Special Report: Light Rail

Myths and Facts about Light Rail Transit

A number of common myths about LRT and Hamilton continue to surface in the public debate over the City's proposed east-west LRT line.

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 04, 2011

this article has been updated

Despite all the information available 'out there' on light rail transit (LRT) in general and Hamilton's proposed east-west LRT line in particular, a number of myths continue to resurface in public debates. It seemed prudent to gather all the myths in one place and address them in turn. If I have missed any, please let me know in the comments or via email.

Myth: The B-Line doesn't have the ridership for LRT.

Fact: According to a March 2010 HSR Operational Review, buses operating on the east-west LRT route already carry 13,000 passengers a day. We have more than enough ridership to justify LRT right now.

Myth: LRT won't attract ridership.

Fact: LRT systems consistently outperform even optimistic ridership growth projections. Charlotte's Lynx line, which opened in 2007, was supposed to start at 9,100 daily passengers and reach 18,000 daily riders by 2025; but by Q1 2008 it already reached 18,600 daily passengers and has since increased to 21,000 as of 2010. A 2009 survey found that nearly three quarters of Lynx passengers were new to public transit.

This popularity has been repeated in all the recent LRT systems in Europe and North America. In city after city that has built LRT, the consistent pattern is that it attracts significant numbers of new riders who previously did not ride buses but choose to ride LRT for its higher quality of comfort and convenience.

Myth: Developers aren't interested in LRT.

Fact: A number of developers inside and outside the city have expressed support for LRT, but do not want to invest until the city commits to building it. City staff have been consulting with developers and organized a workshop earlier this year to discuss what policy changes are required to ensure transit oriented development is successful.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association, Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington and Downtown BIA all support LRT.

Myth: There isn't a business case for LRT.

Fact: Both the City and the Province have completed cost benefit analyses on LRT and concluded that it generates a large net benefit to the city in increased tax assessment, as well as improved neighbourhood vitality and air quality.

The City's feasibility study analyzed the economic development potential of LRT, including fact-finding trips to Calgary, Portland and Charlotte, and recommended building LRT, starting with the east-west line and integrating community and economic development policies for the biggest success. Concil unanimously endorsed the recommendation.

The Provincial Benefits Case Analysis included all the costs and benefits, but the city would only pay a small part of the costs and enjoy nearly all the benefits.

Myth: We can't afford to build LRT.

Fact: We can't afford not to build LRT. If we don't build it and continue with the current model of suburban expansion, we will spend more money overall on expensive new public infrastructure to support all that sprawl, and we will not collect enough money in development charges and new tax assessments to pay for it.

This is why Waterloo Region recently voted to build LRT. They discovered that it will be cheaper to build it and focus new investment around the transit corridor than to continue building outward.

Myth: LRT is more expensive to operate.

Fact: On a per-passenger basis, LRT is much cheaper to operate - generally significantly cheaper - than buses. Drivers are the biggest operating cost, and each LRT driver can carry many more passengers than a bus driver. In addition, while LRT vehicles are more expensive to buy, the last about three times as long as buses and have lower maintenance costs.

Calgary's C-Train costs only $0.27 per passenger to operate, whereas Hamilton's HSR costs around $5.00 per passenger, of which fares cover about half. This is one of the facts that convinced Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson to support the idea of LRT in Hamilton.

Myth: Hamilton is too small for LRT.

Fact: Many cities that have successful LRT systems, like Calgary and Edmonton, built them when they had populations of around 500,000 - the same as Hamilton has today. Similarly, a number of mid-sized European cities, like Grenoble and Nantes, with populations around half a million, have implemented successful LRT system.

Myth: Hamilton is too low-density for LRT.

Fact: Population densities along the B-Line are already much higher than the average across the city, which includes large swaths of rural land and low-density suburbs. In addition, the LRT itself will attract private investment that will further increase the density of land use around the line. That higher density development will, in turn, increase the city's tax revenues while simultaneously reducing the city's per-person infrastructure costs.

Calgary is an excellent case study of a low-density, automobile dependent city that nevertheless invested in LRT rather than more highways and has one of the most successful rapid transit systems in North America. Some 50% of commuters into downtown Calgary take the train to work instead of driving.

Myth: Hamilton is a bedroom community; we'll never be an economic centre.

Fact: Hamilton is an economic centre today. 70% of Hamiltonians work in Hamilton. Nearly 40,000 people commute into the city to work. Downtown Hamilton is the single biggest employment cluster in the city. Given that most Hamiltonians work in Hamilton, it makes sense that our transportation priority should be improving the speed, reliability and quality of commuter transportation within the city.

Myth: LRT will cause traffic congestion by reducing vehicle lanes.

Fact: LRT uses street capacity much more efficiently than automobiles. By taking cars off the street, LRT will actually increase its capacity to move people. At the same time, LRT attracts significant new investment along the transit corridor, which increases density and activity on the street, so overall it is difficult to predict the net effect on congestion.

Myth: LRT will get stuck in traffic.

Fact: LRT will run on dedicated lanes with signal priority. That means the streetlights will automatically turn green for the LRT vehicle as it approaches an intersection.

Myth: Bus Rapid Transit is just as good as LRT but costs a lot less.

Fact: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) often has lower capital costs than LRT, but it has much higher per-passenger operating costs. At the same time, it does almost nothing to attract new private investment that increases tax assessments and public infrastructure productivity. In addition, an existing BRT system makes it more difficult to upgrade to LRT in the future,

Ottawa decided in the 1980s to build BRT (called Transitways) instead of LRT. Capital costs for Ottawa's Transitways were nearly as high as Calgary's C-Train, which carries more passengers at a lower operating cost. The Transitways also did a poor job of attracting new transit oriented development. Now the system is at capacity and the city faces an expensive - and highly disruptive - upgrade to LRT.

Myth: LRT is an old-fashioned technology.

Fact: Streetcars and automobiles were invented around the same time. In the same way that cars have advanced technologically, modern LRT systems are technologically sophisticated and engineered for speed, reliability, comfort, accessibility and smooth ride.

Myth: The city has not engaged the public on LRT.

Fact: The city has undertaken more extensive, broad and in-depth public engagement on LRT than any other project in memory. Literally thousands of citizens have participated in public information centres, focus groups, workshops, design charettes, stakeholder meetings, surveys, and presentations to neighbourhood associations, community councils, business improvement areas (BIAs), service clubs and and community groups. In addition, city staff have published a number of studies on the Hamilton Rapid Transit website and the Nodes and Corridors website.

Myth: LRT didn't work in Buffalo, and it won't work here.

Fact: Buffalo lost half its population between 1960 and today, an astonishing collapse of population that no LRT system can single-handedly fix. In any case, Buffalo's system is more like a subway than an LRT, as it runs mostly underground. In addition, Buffalo planners did not establish a transit-oriented development corridor along the route. As a result, developers had to contend with a miasma of arbitrary, suburban-oriented postwar zoning and development regulations that have deterred urban reinvestment.

Myth: LRT will not go up the Mountain.

Fact: LRT can handle grades up to 10 or 12 percent, which is much steeper than the grade of the Claremont Access.

Myth: LRT will not survive in the winter.

Fact: LRT systems operate in all kinds of weather, including cities with winters that are even colder and more severe than Hamilton - including Calgary, Edmonton and Minneapolis.

Update: This article originally stated that LRT is "25-75% cheaper" to operate than BRT, but I can no longer find the citation for this. I changed the text to "significantly cheaper". You can jump to the changed paragraph.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:03:38

Good too see, but if I may be so bold to critique, is it possible to get some source links on the points. Not that I don't think the information isn't accurate, I just think it would add further credibility to the article.

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By StopSpending (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 15:57:14 in reply to Comment 67331

Everywhere rail is implemented, additional revenues AKA taxes are required or money robbed from other priorities, often bus service that negatively impacts low income riders. Phoenix added a 2% sales tax on food and groceries last year, Seattle had to implement a PAYROLL tax that automatically goes up each year to maintain their rail service and also in Phoenix, U. Of Arizona buys fares in bulk and charges students thru their tuition payments, many of which have tax sunsidized loans and grants to then ride "free".
Peter Rogoff, FTA Administrator, stated last year on May 18th 2010 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, "Supporters of public transit must be willing to share some simple truths that folks don't want to hear.  One is this -- Paint is cheap, rails systems are extremely expensive.
Yes, transit riders often want to go by rail.  But it turns out you can entice even diehard rail riders onto a bus, if you call it a "special" bus and just paint it a different color than the rest of the fleet.

