Special Report: Transit

HSR Ten Year Plan: Preliminary Review

The plan is modest and offloads most new capital and operating revenue to the Province and riders, but it represents a break from the status quo of constant stagnation.

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 06, 2015

Today the General Issues Committee is meeting to discuss the Public Works budget.

Public Works has submitted a 180-page presentation, which I can't link to directly because the City's Council/Committee meeting website is an unusable quagmire, but you can click through to the presentation from this link. You have to click on the tiny PDF icon to see it, but the link that gets generated expires after a while so you can't share it.

The report only came online yesterday afternoon so no one has had much time to digest it yet, but it includes a draft Ten Year Transit Plan, which runs from page 25 to page 85 of the document. Here are some preliminary observations.

Transit Matters

The plan starts by making the case that Hamilton needs to invest in transit. Better transit means households can spend less money on automobiles (e.g. switching from a two-car family to a one-car family). It means aging seniors with mobility issues can remain independent for longer. It means connecting low-income residents more effectively with employment opportunities. It means creative industries are attracted to invest in new operations here.

It means better health, since people are willing to walk to high quality transit and that walking adds up to significant exercise. It means cleaner air with fewer single-occupant vehicles on the road.

Of interest to people who are determined to keep driving, better transit means driving will remain a viable way to get around. The City had 520,000 residents in the 2011 census. By 2031, Hamilton's population is expected to increase to 660,000.

That many new residents will grind our transportation system to a halt if all of those residents have to travel by car because we failed to accomodate a much larger and growing share of total trips on transit.

Not Following Strategic Transit Plans

First of all, the report acknowledges that Hamilton a) already has strategic transit and rapid transit plans and b) has not been following them.

Council approved the Transportation Master Plan in 2001 and the Transportation Master Plan Review in 2007. Council is currently undertaking another Transportation Master Plan Review, which is expected to go to Council for approval in 2016.

Council also approved the Rapid Ready plan in 2013, which charts the course we should be following to get ready for the planned installation of light rail transit (LRT) along the east-west B-Line corridor between McMaster University and Eastgate Square.

So far, we have not done any of the things we should have been doing. Back in 2001, Council approved some modest, prudent transportation targets by 2011:

We have made no progress on those goals. Between 2006 and 2013, the number of annual transit trips per capita actually fell from 48 to 45.1. As the plan delicately puts it, "City is lagging behind in all targets."

Meanwhile, our competitor cities have been making impressive gains. During the same period that our annual rides per capita was backsliding, Mississauga's annual rides per capita grew from 41.2 to 47.6.

Low, Stagnant Funding

The reason we have stagnated while other cities have improved is that the amount of money we invest in transit has stagnated while other cities have invested in growing transit.

Between 2006 and 2013, Brampton grew its per-capita municipal transit contribution by from $47.73 to $84.20, a 10.92 percent annual increase. Even suburban Durham grew its per-capita contribution from $39.15 to $76.28, a 13.55 percent annual increase. Mississauga increased the per-capita transit contribution by 9.3 percent a year, York Region grew by 5.36 percent a year, London grew by 4.44 percent a year and Windsor grew by 3.78 percent a year.

Hamilton's per-capita transit contribution grew by just 1.8 percent a year, or 12.63 percent overall. That only just keeps up with the rate of inflation over the period but represents no real increase.

The transit system itself carries passengers in a cost-effective manner, making the most of the limited funding it receives.

New Capital Costs

Over the ten years, the report recommends spending the first two years just shoring up deficiencies in the system's ability to meet current transit demand. The third year, staff would establish a system-wide set of service level standards and begin growing the system by attracting new riders with increased service.

The report recommends a number of new capital expenditures to grow transit:

For the $15.6 million in new vehicles, the report recommends sourcing $3 million from development charges, $5.7 million from the transit vehicle replacement reserve, and $6.9 million to be requested from Metrolinx as part of a request to cover the unfunded capital requirements in the ten year plan.

