is sliding sideways in the absence of any forward momentum.
A recent study on LRT by the McMaster Institute of Transporation and Logistics stressed the necessity of "strong political leadership" and a "political champion" to bring the city's LRT plan to a successful conclusion.
What we're seeing today is what happens when political championship is missing.
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