Once you've got special buses, it turns out that busways are cheap.  Take that paint can and paint a designated bus lane on the street system.  Throw in signal preemption, and you can move a lot of people at very little cost compared to rail.

A little honesty about the differences between bus and rail can have some profound effects.

Earlier I pointed out that our new estimate for the deferred maintenance backlog for the entire transit universe is roughly $78 billion.  But you should know that fully 75 percent of that figure is to replace rail assets. 

Now let's remember that the majority of transit trips in this country are still done by bus.  When it comes to delivering actual transit service, Americans take 21 percent more transit trips every year than rail trips.  That said, fully three quarters of the funding backlog we face in achieving a state of good repair is associated with underfunded rail assets. 
Communities deciding between bus and rail investments need to stare those numbers in the face.  Some communities might be tempted to pay the extra cost for shiny new rails now.  But they need to be mindful of the costs they are teeing up for future generations.  
Is Bus Rapid Transit a workable option for every corridor – no.  There are some corridors with the kind of densities and destinations where only rail makes sense.
But Bus Rapid Transit is a fine fit for a lot more communities than are seriously considering it.
19th Century Fixed rail is NOT the answer to our future transportation issues!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:29:12 in reply to Comment 67331

Good idea. I'm adding in links now.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:16:12

Always good to remind people of these things.

Can we get on on All-Day GO train service?

Seriously, how does all day go "attract" residents to Hamilton? Who is interested in all day go train service?

Is it people who work in Toronto? Well, I don't think so, because presumably most people who work in Toronto want to travel there during rush hour, which is when we ALREADY HAVE train service (it takes roughly 1:15 to go from Hamilton to Toronto Union, and that train is express after Oakville).

What about workers who perhaps have odd schedules? Well, they are well served by the Lakeshore West Train/Bus service(that transfers at aldershot or burlington), and the QEW Express Bus Service.

The Lakeshore West Train/Bus service allows you to get to other stations that are "skipped" during rush hour, like Port Credit (Mississauga) and Mimico (Toronto). These bus/train trips vary in the amount of time they take, but if they're not during rush hour they likely make all stops, and take longer than the express trains described above. These people would see some small change in their travel time, as they could take a train directly to Toronto, without taking a bus and transferring. These are the people who all-day GO train service would benefit the most.

The QEW Express bus leaves no less frequently than every half hour, and typically leaves every 20 minutes during peak periods. In good traffic the bus can make it to or from Toronto in under an hour, and in bad traffic t takes longer, but rarely takes longer than the train. A big concern is whether all-day GO train service will result in the eventual (or immediate) phasing out of this bus service, which would be very detrimental to people seeking to travel rapidly between Downtown Toronto and Hamilton.

So, the kinds of people who will benefit most from all day GO train service are those who prefer to take the train to the bus, and who are travelling on off-peak periods. Why are developers interested in this market? Who makes up this market? How lucrative is this market?

All-Day GO train service to Toronto, while sounding "sexy" is really pretty useless to people liviing in Hamilton, considering the GO service we already have, and is unlikely to attract any new investment in Hamilton, in my humble opinion.

I'd like to ask Mr. Bratina for the names of some of the "developers" who have indicated all day GO train service is a priority, and ask them some questions about their target market, and why they feel all day train service is so vital, despite the current GO services we have.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 20:43:59 in reply to Comment 67332

Hamilton deserves it all.

Efficient car roads, B-line light rail, happy sidewalks, bike lanes, HOV lanes, an airport, ferry service and GO transit.

Hamilton needs it all.

None of it is mutually exclusive, it all needs to be connected and grown in a plan that extends past all our lives.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 01:58:18 in reply to Comment 67404

I agree we deserve it all. How are we going to pay for it all? Can we put it on your gold card? Maybe Bill Gates will put it on his A.E. card.

You sound like my 16 year old daughter did she deserved it all too, a new car, the best cell phone, the newest in style jeans, different make up every week, lots of spending money etc. etc. etc.

No concept of reality, no concept of price or value.

A ferry for god's sake? Where too? Burlington? Rochester?

Give your head a shake and get a grip.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted August 07, 2011 at 03:29:10 in reply to Comment 67422

If I sound like your 16 year old daughter you had better get her hormone levels assessed because she would have an unusually deep voice for a 16 year old girl. :)

Ferries are awesome. They are used everywhere there is water. They can be small carrying walk on passengers. They can be massive carrying cars and trucks. There have been ferries to Rochester in the past (failed). A boat that left from pier 4 to Burlington Pier (is that built yet?) and Port Credit would be good.

The ferry could be replaced by a team of sled dogs in the winter when the lake freezes.

I think dirigibles that carry passengers would be a blast too. We could call that GO Lightly transit.

Lastly I would suggest a single person trebuchet that could launch you from Dundas to Stoney Creek. I would recommend landing in the water, because the land would shake your head severely, causing you to lose your grip.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 13:17:09 in reply to Comment 67332

Are you trying to say that all-day Go service doesn't attract growth? That's ridiculous, look at all the growth around Appleby Station!

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 17:12:39 in reply to Comment 67343

And with the 20 GO stations planned for the Hamilton area, that'll be a huge increase in investment! Oh, wait. Two stations? Um...

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 17:08:17 in reply to Comment 67343

Oh Appleby! Too bad the satellite picture doesn't show the bridge they recently put over the creek so they could add another surface parking lot (much cheapter to pave over grassland and build a bridge than building a parking garage you know).

Didn't Metrolinx say something about encouraging density at traffic nodes? When are they going to do something about that?

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 00:36:22 in reply to Comment 67380

I swear to god, if after we get the all day go, the city decides to turn the West Harbor into a giant parking lot for the LIUNA GO station, I'm just going to openly weep. Hopefully we can all keep an eye on this, to stop this from happening.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-05 00:37:28

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:23:53 in reply to Comment 67332

That's my reaction to the All Day Go thing myself - have any of its proponents actually spent any time on commuting to downtown Toronto?

Obviously providing better interconnectedness along the Golden Horseshoe is a good thing... but I really don't see All Day Go providing some massive boon to the local housing development industry.

What they'd need would be rush-hour service from a massive parking-lot accessible to the Upper Stoney suburbs. Which, I suppose, is part of the "All-day Go" plan... which really means "GO service to an RHVP parking lot".

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By Vod_Kann (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:18:51

You forgot

"LRT will not make it up the mountain"

"LRT will not survive the winter"

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:33:09 in reply to Comment 67333

Thank you. I've added them.

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By Trevor Westerhoff (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:19:41

Great simple summary, Ryan. Thanks. I respect your dedication to this and other causes for Hamilton.

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:20:11

Don't forget to send this to Mayor Bob... so he can prepare discussions with the Canadian Urban Mythstitute and former Mayor Fred.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 13:16:39

Myth: Hamilton sucks. It can't be like Portland, Vancouver or Paris because they don't suck.

Hate to put it so plainly, but this one notion is holding us back more than any other.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2011 at 02:06:36 in reply to Comment 67342

It's not a 'notion' that's holding Hamilton back. It's the Power Behind the Notion.

We have a group of elected people who only want to advocate for their little corner of the GHA. They don't see the City as a whole. They want to get re-elected on the basis of what they do for that little corner, & they probably will.

One good example is Public Transit in the GHA. At one time different people owned the transit in their own area. Not much attention was paid to how or if it connected with other buses from other areas. It wasn't their business to connect effectively with "other" transit systems. Today, it's pretty much the same. Beyond the Main & King bus lines, it's not working. IMHO, this is why LRT is getting such a rough ride. People outside of Downtown don't/won't/can't see it as benefiting Them.

Archaic bylaws..that we need to study for years to change-? Why? Is it because the harder we make it for people to open a business Downtown, the more business will likely head to the Outside of the GHA, so the need for LRT or anything else pertaining to Downtown is of little or no value?

I think that's the game plan. If that happens, we really will Suck!

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By chimochimo (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 17:42:29 in reply to Comment 67342

It's not a notion

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By Grande (Why can't I log in? Weird...) (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 14:19:44

> Fact: According to a March 2010 HSR Operational Review, buses operating on the east-west LRT route already carry 13,000 passengers a day. We have more than enough ridership to justify LRT right now.

What is the capacity per day that is the break-even point, so to speak?

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By anon (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:21:48 in reply to Comment 67346

None of HSR's routes break even. the B-Line Express comes closest, recouping almost half its costs. The Operational Review has a route-by-route breakdown.