New Operating Costs

With 25 more buses, that means another 50 full-time employees (43 operators and 7 maintenance workers) at an annual operating cost of $6 million.

Despite the fact that the city has not increased its per-capita transit funding in years, the plan recommends getting most of the new operating revenue by raising fares, which have not increased since 2010.

Of the $6 million in new operating revenue to address deficiencies in current service levels, $5.7 million would come from fare increases and the other $300,000 would come from taxpayers. The increase would be phased in over two years through a schedule of annual fare increases.

The report acknowledges that increasing the cost of transit reduces ridership - each 1 percent fare increase produces a 0.2-0.5 percent decrease in ridership - but argues that a 1 percent increase in service produces a 0.5-0.7 percent increase in ridership. In other words, applying a fare increase to increase service will produce a net increase in ridership.

Supporting this conclusion is the fact that Hamilton's fares are among the lowest among comparator cities, most of which have higher ridership than Hamilton despite higher fares. They also have significantly higher public contributions and service levels.

The report recommends increasing prices annually, starting this September:

Proposed Multi-Year Fare Increases
Year Cash Adult Ticket Student Ticket Adult Monthly Student Monthly Senior Monthly
Current $2.55 $2.00 $1.65 $87.00 $71.00 $20.50
Sep 2015 $3.00 $2.25 $1.70 $99.00 $74.80 $25.50
Sep 2016 $3.00 $2.25 $1.70 $99.00 $74.80 $25.50
Sep 2017 $3.25 $2.45 $1.85 $107.80 $81.40 $35.15
Sep 2018 $3.25 $2.55 $1.90 $112.20 $83.60 $39.90

Beyond 2018, fares would increase with inflation according to the Consumer Price Index.

The report projects that net ridership and net revenue will both grow under this scenario:

Annual Impact of Fares and Service Increases
Year Net Ridership Increase Net Revenue Increase
2015 7,990 $1,907,874
2016 158,324 $3,770,444
2017 479,752 $3,117,922
2018 551,280 $3,230,926

The cumulative revenue increase over 2015-2016 works out to $5,678,318 - most of the extra $6 million needed to shore up today's service deficiency.

Ridership Lowball and Bad Data

The report notes that the only way to achieve the goal of 80-100 annual rides per capita is to invest more in higher-order transit: express service and rapid transit. It proposes that higher-order rapid transit will become necessary after 2025.

BLAST: Hamilton's Long Term Rapid Transit System
BLAST: Hamilton's Long Term Rapid Transit System

It cites 1,110 passengers per hour in current peak transit ridership on the B-Line corridor. That suggests the corridor does not yet have the ridership to justify rapid transit on a purely reactive demand-meeting basis.

Chart: appropriate transit mode at various peak passenger levels
Chart: appropriate transit mode at various peak passenger levels

But a recent Hamilton-Today article that lists all the buses operating in the busiest part of that corridor shows that peak ridership is actually conservatively between 1,500 and 3,000 passengers per hour.

That means we're already into bus rapid transit / light rail transit territory today.

A big part of the problem is that the HSR has no reliable way to count how many people are using the system. Many passengers show a pass but do not scan it in, so they are not counted automatically.

In 2009, when the City hired IBI Group to undertake the HSR Operational Review, the consultant actually had to have employees ride buses and manually track how many people were getting on and off the bus.

Similarly, the incidence of "pass-bys", when a full bus fails to stop for a waiting passenger, is recorded only in customer complaints. If a customer doesn't complain - and most don't - the pass-by is not counted.

Chance to Show Support for Transit

For those Councillors who insisted they strongly support transit while killing the only fragmentary bit of higher-order transit infrastructure in the city a few weeks ago, this is a very easy opportunity for them to make good on their rhetoric.

This transit plan is extremely conservative: it demands almost no new revenues from local taxpayers and takes an incremental, go-slow approach to transit growth.

Of course, given the past thirty years, even go-slow incrementalism would be a radical departure from the status quo.

