Comment 119505

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 22, 2016 at 08:33:52 in reply to Comment 119503

You must not have taken the HSR (or TTC) for a while. The cash fare cost for the TTC for a far superior service is $3.25, as of September 2016 it will be $3.00 on the HSR and it is now $2.75. Burlington is $3.50, Guelph is $3.00, Brampton is $3.75 and Mississauga is $3.25.

That's an average of $3.35 compared with a September HSR fare of $3.00 (and current fare of $2.75). HSR's fare will be only slightly less than average in September for a far inferior service and there are further increases planned.

Council decided against any additional transit levy contribution and has decided to simply raise fares to try, maybe, to improve service. I say maybe because increasing fares before improving service will certainly lead to falling ridership and less revenue. We may well end up with the charging far more money to users for the same inferior service.

And we don't have to increase taxes: we could simply shift priorities. For example, actually spend the federal gas tax money the City gets on transit instead of on roads. There is also a provincial gas tax fund specifically for transit. For the federal gas tax fund in Hamilton $3 million goes to transit and nearly $29 million to roads! Almost every other large city in Ontario does spends this money on transit and the auditor general recently called out the federal government for not insisting that all cities spend the money the way it was intended!

“The original objective was to provide reliable, predictable funding in support of environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure that contributes to cleaner air, cleaner water, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions,

A breakdown of Hamilton’s gas tax spending to the end of 2012 (total of $155 million) showed more than half ($78 million) went to the roads budget, and the entire $31 million for 2009 was spent on city hall renovations. Transit got $6 million and the rest went to composting and recycling infrastructure. Since then, over 90 percent has gone to roads and the remainder to replacing HSR buses.

In Hamilton low transit spending is all about the low status and priority placed on transit by Council for the last 25 years, not about saving "taxpayer" money.

On the downside, the city's overall share of the gas tax cash has been dropping for years compared to other cities thanks to a largely flat-lined ridership.

That is why it is so disingenuous of anti-LRT Councillors to suddenly claim they want to see improvements in bus transit before we build LRT.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-06-22 08:48:08

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