The bigger question is, should transit pay for itself? Roads don't.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2011 at 09:38:07 in reply to Comment 67450

From the numbers I have seen in the past the whole HSR system lives by those percentages. About half of the cost is recouped by fares and half is covered by taxpayer subsidies. I doubt any one route is much better than any other.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 12:05:30 in reply to Comment 67450

I shouldn't've used "break even" (I don't think most transit lines anywhere break even). I was asking at what point LRT became worthwhile. Some LRT systems move 13,000 per hour.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 13:52:32 in reply to Comment 67474

In small high density cities, like Dublin or Manchester transit can and does make money. In North Americas sprawling cities it is a totally different picture.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:32:51 in reply to Comment 67346

Yes! thank you for posing this question Grande.

I meant to pose the same question earlier.

We have more than enough ridership to justify LRT right now

Says who? Justify in what regard? Is there a study that you can link which says 13000 passengers a day is enough to break even and/or provide a cost benefit of LRT over BRT?

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By anon (anonymous) | Posted August 10, 2011 at 14:32:11 in reply to Comment 67373

From the city's Phase 1 Feasibility Study:
(http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/942C4046-D867-40B0-B01E-E62552F32423/0/FinalReportMay2008small.pdf)


It is assumed that by 2031 transit trips within the City of Hamilton will increase by approximately 100% as a result of the improved transit services and population and employment growth. The largest increases in ridership will be on east-west corridor through the city centre.

This service would call for the operation of 9 articulated buses on the A-Line and 25 on the B-Line for a total of 34.

Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) typically have a design capacity of twice that of articulated buses (145 compared to 70-75) and so, were LRT to be implemented,
the service frequencies would be halved and the number of vehicles required reduced to 18: the B-Line would run every 5 minutes and require 13 LRVs; and the A-Line would operate every 10 minutes on the common section from downtown to Mohawk Road, and 30 minutes from the Waterfront to downtown and to the Airport, requiring 5 LRVs.

Assuming a spares ratio of 20% for articulated buses and 10% for LRVs the total requirements would be:
• For BRT 41 articulated buses;
• For LRT 20 LRVs

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 14:35:31

Myth: We can't afford to build LRT. Fact: We can't afford not to build LRT.

That doesn't make the "myth" untrue. For example, if a person has no money to buy food and is starving and they say "I can't afford to eat", telling them that "you can't afford NOT to eat" doesn't make their statement untrue. If they don't have the money, they don't have the money.

Calgary is an excellent case study of a low-density, automobile dependent city that nevertheless invested in LRT rather than more highways and has one of the most successful rapid transit systems in North America. Some 50% of commuters into downtown Calgary take the train to work instead of driving.

Just a minor thing.. not to be too nit picky, but first the author says Calgary is an automobile dependent city and then says 50% of commuters use the train instead of driving. So it is car dependent (ie transit isn't successful in reducing dependency on a car) or it isn't car dependent?

Now that the nit picking is done, lets get onto the real info...

The Population of Calgary is almost THREE times that of Hamilton's (1.3 million compared to 0.5 million)

Calgary has a labour force of over 600,000 (more than Hamilton's entire population). Of that labour force, how many people living in Calgary do you think commute outside of Calgary for work? I'm guessing not nearly as many of the Hamiltonians who commute outside of Hamilton for work.

Population density of Calgary around 1300/sq km Population density of Hamilton around 500/sq km Just as the density is higher than 500/sq km around the proposed B-line, the density in Calgary along their CTrain is higher than 1300/sq km

buses operating on the east-west LRT route already carry 13,000 passengers a day

The C train (2 routes, total 48km) carries around 260,000 passengers/day

On a per-passenger basis, LRT is much cheaper to operate - generally 25 to 75 percent cheaper - than buses

The author must have selective vision. Anyone who looked at the link will notice that the only difference even close to 75% is in Baltimore where LRT is 75 MORE EXPENSIVE per passenger to operate than BRT. In everyone's favourite example, Portland, it is 5% more expensive to operate LRT than BRT per passenger. Where LRT tends to win out more consistently is cost per mile/km. This makes sense as LRT is in the densest parts of town and covers relatively, much shorter lines, not servicing the rural areas.

Calgary's C-Train costs only $0.27 per passenger to operate, whereas Hamilton's HSR costs around $5.00 per passenger

Calgary's cost per Passenger for the bus is $0.89. Yes, it remains, less, but considerably more in line with the LRT cost compared to the Hamilton example you chose. What you didn't mention is that the cost per hour to operate is considerably higher for LRT than it is for BRT. Some more Facts to add to your list (if it's not biased): Cost per hour to operate LRT vs BRT Dallas $310 vs $150 LA $670 vs $40 San Jose $310 vs $170 Calgary $113 vs $49

Therefore, unless LRT attracts significantly more passengers than the bus currently does, LRT would be more expensive to operate. The fact that provided in this RTH article is a fact about another city and has nothing to do with myth in how it relates to what might or might not happen here in Hamilton.

Myth: LRT will cause traffic congestion by reducing vehicle lanes

Lets look at Calgary as an example. Their CTrain runs on a street not important to car travel. Calgary has several major roads (one way) which run east and west. Even with the LRT, Calgary has significantly more capacity to handle car traffic than Hamilton currently has. I think many people (myself included) would be much more in favour of LRT in Hamilton if it didn't take away lanes of traffic on our two most important east/west roads. Perhaps this is a key difference in the goals for LRT expressed here in RTH compared to the goals other cities had. When other cities plan to have LRT, their goal is to improve transit for it's citizens. It seems that a lot of people on RTH want to improve public transit commutes as well as worsening the conditions for people who drive (even if they have no choice other than to drive). If the only way you can justify LRT working in a city is to shut down car travel, it's not much of an argument if you ask me.

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By MikeyJ (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:24:28 in reply to Comment 67347

Myth:

The Population of Calgary is almost THREE times that of Hamilton's (1.3 million compared to 0.5 million)

Fact:

Hamilton is actually projected to have a population of over half the size of Calgary, or 59% of the population of Calgary.

In the last census in 2006 Hamilton had about 51% of the population of 2006 Calgary.

2010 Projection - Hamilton 740,200 : Calgary 1,242,600

Stats Canada Projections

2006 Census - Hamilton 504,559 : Calgary 988,193

Stats Canada - Calgary 2006

Stats Canada - Hamilton 2006

Conclusions:

Your seemingly comparing a projection of Calgary's 2010 population, to the Hamilton 2006 census population. Which of course isn't going to instill overwhelming confidence in the rest of your numbers, but at least you didn't discount a couple hundred thousand people so you could all-cap THREE instead of TWO, right?

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 02:11:37 in reply to Comment 67372

And Calgary is the destination city for many miles around. Lots of corporate headquarters and branch offices. It is a long way from Calgary to Edmonton let alone Toronto or Vancouver. That is why they, and Edmonton, built LRT. Lots of people coming in to work at the corporate headquarters and the rest of the busy downtown.

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By MikeyJ (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:51:03 in reply to Comment 67423

Thanks, in checking out Edmonton, it seems their LRT proposal occurred under very similar circumstances to Hamilton's...

In order to be opened in time for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Edmonton began work on their LRT in 1974 with a population of just over 445,000. Becoming, 'the first city with a population under one million in North America to have a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.'

Following that, and after much debate, they started constructing the Commonwealth Stadium in 1975. Lastly, they eventually added the Argyll Velodrome to the plans in 1977.

Edmonton - ETS History

Edmonton - Commonwealth Stadium History

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:36:10 in reply to Comment 67372

Hey Mikey,

If your numbers are more accurate than mine, I appologize. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong (ahem). I found it difficult to find consisent recent numbers when looking for the population data I provided. After looking at many different figures from many different sources, I chose the numbers that seemed to be represented most often and I felt that it was a fair and accurate representation.

If it is "only" double, and not triple, sorry.

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By MikeyJ (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 18:11:18 in reply to Comment 67374

Not to be a stickler, but the 2010 data is actually closer to half of double, 1.68.

Go team math!

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 22:29:35 in reply to Comment 67389

I guess we'll see just how off I was after the next census data is released. It will be interesting to see who is closer and how accurate the projections are.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 15:33:46 in reply to Comment 67347

If they don't have the money, they don't have the money.

Your analogy doesn't work well. A better analogy would be buying a property, which is a fixed capital investment that will build equity and can provide revenue opportunities. Most people who buy houses can't afford them, which is why they borrow the money and pay it back over time.

first the author says Calgary is an automobile dependent city and then says 50% of commuters use the train instead of driving.