Staff have made it as easy as possible for Councillors to approve this plan, given that it sources most of the capital requirements from the Province and loads most of the operating increases onto riders.

I would have liked to see a real infusion of new municipal dollars into the operating side. After all, Hamilton receives a federal gas tax fund every year and plows nearly all of it into maintaining our overbuilt road network.

I also would have liked to see some mention of area rating for transit, since the current schizophrenic transit funding system makes real city-wide planning impossible.

And given how difficult it is to get real ridership numbers, I would have liked to see that addressed as well: a payment system that can tell the HSR how many people are actually riding a given bus.

But given the political realities of a Council that is generally unwilling to think strategically and make difficult choices to plan for a more viable future, this may be the best we can expect.

The new energy that Transit Director David Dixon brings to the job certainly represents a refreshing break from the long twilight in which the HSR's management was content to manage the decline year after year.


Thanks to Nicholas Kevhalan, Dan Jelly and Jason Leach for helping to analyze the report.

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.

42 Comments

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2015 at 11:26:54

Not that they are any great paragon of how to do things right, but when I was a teenager in Guelph (cough, the 80s), Guelph Transit was recording the fare type utilized for each passenger who got on a bus.

The fare box had a "telephone style" keypad and the driver pushed a different number for each fare type (ticket/cash/transfer, child/student/adult/senior). Even allowing for ridiculous overpricing and design/build for abusive use, we could have the data collection system in place for less than $200/bus. It would require the cooperation of the driver in actually doing the data entry, and I understand that bus driver is not the easiest job in the public service, but I would think that the bus drivers are as keen as we are to show the value that they bring to this city. As for collecting the data, the buses all have to go through a depot sooner or later, wireless data collection is (now) trivial. Processing the data? Even easier - open it, let all of us blogsites and usual suspects take care of that for you. Heck, that's a cool idea. I should probably write it up. Not that anyone would go for it. Sometimes being ambitious is a kick in the pants.

If we had only that much data, we'd be in a position to manage the transit we have more effectively. If we include data for strollers, drive-bys, non-fare-paying riders... well, we could actually talk about transit facts instead of guessing about transit realities and leaving us in the position of it being a "my strongly biased stats are better than your differently biased stats" war between councillors.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 12:01:32 in reply to Comment 108785

HSR data gathering on ridership patterns is abysmal and its analysis is impaired as a result.

Guelph publishes monthly performance reports:

guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/GuelphTransitPerformanceReport.pdf

If the HSR isn't that abitious, it might disclose monthly ridership stats:

brampton.ca/EN/residents/transit/facts-figures/Pages/RidershipStats.aspx

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2015 at 11:48:27

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By Jeez (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 12:00:00

I'm afraid that only when those old and younger (Chad) fart councillors become old enough to loose their licence will they realize the importance of investing in public transit.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 12:02:59

"...a recent Hamilton-Today article that lists all the buses operating in the busiest part of that corridor shows that peak ridership is actually conservatively between 1,500 and 3,000 passengers per hour."


Qualifier: Numbers calculated on the service capacity of bus routes using King between John and James. 85% of said buses (ie. 70 of 83) were operated by the HSR, and 43% of those (ie. 30 of 70) were linked to the B-Line family (1/5/10/51).

Even at that, however :

30 x 40’ buses, seated passengers at capacity (40 per): 1,200
30 x 40’ buses, seated & standing passengers at capacity (83 per): 2,490
30 x 40’ buses, passenger crushload (95 per): 2,850

30 x 60’ artics, seated passengers at capacity (62 per): 1,860
30 x 60’ artics, seated & standing passengers at capacity (105 per): 3,150
30 x 60’ artics, passenger crushload (142 per): 4,260

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 12:47:55 in reply to Comment 108789

1/5/10/51 avg 21/hr Mon-Fri
1/5/10/51 avg 12/hr Sat
1/5/10/51 avg 8/hr Sun

Or 18/hr Mon-Sun avg.

