Special Report: Light Rail

Liberals to Announce Rapid Transit Funding for Hamilton

Phased LRT, a spur connecting the James North GO Station and expanded GO service to Stoney Creek are expected in today's announcement.

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 25, 2015

At 8:00 AM this morning, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will join Transport Minister Steven Del Duca and Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin at McMaster University to announce a rapid transit funding commitment for Hamilton.

Multiple sources have indicated that the announcement will specify a phased light rail transit (LRT) line running between McMaster University and the Queenston Traffic Circle, as well as a spur loop connecting the line with the James North GO Station.

In addition, the announcement is expected to include a timeline for GO service expansion to Stoney Creek.

Thanks to ThePublicRecord.ca, you can watch the news conference live when it begins at 8:00.

It is not yet clear what route the spur line will take to connect to the James North GO station or what the timeline will be for construction to start.

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 YesLRT (anonymous) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 08:37:30

Great news! Very happy about this and to see all the supporters' hard work realized. As for the rail line, I hope Main Street is also considered–especially through downtown where King Street is very narrow. The width of Main is plenty!

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 08:47:16 in reply to Comment 111733

Main should go two-way as was originally proposed by Metrolinx analysis study. City Hall are the ones who tried to kill that part of the plan.

2 lanes each way with parking on one-side and left turn lanes at all intersections. Done.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 08:43:25

Amazing!! Didn't think we'd see this day come. Now let's get to work on design and construction plans! LOVED McMeekin's shout-out to Ryan McGreal. Very WELL deserved.

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By bvbborussia (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 08:46:13

Didn't think I'd see this. Congrats to all involved in bringing this to Hamilton.

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By Stephen (anonymous) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 08:58:19

I have a question for anyone with an informed idea: to what extent are the plans that staff made still usable? I ask since the routing will evidently be changed. Will other aspects of the route also be opened back up for discussion? Do they need to be- in other words, are the plans somewhat stale now and we have to go back to the drawing board?

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:05:39 in reply to Comment 111739

as far as I know, all prior plans are still very much usable. We were around 35% finished design work. The only changes now should be ending the line at Queenston Traffic Circle and coming up with the routing for connections to the West Harbour GO Station.

My personal preference would be to run the northbound line up James St from King in mixed traffic. Northbound traffic is always light on James as it used to be a southbound street. Much more traffic uses it south-bound. Then run LRT in it's own lane south on Hughson back to King. If they insist on it having it's own lane through the entire route (which simply can't happen through International Village), perhaps they could use the Northbound curb parking lane on James from King to Vine, then Vine to MacNab for northbound trains, and Hughson for southbound trains.

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By why not (anonymous) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:22:55 in reply to Comment 111740

why not take the line off king down hughson or even john street and then over to the go station? both of those streets have vastly greater need for the development potential of an lrt line. james street is already well on its way to being a great street, why not spread the love around? john street especially is just screaming for new development north of king william. all those parking lots! what would james really gain?

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By Cam (anonymous) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:32:24 in reply to Comment 111742

I really hope the spur is a little bit more substantial and cuts down Barton to Wellington/Victoria before coming back to King. This way Barton Village and HGH can get some much needed love and the return trip to King can help another neighborhood.

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By highasageorgiapine (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:37:52 in reply to Comment 111744

agree with both the above comments. james will probably be more congested with vehicular traffic than the adjacent streets when the new station is operational (LRT or not, people are going to be driving there regardless) and by allowing some of hamilton's many neglected neighbourhoods some infrastructure investment this lovely tide will help raise all boats, rather than a few already well-off ones.

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By ItJustIs (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:18:48

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Comment edited by ItJustIs on 2015-05-26 09:19:02

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By highasageorgiapine (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 09:23:41

great news, though i still hope for an extension to eastgate some day (not going to hold my breath).

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By asingh (registered) | Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:08:52

I am thrilled by this news!

This day happened due to all the advocacy work and the Liberals recognizing the importance of LRT to growth in Hamilton. Even with all the noise that emerged, LRT emerged as the logical choice for investment.

We still have work to do to overcome a lot of the misinformation around LRT. But with this announcement the naysayers will need to rethink their position and recognize that Hamilton is positioned for growth.

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By 7 (anonymous) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 00:00:37

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By Dylan (registered) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 06:38:09 in reply to Comment 111772

Something tells me you didn't have much interest in supporting Hamilton's core before the announcement.

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By 7 (anonymous) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 16:43:05 in reply to Comment 111775

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By Dylan (registered) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 17:11:03 in reply to Comment 111804

Again, it sounds like LRT has absolutely nothing to do with your admitted avoidance of downtown. I welcome you to give it another chance. I've lived in Hamilton for only two years and even in such a short period of time I've noted a marked improvement.

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