Calgary was an auto-dependent city when they built their LRT instead of the highways they had considered building. I'm not aware of anyone who thinks they made the wrong choice.

The author must have selective vision.

I'm still trying to figure out how you're drawing your conclusions from the linked analysis, which concludes: "The bottom line: in almost every case, LRT demonstrates that – in the appropriate traffic corridor – it can save ongoing operating expenses compared with alternative bus operations."

Here's another source: Hamilton's rapid transit office compared operating costs per passenger miles traveled (PMT) and unlinked passenger trips (UPT) and found that LRT was consistently cheaper than BRT:

City        Pop      $PMT         %Diff  $UPT        %Diff
                     BRT   LRT           BRT   LRT        
----------------------------------------------------------
Denver      588,349  0.67  0.34   -49%   3.60  2.17  -40%
Houston     2.2m     0.55  0.53   - 4%   3.18  1.29  -59%
Minneapolis 377,392  0.72  0.42   -42%   3.20  2.41  -25%
Pittsburgh  311,218  0.90  1.23   +37%   4.29  6.00  +40%
Portland    550,396  0.93  0.39   -58%   3.27  2.04  -38%
San Diego   1.3m     0.71  0.27   -62%   2.62  1.59  -39%

The study concludes that the population cutoff to support LRT is around 300,000, which helps to explain why Pittsgurgh was the only city not to realize operating savings on LRT, but puts Hamilton well in the clear at over half a million.

The study also concludes that the marginal cost to carry an additional passenger is lower in LRT than BRT, so that the operating cost advantage get bigger as ridership goes up.

According to Jill Stephen, "Calculating operating costs [for the proposed east-west Hamilton LRT line] is part of our ongoing work. We are working on that analysis now and expect to provide the info to Council in the near future."

unless LRT attracts significantly more passengers than the bus currently does, LRT would be more expensive to operate

All of the evidence is that LRT will attract significantly more passengers than the bus currently does.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-04 15:43:28

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 02:34:21 in reply to Comment 67359

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:47:19 in reply to Comment 67424

Once again you're creating phantom distinctions in your desperation to explain why Hamilton can't have nice things.

A recent study of employment in Hamilton by the Centre for Community Study shows that Hamilton's catchment area for inbound commuters ranges from St Catharines, Grimsby and West Lincoln through Brantford, Burlington and Oakville (yes, a number of people commute from Oakville to Hamilton to work, including a former co-worker of mine).

By that measure, Hamilton's metro area population is around 1.3 million, which puts it right smack dab in the middle of North American cities that have built or are planning to build light rail.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 16:24:44 in reply to Comment 67430

Once again you're creating phantom distinctions in your desperation to explain why Hamilton can't have nice things.

No he's not! He's illustrating, with facts, how you spin things to say things which are not true, sound true.

I happen to agree that if you stuck to true facts and not misleading, biased, cherrypicked data, the stuff you say which is true would have a lot more credibility.

In some of my responses, people may be under the impression that I'm trying to argue against LRT. That is not my intent. I'm simply pointing out how the author is not showing the whole picture. I find some of the "facts" insulting to my intelligence as a reader.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:02:42 in reply to Comment 67430

AGAIN the crap. Where did I ever say we cannot, should not or do not deserve nice things? The easy answer is only in your reply. Why do you do this nonsense, why can you not stick to the facts and stop the horrible accusations. Again I think that you do this because the case for LRT in a city the size of Hamilton just does not make any sense and you have to try and discredit me in an effort to discredit my reasonable and justifiable doubts because you just do not have any real answers to them.

What attracts people from St. Catherines to Hamilton? Do they come for the fine dining? the sports? other recreational activities? the night life? Mostly the answer is no. Maybe the odd concert. Hamilton is not a destination city for any of those things now or any time soon with or without LRT. Hamilton is a destination city for some of the people who live here. Mostly the destination city for most of us for Sports (Leafs, Raptors and twice a year Bills) entertainment (concerts big and small, shows like Memphis, Cirque Du Soleil's Totem, or Billy Elliot) fine dining (Susor Lee, Mark Mark McEwan) The List goes on and on. Toronto really is a destination city for millions of people. Hamilton not so much. That is not a belittlement of Hamilton it is simply stating the obvious something that you try to deny. Sure some people who work here actually live in St. Catherines and commute that hardly makes us the hub of a 1.3 million person metropolis. If those people want the entertainment, fine dining or sports they too have to go to Toronto (or Buffalo.) Come on Ryan I was born at night but not last night. Use real meaningful comparisons and we can start to have a discussion about this. All you keep bringing to the table is nonsense and hype.

Look at Detroit. That is a much bigger city than Hamilton and they are building a LRT line of I believe 6 or 7 KM and they have a good size of that cost covered by private investment. Why can Hamilton not have a similar project? You keep telling us that developers are all over this then why do they not put up some money? They did in Detroit. Oh wait maybe it is because there are developers and other corporations with real money in Detroit and there are not any in Hamilton. Who can you ask in Hamilton Stelco? Oh wait they got bought up by US Steel and they idled the plant and their headquarters are in PITTSBURGH. Or maybe a 18 KM LRT line is too long and too expensive to make any sense for a city the size of Hamilton.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 15:46:37 in reply to Comment 67359

I'm still trying to figure out how you're drawing your conclusions from the linked analysis.

Operating Cost per Rider-Trip

Bus     LRT     % Difference
($)     ($)     (%)

San Diego $1.44 $1.15 -20%

St Louis $2.49 $1.32 -47%

Los Angeles $1.72 $2.15 +25%

Portland $1.80 $1.89 +5%

Sacramento $2.12 $1.83 -14%

Dallas $3.27 $2.54 -22%

Baltimore $1.85 $3.29 +78%

What is so difficult to understand?! The cost to operate LRT is more expensive than it is for BRT in 40% of the cities listed on a website which is pro LRT. The biggest discrepency is in Baltimore where LRT is 78% more expensive to operate per passenger

the linked analysis, which concludes: "The bottom line: in almost every case, LRT demonstrates that – in the appropriate traffic corridor – it can save ongoing operating expenses compared with alternative bus operations."

Again.. selective vision. Please note the terms "in almost every case" (6 out of 10?) and "in the appropriate traffic corridor". Even on a pro LRT website, that's a fry cry from a FACT that LRT IS cheaper to operate than BRT. All that can be concluded is that in ideal circumstances, in some cities LRT is cheaper than BRT, just as it can be said that in ideal circumstance, in some cities BRT is cheaper than LRT. The key questions that remains to be answered is what is special about Hamilton that will make LRT cheaper here than BRT?

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-08-04 15:56:03

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 15:59:23 in reply to Comment 67364

Nice to say, a worthwhile point to debate, but could we get a source link from where you are drawing these numbers from?

The one Ryan provided doesn't even dicuss Baltimore, St. Louis (which proves his point), Sacramento (which again furthers his point), Los Angeles or Dallas (which also proves his point).

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-04 16:25:51

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:03:36 in reply to Comment 67366

sure thing? To what? If you mean the Baltimore statistic, it is from the link which Ryan used as an example to illustrate his "fact" that LRT IS cheaper to operate than BRT per passenger... hence why I said he must have selective vision.

edit.. okay, you did mean the Baltimore thing. It is ,in fact, from the link Ryan provided where he says "significantly cheaper". http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_lrt...

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-08-04 16:05:57

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:08:28 in reply to Comment 67367

Thank You, although that same article also lists that is all of these cities, LRT was cheaper per passenger mile and only marginally expensive in a few locations.

Edit: The rest is needless and I misinterpreted your point.

So Ryan, the next question would be, how do you account for Baltimore, LA and San Jose (that both have more density then Hamilton) having higher operating costs, since you did list why Buffalo is the exception to the rule.

From what I can see, LRT's costs seem dependant on Ridership. If Ridership is higher (which is likely given the Main St Corridor has 13,000 utilizing the Bus system currently) it becomes cheaper, when Ridership is down, it becomes costlier. This of course gets back to the density arguement which I feel is LRT's biggest deterrent to success in Hamilton, which I will also note Ryan hasn't sourced on the main article, but I'm certain some may be forthcoming as the "Calgary some years ago" arguement did convince me somewhat (athough some years ago Calgary was booming, Hamilton isn't quite booming yet).

It just strikes me that Ridership and population density would seem to go hand in hand. However, I don't this would quite explain Los Angeles and Baltimore if that is the case...those two really have me perplexed. I'd only assume in LA rail cops are probably present, which adds to costs. Still lost on Baltimore and San Jose though.