18 x 40’ buses, seated (40 per): 720
18 x 40’ buses, seated & standing (83 per): 1,494
18 x 40’ buses, sardined (95 per): 1,710

18 x 60’ artics, seated (62 per): 1,116
18 x 60’ artics, seated & standing (105 per): 1,890
18 x 60’ artics, sardined (142 per): 2,556

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 12:18:20

"The report recommends a number of new capital expenditures to grow transit: $15.6 million for 25 new buses: 11 new express buses to start growing the "BLAST" network of express corridors and 14 new local buses.... For the $15.6 million in new vehicles, the report recommends sourcing $3 million from development charges, $5.7 million from the transit vehicle replacement reserve, and $6.9 million to be requested from Metrolinx as part of a request to cover the unfunded capital requirements in the ten year plan."

This is presumably in addition to or in place of the 24 CNG buses ("including nineteen replacement buses, and five previously approved expansion buses") recommended for the 2015 budget cycle at a Dec 8 2014 Public Works Committee meeting.

So, 11 buses over 10 years to start growing the rapid transit system. Better than nothing, though there is an irony in enhanced service on the recently truncated 44 Rymal line (BLAST's S), and optimism in express enhancements to the 18 Waterdown route (BLAST's L), which registered a barrel-scraping 1.6% R/C (~2 boardings per revenue hour) in IBI's 2010 report.

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By Disgusted (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 15:02:11

Watching the transit budget meeting now... these councillors are a bunch of incompetent bumbling idiots. VanderBeek in particular babbles on and on without making any sense. Do none of these people know how to speak concisely? Those loquacious bastards.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2015 at 15:17:12

So it seems like council is disappointed in the sluggish timeline planned by HSR in exchange for a lot of money upfront... and conversely the Mayor seems to be intent on slowing the process even further with waffling and citizen engagement processes. The downtown councilors are cranky about the fare increase.

What a mess.

It is a disappointing plan, but only because it's insufficiently aggressive.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 16:27:49 in reply to Comment 108818

It is a disappointing plan, but only because it's insufficiently aggressive.

And yet councillors balked at the idea of funding it. Almost every councillor complained about the idea of raising fares even though the proposed fares are comparable to peers, but none of them proposed paying for the improvements out of taxes. If you are against raising fares and against increasing the levy, you are against improving the transit system --- its that simple.

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By Don McLean (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 16:02:01

95 percent of the funding ($5.7 million) for the first two years is to be extracted from the poorest people in Hamilton through very large fare increases. The other 5 percent ($300,000)comes in taxes overwhelmingly collected from residents of the former Hamilton who cover 90 percent of transit taxes. The wealthy suburbs whose transit tax rates are all less than 30% of Hamilton's are asked for next to nothing.

The tax increase will work out to less than $1 per household. The hit on transit riders - the people who are doing the right thing - is $144 for those using monthly passes. And the report falsely claims to support a fair balance. The city's position remains - "drivers rule and screw anybody who doesn't drive, especially if you can't afford to".

This should have been presented on Monday - Groundhog Day. It's another plan that likely won't be implemented because it asks for next to nothing from council.

This year is the best opportunity for actual city investment in transit. It's four years from the next election, and plunging gas prices mean the cost of driving has dropped significantly. Instead of asking them to contribute, staff are on their knees begging for scraps in the vain hope that later in the ten-year plan there will be some actual city investment.

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By Eggem (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 17:49:44

Get your eggs ready people!

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By Dylan (registered) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 18:34:35

I hate fare increases because they disproportionately affect the lowest income brackets the most. I hope it's offset by offering more discounted passes to those in need.

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By GTA MOVE (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 21:36:00

What is the current status of the BLAST network. I have seen B Line and A line bases. Are there L, S and T buses yet?

The reason I ask is this: if Hamilton is committed to providing a rapid transit network, they need to do everything possible to showcase this network as well as provide the necessary infrastructure (like the bus lanes and future plans).

in York Region YRT's ViVA express bus network started with buses with distinctive paint, a separate network map, and upgraded bus shelters with countdown timers. Almost 8 years later the region is constructing "rapidways" with a long term plan to convert to BRT then LRT.

