Comment 110005

By arienc (registered) | Posted March 06, 2015 at 10:27:01

The fix is in, and has been in since the day Bob Bratina was elected. There's no going back now.

Everyone's forgotten about the requirement to connect Hamilton rapid transit to the new regional GO terminal. That in itself disqualifies the Eastgate - Mac line from being considered. Running the route on a 'spur' to the GO means it's no longer rapid transit to cross the city. Add to that the likelihood that 8 or more members of Hamilton council are now publicly drumming up opposition to rapid transit at all, it's looking increasingly like modernizing HSR is about as far as the city's going to get in the next 10-15 years.

That doesn't mean Hamilton should settle for what's on the table. $200 million for a bus garage is beyond the ridiculous, and I don't understand how anyone can consider that a judicious use of taxpayer funds. Also the issue of spending $16 million on branding before delivering any service improvements whatsoever is out there.

IMHO the plan needs to be clear on how bus service eventually gets the city to the BLAST network. The network as a whole is something that most Hamiltonians will get behind, unlike a Mac to Eastgate line that much of the city technically will benefit from, but they do not have any emotional connection to. Invest 180 million in bringing real service - every 15 minutes or less at rush hour, along all 5 of the BLAST lines. Then work on marketing the new HSR. Turn that overbuilt road network from an albatross to an asset.

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