Just trying to see the flaws and merits of both arguements here.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-04 16:36:19

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:48:53 in reply to Comment 67368

Hey Hammer,

Yeah, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it makes sense that the LRT line in a city is cheaper per passenger mile than a bus line in the same city. This makes sense because the LRT will be in the most dense part of the city and along the busiest of the city's routes. The statistic isn't saying that LRT is cheaper per mile compared to BRT along the same mile so we have to be careful with how we interpret that data.

Another point I just thought of. Although population density is an important factor to consider, just because an area has a high population density doesn't guarantee a ridership. It makes intuitive sense that the higher the population density, the higher the ridership, but it certainly isn't causal. One must also consider where the people in that dense area are coming from and going to. Or, if a city has 3000 people/sq km, but is only 10 sq km big, it doesn't do much for ridership numbers. If everyone within a dense area tends to stay home all day or prefers to walk places, then even if it's the most dense city in the world, it won't do much for it's transit ridership. Unfortunately, I think the economic state of Hamilton is currently a lot closer to, although better than, Buffalo's than it is to some of the other cities that we have been compared to and we need to consider that and what the ridership would look like. I really hope people don't retort that with things like "you're one of those people that thinks Hamilton Sucks and it can't be like other cities because they don't suck". That's not what I'm saying at all. I really want to see Hamilton change for the better (like everyone? here). I just think that we need to consider how we're unique in some ways here and how best to precede at the present time.

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-08-04 16:51:16

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 17:20:56 in reply to Comment 67377

Yeah, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it makes sense that the LRT line in a city is cheaper per passenger mile than a bus line in the same city. This makes sense because the LRT will be in the most dense part of the city and along the busiest of the city's routes. The statistic isn't saying that LRT is cheaper per mile compared to BRT along the same mile so we have to be careful with how we interpret that data.

Why are we not taking into account that LRT has been demonstrated to generate more investment than buses?

It's not hard to change a bus stop, it's a little bit more involved to move an LRT station.

Operating costs are important, but so is ROI.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 14:13:47 in reply to Comment 67384

Why would we move a bus stop? Usually because it makes more sense to have a bus stop 100 yards one way or another. How will that affect anything? Buses typically stop at every major intersection and many that are not close to being major. If for some reason the bus stops 100 yards away how will that change anything in a real and meaningful way?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 19:56:55 in reply to Comment 67562

Someone decides a route is no longer good the way it is and so moves it a few blocks away. How much effort does that take?

Anyone counting on that bus stop to deliver traffic their way is left hanging.

An LRT station? Takes a little bit more effort to move it.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 18:02:15 in reply to Comment 67384

I really don't like the investment attraction arguement. I'm sure it's a perk and an attraction, but as a gaurauntee for future investment, I'm not sure. Not because I don't think it would happen, it just strikes me as a gamble. Sure there is more incentive for a developer to build there, but that doesn't mean other factors won't get in the way of development. It's one of those things that, yes it's a reason why but I feel is setting a false expectation that within a few years the corridor is suddenly going to sprout highrise.

I mean, you never know when some group might step in and try to prevent some buildings along the line from being torn down and turned into a Condo development because of historical architecture or because it ruins a quiet neighbourhood. :D

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-04 18:06:37

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 19:37:27 in reply to Comment 67388

I'm with Hammer on this one. Development/investment is a perk, but we have to be careful using it as a raison-d'etre.

The point of public works projects needs to be the services they provide. Let's be clear - we want LRT because it's the most efficient way to move people available. There are many other benefits as well, but the primary focus should be on building the most effective transit project possible.

As far as those benefits go, I'm a lot more comfortable with the term "intensification" than "investment", because it counts people and not dollars.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 17:09:49 in reply to Comment 67377

A fair comment about density not being the sole factor. However, I will say in this case the B-Line corridor would tend towards places people would frequent often. Ivor Wynne, Copps/Jackson Square/Farmers Market, Eastgate Square, Hess St. and of course McMaster.

However, if the 13,000 HSR number is correct that is a pretty good jumping off point for how ridership would look, and potential savings if those HSR routes are retired as a result of LRT.

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By Cal Gary (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 14:41:46 in reply to Comment 67347

Not sure about everything you say but Calgary's population in 1981 when they built there C-Train was 591,857.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 14:39:54

Myth: LRT will not go up the Mountain. Fact: LRT can handle grades up to 10 or 12 percent, which is much steeper than the grade of the Claremont Access.

But build, operation and maintenance costs will be increased. This is one place a close examination of the benefits of LRT vs BRT needs to be done. The eas-west line I have no problem with, the line up the mountain is the one that should be facing scrutiny.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:38:26 in reply to Comment 67348

This is a worthwhile point, which adds yet another reason I have no idea why Bratina was talking about wanting an A-Line first. Even more so since he opposes the Aerotropolis plan/development (which I have to agree with).

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-04 16:38:43

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By Dadeo (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 14:53:18

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[ - ]

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:11:07

It's still absurd that the man who was elected based on his desire to research every possible location for the stadium is trying to kill the research for the LRT.

This crap was practically his mandate.

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By George (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 16:17:33

This is terrific! Can this be a sticky at the top the RTH page for easy reference? It would be a great resource for people like me, who can direct people here to explain why LRT is a must-do for Hamilton.

Can it also be expanded and elaborated on in the future (like a work in progress) with links and more details and examples of successful impacts of other LRTs?

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 17:06:17 in reply to Comment 67371

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:59:32 in reply to Comment 67379

It would be better if it actually was factual and presented both sides of the argument fairly/accurately rather than being obviously biased.

Fair enough.

So clearly, you suspect that there's 'another side' to what's been presented.

Show us.

Better yet, write an article.

Because this doesn't seem to be a simple case of you not wanting to hear what Ryan's saying...that there are elements you feel have been either misrepresented or need better representation.

This site has a mandate. And Ryan et al proceed within that mandate. This is not a newspaper. There is no allegiance to 'absolute and strictly-adhered-to' notions of stark objectivity. This displeases some.

So write your own articles for RTH.

If Ryan refuses to publish them...I can almost guarantee this won't be the case...then your underlying point will have merit.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 14:16:22 in reply to Comment 67431

"This is not a newspaper. There is no allegiance to 'absolute and strictly-adhered-to' notions of stark objectivity."

Nor is there any allegiance to honesty.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 04, 2011 at 20:37:11

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:05:54 in reply to Comment 67403

FACT: You people are in the minority.

I fail to see the relevancy of this notion. Are you implying that because people frequenting this site are (in your subjective opinion) in the 'minority', that the discussions are futile? What is it that you'd like? For all 'non-majority' opinions and their mechanisms to be shut down?

FACT: Your adoration of Portland borders on being unhealthy.

It's a favoured reference point for Ryan. I don't think it's 'unhealthy' so much as a tad overused...but the real issue here is that its continual use annoys you.

Deal with it.

Or start writing your own counter-articles.

FACT: RTH is synonymous with epic failure

I guess it all comes down to how you frame things. If this is the case...and I don't agree, but I get the connotation...then I have to ask this question of you:

Why are you here?

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 00:25:46 in reply to Comment 67403

Grom, honestly, what did you hope to prove by this post? You certainly aren't winning any hearts and minds here by making it. If anything you are making people who oppose LRT look like a bunch of douchebags. I suppose in some ways polarizing people might be your way of trying to stop an issue that you oppose, but if you ask me, it's that's just kinda childish and doesn't really help people on the fence come down on your side.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-08-05 00:27:05

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 09:11:59 in reply to Comment 67419

When your argument is "Bah, humbug!" it's tough to get people to your side. Much easier to call everyone else stupid for daring to have a vision and want to improve things.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:37:35 in reply to Comment 67419

Trolling is more like vandalism than argument. It's not about making a point, it's just about making a mess.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 12:03:33 in reply to Comment 67429

insult spam deleted

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2011 at 06:58:16 in reply to Comment 67552

I have vision. My vision involves not building a railway down king street just because Brandon thinks people in the east end will be flooding downtown to buy spelt cupcakes. Why is my vision less than your vision?

Actually, what you've replied with isn't a 'vision'. It's a reaction. A dismissive-yet-entertainingly cynical reaction.

Come on; clearly you've got stuff to offer, you're more than just what you've been accused of... Why don't you share your 'vision'?

I'll pay you five bucks to write an article. Its focus is up to you.