In Brampton, Brampton Transit's express bus network (ZÜM) has buses with distinctive paint, a separate network map, and upgraded bus shelters with countdown timers. They do not have "bus lanes" but rather, queue-jump lanes at both sides of intersections. The long term plan is to convert the network to "rapid transit" including the Hurontario-Main LRT.

In Mississauga, Mississauga Transit's MiExpress express bus network has buses with distinctive paint and a separate network map but no upgrade bus shelters, countdown timers or queue jump lanes. There is a plan for conversion to rapid transit on the Hurontario corridor (as part of the Hurontario-Main LRT) and Dundas corridors but nowhere else.

I think that if the public and councilors are going to take the BLAST network seriously and give it the long term investment commitment that it needs, they need to see the BLAST network in place today, with the separate network maps and the distinct buses and the improved service frequencies. Ideally this should be complemented by the upgraded shelters and countdown timers.

Once the consciousness is built, the investment in the BLAST network (queue jump and bus lanes, rapid transit) is more likely to get public and councilor support, letting the whole network grow.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted February 06, 2015 at 22:25:43 in reply to Comment 108849

The L, S, and T lines are the transit equivalent of vaporware, and the A-line only runs on weekdays during peak hours.

The A and B lines have none of the distinguishing features you mention. They use the same color scheme, same network map, and same crappy (or absent) shelters as the rest of our neglected transit system. There are no countdown timers. No one in Hamilton has ever heard of a queue jump lane, and our only bus lane just got destroyed by a bunch of Visigoths, er, suburban and rural councillors who think that transit is a social service for the poor and an annoyance for motorists.

In Terry Whitehead's words, "the future is not now." Actually, that was an understatement. The past is now. We're still acting like it's 1955.

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By GTA MOVE (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 11:56:10 in reply to Comment 108857

Then this must change. Public transport supporters will need to dedicate their energy towards getting the city to upgrade these features for all 5 routes in the BLAST network.

This builds a base of "quality" transit, upon which the LRT will be built as a necessary upgrade.

York Region's VIVA has 4 routes operating and they are building rapidways for all four. Brampton Transit Züm has 4 routes operating and is waiting for the funding to upgrade to rapid transit. Both of these services invested in the facilities & amenities for all the routes. Now they are moving to the next level.

MiExpress has 5 routes but didn't invest in the facilities and amenities like Brampton and York Region. Too much money was spent on the capital costs of the Transitway even though the vast majority of users are on other routes.

Hamilton will be better off if they emulate York Region and Brampton, not Mississauga.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 17:33:01 in reply to Comment 108905

I'm very impressed with the York Region planning and upcoming extensions to their network. Hamilton is so far behind the rest of the continent in virtually every aspect of city-building it's not funny. Transit is just one of a myriad of elements to our city that are frozen in time, and I'm not entirely sure which time period.

We still have zero transit signals in our city. Yes, zero. Let alone proper lanes, shelters, real-time data etc...

But don't worry, city hall is building a traffic light monitoring station so they can turn lights green longer when people are leaving the Festival of Friends in Ancaster.

Welcome to Hamilton

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 09, 2015 at 12:36:59 in reply to Comment 108905

This is what the City's Rapid Ready LRT plan states:

A comparison of the proposed B-Line LRT with other systems in Canada and the United States showed that system performance as it relates to ridership would be mid-range as compared to the other successful LRT systems on opening day and be one of the top-peforming systems in 2031.

