Comment 119799

By Deleted User (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2016 at 08:27:55

You've managed to sidestep the real issues people are having with LRT.

1. The *cost* and the failure of Metrolinx to reveal its "Scope Ladder" which will determine which stops are eliminated in the event of cost overruns (which are inevitable since LRTs already cost $110 million per km of track putting Hamilton's LRT $210 million over budget before we even break ground. Even if you disagree with this you must agree that the Scope Ladder must be made public before the project is started. This is a public project and must be transparent.)

2. The moral obligation to reject funding from a province $300 billion in debt
3. The fact that stops are nearly 1km apart in some instances (and may be pushed further apart once cost overruns are included.)
4. The fact that the HSR will be losing its most profitable route and handing it to Metrolinx with no plan to recoup lost fares except "We will redeploy buses to the Mountain." To which I say if you can add buses to an underserved Mountain and make money why not do it *now?*
5. Metrolinx has already been shown to be incompetent on numerous occasions. The Toronto Transit Union is calling for a full investigation of Metrolinx: for-independent-public-enquiry-into-metrolinx-570087521.html

6. The fact that we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in public transit; by the time the ribbon is cut on LRT autonomous vehicles will be navigating public roads. I'm not claiming all vehicles will be self-driving but now is not the time to invest in trains.
7. The fact that LRT will never be able to access the Mountain. Hamilton's unique geography precludes rail. You'll always need bus links to get up the escarpment unless you plan on bringing back the Incline Railway which would still require a switch over from one system to the next.
8. The fact that City Council has a record of making the wrong decision ("After 50 years of false starts..."). What are the odds that Council has finally hit upon the correct course of action this time? I've lived in this city my entire life and Council has done nothing but hinder development. They destroyed the downtown with their aggressive rezoning of the Mountain. The only reason downtown is coming back now is because Toronto rents are out of reach for most millennials. It has nothing to do with anything City Hall has done.
9. Uncertainties about the effect on cycling infrastructure along the King St corridor. If the bike lanes between Dundurn and Mac are removed to accommodate LRT then what is the alternative for cyclists travelling west? Aberdeen to Longwood to Main? That's quite an ask for those commuting by bicycle to Westdale.

Overall, I'd rather see an investment in further cycling infrastructure and simple electric buses (not a BRT system with dedicated lanes.)

Hamilton isn't at the point where we need to reinvent the wheel yet. We have a system that tends to be congested along a single route between September and April due to Mac students. That's it. That's the only issue. Why build a billion dollar train to remedy that? Surely, there's a more cost effective and flexible solution? Electric buses can be run on any route, go up the Mountain, can bypass stops, can change stops and routes on the fly (due to road construction, passenger request, passenger safety), can take bicycles on front racks, are non-polluting, can be replaced quickly in case of breakdown, can be run by the HSR, can employ Hamiltonians (Unlike Ryan I like to see people with good paying jobs: "mainly because the biggest operating cost is paying drivers..." Pro-tip: staffing costs are the most expensive part of *any* business Ryan. Your capitalism is showing.)

Finally, what is this about courage, vision, and commitment? The whole story is that the province dangled a billion dollars in front of City Hall and council jumped. Let's get real here. That's the bottom line. There's no vision or courage or anything else. This is about money. Cold hard cash for a city that's been an underdog for decades. We want our piece of the pie. It's sad really. If only we could spend it to fix our existing infrastructure instead of building new infrastructure. Wouldn't that make a lot more sense?

Comment edited by JimC on 2016-08-16 08:31:39

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