Because there's no need to keep tossing stuff into the sandbox when you clearly have a bag of intriguing toys you're (badly) hiding behind you... Come on in and contribute. Make things 'better'.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-09 07:07:54

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2011 at 07:16:05 in reply to Comment 67708

FYI "Grom" is just one of the many anonymous screen names (along with "Akbar", "Blenda", "Me 109" and others) of a singularly persistent troll whose oeuvre of RTH comments displays a consistent pattern of ugliness, mockery and sheer contempt.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 09, 2011 at 07:49:12 in reply to Comment 67710

And what do all the great leaders down the ages say about dealing with people like this?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 19:55:15 in reply to Comment 67552

@brandon... Your retorts are the worst by far of anyone here.

From the tone of your comments that's high praise. Thank you.

I have vision. My vision involves not building a railway down king street just because Brandon thinks people in the east end will be flooding downtown to buy spelt cupcakes. Why is my vision less than your vision?

Your vision, as we have seen it expressed here, is the status quo with a thorough helping of mocking for anyone who dares to see a way to improve things. The "Bah humbug" mentality is always a great way to improve things. Keep up the good work!

If you truly have a better vision for the city, express it clearly, or even write an article for the site. If not, well, back to "Bah humbug" I guess.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 22:59:15 in reply to Comment 67609

insult spam deleted

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 08, 2011 at 08:40:30 in reply to Comment 67617

Its definitely not praise.

See, it's a matter of perspective. If I was worried about your opinion of me, I'd be concerned. As it stands, having your overt disapproval of me is really showing me that I'm probably on the right path.

Your responses tell of someone who had spent a lot of time running mediative drum circles in inner city schools' detention halls.

Here we go again. "Anyone who supports LRT is a hippie". Like those crazy hippies in the Chamber of Commerce, or the downtown BIA, or the Real Estate organizations. LRT has broad support but someone like yourself, a proud member of the "Bah humbug" brigade, automatically discounts anyone who supports it as a dirty pot-smoking hippie due to your own blinkers. Hell, Waldorf and Statler are open-minded compared to you.

Also, re: my love of the status quo... Hardly my dear. The day that boe building is no more, Ill be happier than a pig in shit.

Which, unfortunately, is the status quo in Hamilton. Knock it down, knock it down, knock it down. Thanks, once again, for proving the point. If you have a different vision, share it.

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-08-08 08:41:15

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2011 at 20:07:17 in reply to Comment 67626

insult spam deleted

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 08, 2011 at 21:42:58 in reply to Comment 67689

Well, you got where I grew up, went to school and the fact that my grandfather never heard of my job, but the rest is wrong.

Still doesn't change your generalizations and dismissals above.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2011 at 21:56:06 in reply to Comment 67697

insult spam deleted

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 21:08:39

Dear RTH fans of the b-line LRT.

We are caught up in a battle over cost. There is an important difference between cost and value. Value is cost plus vision. Anything can be cancelled because of cost. After returning from Vancouver, where I grew up pre-Skytrain, I cannot emphasize the VALUE of the rapid transit system there.

Hamilton will derive immense value from the b-line LRT. It will be part of a planned system that includes better roads, all day GO, bike lanes, happy sidewalks, etc., etc. It all is affordable because the VALUE of the effect it will have cannot be beat.

Since none of us can even remotely predict the cost of a b-line LRT (opposed or for). I suggest we use a more powerful statistical tool that is used often in my line of work. This is called a meta analysis. I can't do one. My brain is too small (ahem Nicholas Kevlahan). The basic concept is to combine ALL the LRTs that meet the criteria of Hamilton's size, length of track, etc. Add it all up, and divide I guess :). This should cancel out differences and similarities. I think the final result of this process may be 42. We can dispense with cost, and move onto the vision of value.

Just sayin'.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:12:42 in reply to Comment 67405

You are absolutely right. The problem is there is not a single city that is not a destination city as small as Hamilton that has LRT. Portland, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Kansas City, Edmonton, San Fransisco, Calgary.... all are bigger and are in fact destination cities for many miles around. All have viable and working LRT systems of one kind or another constantly being compared to Hamilton.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 11:48:38 in reply to Comment 67446

Oh, absolutely. I know I can't wait for my next trip to Pittsburgh. It's the ultimate destination for anybody in the American northeast.

But you're right, a rusty old industrial town like Pittsburgh is completeley different from Hamilton.

And you missed the point of some other articles:

Many of these cities were small, unimportant locations before they built their rail projects.

Also, Charlotte.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 14:25:20 in reply to Comment 67470

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 12:28:14 in reply to Comment 67470

Michael Cumming wrote about his trip to Pittsburgh in 2009.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-05 12:29:21

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:11:33 in reply to Comment 67405

For me, what I get from your comment is a reinforcement of my belief that we all need to increase our level of understanding of the basic issues...which go beyond the average person's personal/family finances. We're talking interlocking concepts, we're talking about seeing past what's in front of us. And to a certain extent, we're talking vision.

In a city where there's a 'legacy malaise' and the idea of 'visionary leadership' is hardly endemic amongst Council, I think it's reasonable to expect that a whole lot of effort's going to have to be expended to get to a place where we can all feel sufficiently informed to have a qualified opinion one way or another.

But all this effort has to be generated from us. As it stands, don't look to your Mayor or your Councillors. "Move along. These aren't the droids you're looking for."

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By DanJelly (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 01:04:24

Myth: LRT will get stuck in traffic.

Fact: LRT will run on dedicated lanes with signal priority. That means the streetlights will automatically turn green for the LRT vehicle as it approaches an intersection.

We could all debate ridership statistics, examples of other cities' successes, ROI, etc, but the basic fact quoted above still escapes people. They think we're going to be paying $1 billion for Toronto-style street cars and want none of it. You'll never get the "Why" into their heads if they don't understand the "What" first.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 07:13:15 in reply to Comment 67421

They think we're going to be paying $1 billion for Toronto-style street cars and want none of it. You'll never get the "Why" into their heads if they don't understand the "What" first.

Deliciously poignant and dead-on.

Never mind the sub-conscious problem here with anything connected to Taranna for Hamiltonians.

But this comes down to our 'legacy malaise' and the associated inferiority and insecurity complexes.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 08:30:52

Here's what pro-LRTers are up against:

http://www.dundasstarnews.com/opinions/a...

Here's their letter to the Dundas Star News:

What will light rail do that HSR doesn’t? Letters Aug 02, 2011

I can’t keep quiet any longer.

As a member of the silent majority, I cannot for the life of me understand why a few loud Hamilton voices think we want or can afford the LRT. What could it possibly provide us overtaxed citizens that the HSR does not already?

Estimates of $825 million before cost overruns will do what for the city? The roads and infrastructure need this money more than any LRT. Why not buy a fleet of 20 Rolls-Royce stretch limos for the route for what we would spend on feasibility studies alone? That will separate Hamilton from other cities and draw attention.

Funny how the minority voice held up the Red Hill expressway for more than 20 years and look at the traffic on it now.

Somehow the silent majority is taking full advantage of this long-delayed route.

Len Dezoete Hamilton

This is the general tone of so many people out there...at least, those who have an opinion.

Counter-arguments need to be succinct and well-informed. We're battling ignorance.

(I don't have a problem with people not being on-board with LRT. But the above letter-writer does not, from my vantage point, have a qualified opinion. I read frustration and anger that has nothing to do with the issue, their contribution to the dialogue being fuelled by other stuff

P.S. I see that Mr. Dezoete's letter has been previously published in The Spec: http://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters/a...

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-05 08:34:13

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 09:16:48 in reply to Comment 67432

haha. silent majority. is that the same 'silent majority' that shows up on election day with no clue what they're doing?

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 08:47:33

It should also be pointed out that many of the "LRT failures" mentioned by opponents, including the Edinburgh LRT mentioned by Bob during one of his visits to his buddy Bill's radio show are actually failures of project management. The Edinburgh project would have been a failure no matter what they were building because it was a failure of project management, blaming it on what they were building is either ignorantly or purposefully dishonest (Hard to tell with Bob sometimes).

As they say, "no plan survives contact" and any time you embark on any engineering/construction project you run the risk of things going wrong. Even when all you're building is a "simple" pier. The only way to avoid these pitfalls is to do nothing and I don't believe that is an option this city has.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2011-08-05 08:52:50

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 08:59:04 in reply to Comment 67433

Even when all you're building is a "simple" pier.

Ah, Burlington.

Talk to Marianne Meed Ward if you want some perspective there.