I agree that we need to start growing transit capacity citywide, but we are already well-situated to build LRT along the B-Line today. We don't need to complete an express bus to Waterdown with ten-minute headways before we start thinking about upgrading what is already the city's most congested transit corridor, with over 40% of total ridership.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2015 at 00:37:07

The nine fingers at the throat of public transit must be very proud of the report. It recommends bus lanes. Wahahahahahaha. This is so brutal.

http://tinyw.in/1EGF

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By councilcorrupted (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2015 at 08:07:49

This city is being run by criminals no doubt.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 07, 2015 at 10:19:22

Not sure any of this matters. Council has zero vision for transit. All prior reports are collecting dust somewhere in city hall, and I'm betting in 10 years we'll look back and wonder why this report wasn't followed up on.

But don't worry, we'll fight like heck for a useless Mid-Niagara region highway to Pelham and cloverleaf to Walmart and Target (oops) in Waterdown.

Comment edited by jason on 2015-02-07 10:19:35

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By Yesman (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2015 at 19:21:52

We need to organize mass civil disobedience.

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 12:52:39

by the way some of the anti transit zealots in this town are already jumping on the "lets fund an express bus to waterdown THEN talk about lrt" bandwagon, im worried. some might wonder at the speed in which dixons report is already being used as a possible beard to ask the province for transit dollars that get spent on horse and buggy tech to derail (no pun) true public transit progress. to wit, timely article in the hamiltonian about dixons report. some might perceive it as kinda of a pushpoll opinion piece. i have asked the hamiltonian for authorship of this article, but they will not respond. some might find the tome similar to others by john "every tax dollar spent on public transit in hamilton is one less tax dollar available for a mid pen parkway" best. some may hear the echos of peggy "anti lrt champion bob bratinas leuftenant" chapman. its easy to confuse the two writers editorially, possibly as some say because peggy chapman worked with/for john best for so long and so closely. its possible or even likely that hamiltonian publisher herself teresa " longtime co publisher with john best AND longtime business associate peggy chapman" difalco herself wrote the piece. forgive some for getting confused as to the authorship of the article. it easy to understand given the longstanding business ties and editorial synergy between best, chapman and difalco. maybe a straight answer as to who wrote the post would help.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 20:56:15 in reply to Comment 108882

Even with the qualifier ("its easy to confuse the two writers"), you're conflating two publications. AFAIK, no cross-over.

bayobserver.ca/dont-like-bus-lanes-try-yielding
thehamiltonian.net/2015/02/when-projects-meet-politics.html

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 22:36:27 in reply to Comment 108888

"AFAIK, no cross-over" not so. the hamiltonian has linked to and quoted and published entire articles from john best and the bay observer.

http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2012/09/the-bay-observer-hamilton-waterfront.html http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2012/10/ha... http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2012/06/ma... http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/7D22...

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 05:17:40 in reply to Comment 108930

RTH arguably had its origins on CHML's Roy Green Show, and Green is a regular contributor to the Bay Observer. Does't mean that ideological twinning has taken place. Most local media in Hamilton has crossover of the link/republish variety. The Hamilton often does so as an editorial economy. They reprint press releases verbatim as well.

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 12:17:33 in reply to Comment 108941

whatever their origins when was the last time rth has linked to chml or published chml opinion pieces? has roy green written an opinion piece for rth that got published in the bay observer? no. as well, rth lists the authors of every article. the hamiltonian used to sometimes but not anymore. and they wont respond to posts or emails asking about the authorship of the piece in question. they have had multiple chances to reply to queries about who writes what on their site. they will not respond. they will send flying monkeys to other sites cough cough to defend and try and obscure their publishing habits, but they wont address it in house directly. oh well, thanks for chatting peggy, i mean noted.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 12:55:01 in reply to Comment 108958

Again, The Hamiltonian seems to prefer the path of least resistance — rhetorical provocation of comment rolls and "as-is" email Q&As dominate.

IMHO it's reasonable to assume that unsigned blog entries should be credited to the blog's editor or publisher (as is the case with CATCH, whose content features regularly on The Hamiltonian) but I wish you godspeed in your digging for lost bylines.