But you're absolutely right about risk. But if the 'average person' doesn't want to take any risks...then we're have to go back 150 years...and I don't think many of them would have survived.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 09:17:51 in reply to Comment 67434

and I don't think many of them would have survived.

Let's hope for the same result next election.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 13:03:41 in reply to Comment 67438

Let's hope for the same result next election.

Of whom are we talking now? The incumbents?

If so, please remember how many we re-elected this past time.

If you want to whinge about who you've got in office, then at least focus on the deciding factor: the voters.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 09:50:40

Have i missed or dos anton know where Bob Young stands on the LRT? It would seem that the Bline would b of great benefit to the stadium ... or Is he still on about th driveway to driveway nightmare ?

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By George (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:44:05 in reply to Comment 67440

Not sure what significance BY's LRT opinion has, but i'd imagine that since the stadium is staying at it's current location he'd support it seeing as there is limited parking to support the driveway to driveway philosophy. If LRT creates more access to IWS2, then I'd bet BY would be all for it.

BTW, who is anton?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:55:51 in reply to Comment 67455

If TOD is all it's cracked up to be, and BY is a believer than I'd think he'd support LRT as any related TOD development could potentially help catalyze that whole area, to the stadium's and Tiger-Cats' benefit, in a way that a new stadium alone could not.

And again, LRT isn't as effective at transformative change without proper planning and development, so here's a perfect example, IMO, of a unique synergistic opportunity between LRT and IWS2.

Being a Tiger-Cat fan, I'd love to see LRT for the Tiger-Cats' sake as well as the city's and that neighbourhood's sake.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 10:57:18

Silent majorities, what a beautiful argument. "I have way more public support than you in an utterly unprovable way".

So far the main argument of the anti-LRT crowd (or at least the vocal part) has been ignorance. The arguments put forth show little knowledge of Hamilton's specific project plans. That's why I like this article so much. If SpaceMonkey wants to harangue about points and numbers using data, then I'm all for it. That's the kind of criticism we need. On the other hand, the quality of letters coming into the spec shows a real need for further basic education.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 05, 2011 at 16:36:29 in reply to Comment 67460

So far the main argument of the anti-LRT crowd (or at least the vocal part) has been ignorance.

LMAO

I missed this earlier.

What's funny are the commenters from anti-LRTers who shout that pro-LRTers never base their arguments on any facts.

Say what...?!?

RIght. We're all about the gummy treats and the gauzy reality of a make-believe world.

Town halls, anyone...?

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 11:06:52

French cities with tramways (mostly modern LRT), together with populations of the agglomeration (entire associated urban area). Of the 22 cities, 14 have populations less than Hamilton's city population of 505,000, not including the population of any neighbouring municipalities (Hamilton's CMA population is almost 700,000 and the associated agglomeration is over 6 million). Many are far smaller, with populations less than 300,000.

Note that several of Paris's lines are exclusively in secondary cities of the associated suburbs, e.g. T4, T6 (opening 2013), T7 (opening 2013).

Angers - since 2011, pop 224,205

Bordeaux - since 2003; pop 809,562

Caen - since 2002, 'trams on tyres' system featuring a single guide rail; pop 195,487

Clermont-Ferrand - since 2006, 'trams on tyres'; pop 260,402

Grenoble - since 1987; pop 428,075

Lille - non-stop since 1909; pop 1,012,895

Lyon - since 2001; pop 1,432,577

Le Mans - since 2007; pop 192,421

Marseille - since 2007; pop 1,434,845

Montpellier - since 2000; pop 320,511

Mulhouse - since 2006; pop 239,876

Nancy - since 2000, 'trams on tyres' system featuring a single guide rail; pop 331,246

Nice - since 2007; pop 946,884

Nantes - since 1985;pop 570,139

Orléans - since 2000; pop 268,924

Paris and Île-de-France (Paris metropolitan area) - since 1992; pop 10,247,794

Reims - since 2011; pop 210,251

Rouen - since 1994; pop 390,153

Saint-Étienne - non-stop since 1881; pop 281,843

Strasbourg - since 1994; pop 441,035

Toulouse - since 2010 pop 863,756

Valenciennes - since 2006 pop 356,247

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2011-08-05 11:14:42

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 14:40:35 in reply to Comment 67462

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 littleLRTmouse (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 11:49:32

Although I do not live in Hamilton,I have to say one thing:I am proud of citizens of Hamilton,who get excited about the LRT in their community. However too much of this excitement is on the side of propaganda and not facts (and questions and answers). So please come to T.O. and investigate for yourself. What do you want your LRT look like? Excellent example is T.O. Harbourfront line. On the east side it runs in a tunnel, which loops under Union stn. On the surface there are two sections - east of Spadina towards Yonge st. and west of S. What do you want? Slightly elevated ROW on the east or separated ROW with curbs on the west. Or do you think Spadina from Front to College will better suit you? Or GOOGLE "Charlotte LRT" and you will see ROW on bridges and ramps and its tunnel in background.
Of course - if you GOOGLE "YOUTUBE EDMONTON LRT" - it is different "ball game" altogether.

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By Dave Hart Dyke (anonymous) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 14:51:37

The only way downtown Hamilton is going to be revitalized is if people from outside the core have quick, convenient transportation that runs all the hours that the theatres, bars, coffee shops and restaurants are open. What sane person wants to drink and drive? And who can afford the $30 - $50 cab ride from Locke Street to eastern Stoney Creek? LRT will drive development along the whole corridor, and open the core to thousands of people who now stay home rather than deal with the constant irritation of driving and parking downtown. As for the current situation, I'll just say this: my decidedly low-tech hybrid bike got my decidedly out-of-shape carcass from John and Main to Eastgate Square faster than the King Bus. That's not a transit system. That's a joke.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 14:53:29 in reply to Comment 67492

According to Google maps that is 9 km. The HSR schedule gives the bus 30 minutes to get there along some of the most congested streets in Hamilton. So if your hybrid can keep you moving at an average of 20 kph you should beat the bus and probably a lot of the cars as well. The only way you can do that is to not obey the rules of the road, like most cyclists are want to do. With speeds like that you can probably beat most forms of transit. Even the B line bus is allotted 20 minutes to make that run and he only has 6 stops en route.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 05, 2011 at 17:22:44 in reply to Comment 67492

Now take a lane of traffic away along the same route and imagine how insanely long it would take.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2011 at 07:45:44 in reply to Comment 67517

Now take a lane of traffic away along the same route and imagine how insanely long it would take.

Congratulations.

You've managed both sum up the Prevailing Attitude in The Mid-50s when our streets were turned into thoroughfares, while crystallizing the limitations of so many people to actually conceptualize what LRT means and how it brings about its benefits. (This reminds me of on the one hand, someone wanting to play three-dimensional chess, while the other person is insistent on playing checkers.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-06 07:46:03

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 09:03:09 in reply to Comment 67538

Congratulations on displaying an elitist attitude and assuming I'm some idiot that hasn't thought this thing out just as well as you have, but came up with a different opinion than you.

I'm well read on LRT in general and Hamilton's LRT and have attended several of the LRT information sessions. I don't need to be schooled on LRT benefits or how they're brought about.

I'm left wondering who the guy playing checkers is.

You forgot to say what is on your other hand.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2011 at 09:48:15 in reply to Comment 67540

Congratulations on displaying an elitist attitude and assuming I'm some idiot that hasn't thought this thing out just as well as you have, but came up with a different opinion than you.

That's a pretty... Well, I get that you're feeling argumentative in reaction to my comment, but honestly, your throwaway comment certainly didn't present itself as anything representing a stance deserving of much better, regardless of how well thought out your opinions might be about LRT. It struck me as typical material from Those Who See LRT as An Obvious Bad Idea And Please Stop Talking About It. My apologies if your offering was misinterpreted. Sorta. Kinda.

: )

I have to laugh at the constant reference to 'elitist'. In most instances it has to do with the observer's triggers. But if you find that you're having issues with the way I comment...then gloss and carry on. Change is absatively not on my horizon.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 00:20:31 in reply to Comment 67546

This is the same type of sentiment we heard the other day decrying elitists and praying for good honest Everyman to save us from you eggheads.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2011 at 09:43:55 in reply to Comment 67540

You forgot to say what is on your other hand.

Um...the person wanting to play checkers.

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By WRCU2 (registered) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 09:40:22 in reply to Comment 67540

You forgot to say what is on your other hand

Nice move SpaceMonkey

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 15:06:40

Mr Meister,

I know I shouldn't reply, since I doubt you are really interested in learning about the urban transit systems in France, but you are deliberately distorting the data.

I compared the urban agglomeration populations, which are the areas served by LRT (and directly comparable to the urban area of the City of Hamilton), and so we need to compare the areas of the respective agglomerations.

It is important to note that the French subdivide their cities much more finely than we do here, which is why the central city has a small area and relatively small population compared to the agglomeration. It is as if each Hamilton Ward were a separate municipality. For example, my in-laws live in Poisat, which is a part of greater Grenoble, contiguous with it, but has a population of only 2081.

Here are the areas of some of the agglomerations served by LRT in the cities you mentioned, which you could have easily looked up yourself (google agglomeration angers superficie, etc)

Angers 510km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communaut%C...

Bordeaux 551.88 km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communaut%C...

Caen 184.69 km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communaut%C...

Clermont-Ferrand 300.62km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clermont_Co...

Grenoble 307.07 km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communaut%C... http://www.semitag.com/ (website of the transit system for greater Grenoble)

Nantes 523.36 km^2 http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantes_M%C3...

etc.

Note that the urban area of Hamilton is 227km^2, and its urban population is 647,634, which makes it smaller and denser than many of the above French urban agglomerations.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2011-08-06 15:40:44

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 15:22:56

Mr Meister,

Since your knowledge of French urban geography is bit limited, and perhaps your knowledge of French is too, I provide the definition of a French agglomeration, together with a summary translation below:

General meaning of the term in French:

Une agglomération est définie comme une ville-centre (au sens administratif) munie de ses banlieues (entités administratives incluses dans la continuité urbaine) s'il y a lieu.

(a downtown plus associated suburbs, in a continuously urban region)

En France, l'agglomération au sens physique a été définie par l'Insee comme une unité urbaine. Au sens politique, l'agglomération renvoie selon la taille à une communauté urbaine (plus de 450 000), une communauté d'agglomération (50 à 450 000, sauf chef-lieu de département : 30 à 450 000) ou une communauté de communes (moins de 50 000, sauf chef-lieu de département : moins de 30 000).

INSEE (the French statistical agency) defines an agglomeration as a continuous urban region, and subdivides agglomerations into three categories based on total population.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 23:03:43 in reply to Comment 67571

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-08 07:07:42

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted August 06, 2011 at 19:16:57

mystonie, does it bother you when people refer to RTH as "Ryan's" website?

Congratulations, by the way, no one in the history of anyone insists upon themself like you do.

Comment edited by Kevin on 2011-08-06 19:39:31

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2011 at 22:42:59

Wasting/spending money on LRT is truly a great idea, really.

From 1990-1995, Canada's national debt went from approximately 50% to 70% of GDP and Ontario's debt, from 14% of GDP to 28%. During this time period, the average Toronto home price fell from $255k to $180k, an average decrease of 9.1%, while nominal GDP increased by 2%/year. That means while homes were becoming cheaper to buy, incomes were still rising. This is the sign of a productive economy.

In contrast, between 2004-08, Toronto home prices have increased from $315k to $420K, an average increase of 7.46%. In this same time frame, nominal GDP/capita has increased by only 4.4%/year. In other words, prices (especially for the big ticket items) are rising faster than our incomes. This is the sign of a bubble economy, pretty on paper, but lacking in real productivity growth.

From 1990-1995, Canada's dollar fell from $0.85US to $0.71US and yet gas prices decreased from about $0.75/ltr CDN, to $0.70/ltr CDN.

In contrast, from 2004-08, Canada's public debt fell from 40% of GDP to 30%, while the dollar ranged between $0.82US to $1.07US. During this same time period, gas prices have increased from $0.90/ltr CDN, to $1.00 CDN/ltr.

As for the costs of paying back our debts. From 1990-95, when deficits averaged 7.29% of GDP, actual debt charges fell from 9.45% of GDP, to 9.03%.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 02:09:14

I always found it frustrating starting from scratch each time I looked a whether to buy real estate or not. ;) I hope you all enjoy the below google map of the B-Line with proposed stops and the proposed A-Line of Hamilton's BLAST network.

http://goo.gl/ESi6C

Comment edited by misterque on 2011-08-11 02:28:13

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By AETHERMAN (registered) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 15:01:33

BUSES offer many advantages over any LRT. (1)Buses can drive almost anywhere on rubber tires and therefore easily detour accident or road closure scenes, (2)Buses offer much greater safety to pedestrians who board and exit them when they make stops next to curbs as opposed to trains stopping one full lane away from curbs, (3)Buses can perform Fast Emergency Stops, where LRT's would slide much farther on wet slippery rails, (4)Buses will not be "dead in the water" when the power grid is down, (5)Buses do not have High Voltage (550 Volts?) overhead power wires connected to them that could electrocute pedestrians and motorists when they fall during storms and other reasons, (6)Buses are not prone to be struck by lightning because they ride on rubber tires, (7)Buses do not connect to arcing overhead power wires that are known to cause annoying "snap, crackle & popping sounds" on all types of Radio's & TV's, (8)Buses do not require power poles to connect to overhead wires like LRT's, so drivers do not have to waste time re-attaching such devices when they slip off and dangle around in the air like a drunken sailor, (9)Buses can be easily towed away if they break down, (10)The streets don't have to be bastardized with rails or the asphalt around them requiring constant costly repairs due to winter water freezing, heaving and salt erosions, (11)Other vehicles don't have to dodge around wet slippery rails, (12) Buses can be operated on clean Natural Gas as opposed to diesel. etc. (db)

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 15:28:31 in reply to Comment 67875

Have no critics of LRT ever seen a trolley car, a street car or an actual LRT train?
If a bus is stuck in traffic, it's stuck in traffic. Given the number of One Way streets in Hamilton, it could take it along time to re-route. Even if it did, what then? If Main St. is jammed from Mac. to Emerald St., the bus might as well stay stuck, because it can't pick up or drop off any passengers on Main St.
Since LRT is not sharing the roads with cars & commercial vehicles, it won't likely be involved in traffic jams, unless the accident happens right on the tracks.
How many people have been shocked by wires on a trolley or street car? Unless an ice storm brings actual overhead wires down to street level..Never.

Yes the connecting wires can slip off, but since the street car is on it's own grid, why would people cross a street behind a street car? Pretty unsafe! It doesn't take long to hook them back up.

People do get hit by street cars. Yes in some unusual situations like wet snow, ice, heavy rain or wet leaves on the tracks, it can happen. But how many people get killed every day in their cars Commuting? LRT tracks are maintained just like any other railway.

I can't hear most radio stations @ King & Dundurn & near the radio hub, (Main west of Mac)without LRT interfering. You can pass a street car without car radio interference. You can live next to a street car lines without it effecting your electronics at home.

I took street cars for at least part of my journey to work, the movies, the library & the subway nearly every day of my life for many years. I lived across from the shared line for King, Roncesvalles, & Queen car routes for years. I think your worries are for the most part unfounded.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 13, 2011 at 10:11:17

LRT technology has advanced to the point where overhead wires are no longer necessary. Bombardier has developed a "catenary-free" LRT tram system. In my opinion, the study on LRT in Hamilton should include a section examining the feasibility of using this technology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JVtvQe30...

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2013 at 13:29:28

Fact: According to a March 2010 HSR Operational Review, buses operating on the east-west LRT route already carry 13,000 passengers a day."

That's actually the weekday ridership for the afternoon peak period of the four lines that will be replaced by B-Line LRT.

1 King: 4,506 boardings
5 Delaware: 3,587 boardings
10 B-Line Express: 2,844 boardings
51 University: 2,342 boardings


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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 25, 2013 at 13:48:33 in reply to Comment 86738

I hope they're planning on new local buses to handle the change, because in Westdale the B-line is absolutely not a substitute for the 5 and 51 - those buses run through Westdale and the University instead of stopping at the outskirts like the B-line. Westdale hangs pretty far from Main Street and so the buses that run along King get a lot more use here.

Hopefully the LRT would be coupled to a move into a leaf-and-spine model instead of hub-and-spoke.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2013 at 14:19:57 in reply to Comment 86739

You'll have Bixi. ;)

Current positioning as captured in the Rapid Ready analysis has been on taking 18-20 buses off the roads to soften the budget blow to the HSR. In the short term, those buses might just disappear, or be replaced by a Waterdown-style mini bus.

Or maybe not. The HSR has traditionally measured success by population within 900m of transit lines, the approximate distance of the Aviary to Main Street.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2013 at 15:24:24 in reply to Comment 86740

Heel-Toe Express: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

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