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 13:22:04 in reply to Comment 108962

then why wont they say so in a response either publicly or privately on THEIR site or my inbox? then we could be doing this on the hamiltonian and not rth.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 21:03:01 in reply to Comment 108888

The Hamiltonian's current publisher, Teresa DiFalco, has a 21-year history in the Ontario Public Service (1986-2007: Premier's Office, Cabinet Office, Management Board Secretariat, Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Transportation, Gaming Secretariat). ca.linkedin.com/pub/teresa-difalco/66/106/20a

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 22:37:22 in reply to Comment 108890

"Ministry of Transportation" interesting. thank you

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 10:27:16 in reply to Comment 108890

The Hamiltonian's founding publisher (2009-2010) Cal DiFalco has been a director for various provincial ministries since 2003:

goo.gl/s9DxkD

He is also a longtime spokesperson for the Fruitland Road Community Association and former chair of the Fruitland Road Winona Secondary Plan's Community Advisory Committee — roles that pitted the DiFalcos against the trucking industry and residential intensification:

hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/EB57B710-61D5-4409-9B2F-40D7B8B28B16/0/Oct24Item517.pdf
hamiltonnews.com/news/residents-ride-roughshod-over-proposed-truck-route-plan
hamiltonnews.com/news/politicians-delay-until-february-winona-plan
hamiltonnews.com/news/expect-an-omb-showdown-on-fruitland-winona-secondary-plan

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 22:46:08 in reply to Comment 108896

"roles that pitted the DiFalcos against the trucking industry......" so they did not want noisy dangerous trucks driving by hthere house, no one does. but if they didnt drive by his house they were going to drive by someone else. he wasnt against trucking, just against trucking in his neighborhood. and fighting "residential intensification" makes him no hero or saint. theres a difference in not wanting your quality of life destroyed and being hostile to new neighbors for selfish reasons, and i dont know what logic or emotion motivated the difalcos to act. but neither will i be fitting them for a halo or be giving them a pass on subsequent questionable behaviour.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 12:37:27 in reply to Comment 108934

Just offering additional background on DiFalco and Best, the individuals you described as "longtime co publisher[s]".

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 13:20:22 in reply to Comment 108960

as per the links i posted to the co-publishing of the bay observer and the hamiltonian. an editorial synergy of viewpoints. viewpoints that at the very least appear to line up exactly with the paid consulting work in the trucking and port facilties and logistics industries that john best publicly solicits. one of john bests self claims is that he has as as consultant a ability to harness social media to his paid clients advantage. ????

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 21:01:57 in reply to Comment 108888

The Bay Observer's publisher, John Best, is also the Executive Director of the Southern Ontario Gateway Council and has offered issues management and media relations support to the Port of Hamilton as well as PR, media relations and marketing counsel to TradePort International.
ca.linkedin.com/pub/john-best/a/98a/913
johnbest.ca/clients.html

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By redmike (registered) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 22:50:01 in reply to Comment 108889

paid lobbyist for the very industries he "reports" on in his independent "newspaper".

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 21:43:51 in reply to Comment 108889

in layman's terms, a truck industry lobbyist.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2015 at 06:28:24 in reply to Comment 108891

Yes, that was the point.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 08, 2015 at 15:53:37 in reply to Comment 108882

My favourite part about those Hamilton-haters is their inability to even fathom doing two things at once. Like it's physically impossible to do an express bus to Waterdown AND LRT. Impossible!!

I also love how this same crew is always associated with trucking lobbyists and their constant cry poor routine is suddenly forgotten when someone asks if we should build a full expressway from south of Hamilton to the massive international metropolis of Pelham, Ontario.

They are all windbags who hate the city. The deserve to be called out, and any of their ideas are generally the complete opposite of what will lead to prosperity for the city. For their own bank accounts? Sure. But that's it.

Comment edited by jason on 2015-02-08 15:54:27

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 11:29:06

Hamilton Community News op/ed laffs from a month ago:

goo.gl/0d28oO

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2015 at 11:41:12 in reply to Comment 108902

Correction. Last week. hamiltonnews.com/tag/mike-vukovich/

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