Special Report: Light Rail

Support. Groups.

A large and broad coalition of business, community, environmental and social organizations support Hamilton's LRT plan.

By Graham Crawford
Published June 09, 2016

This article has been updated.

LRT Support Groups
LRT Support Groups

Update: Since this poster first came out, a number of additional businesses and organizations have asked for their name and logo to be added.

LRT Support Groups, more companies added
LRT Support Groups, more companies added

Update 2: The list of companies supporting LRT has increased to 120 and still growing:

LRT Support Groups, up to 120 organizations now
LRT Support Groups, up to 120 organizations now

Update 3: The list of companies supporting LRT has increased to 168 and still growing:

LRT Support Groups, up to 168 organizations now
LRT Support Groups, up to 168 organizations now


Here is a list of groups that formally support Hamilton's LRT plan:


Please take a few moments to tell Council to take YES for an answer, reaffirm its support for LRT and accept the full capital funding from the Province that Council has consistently voted for since 2008.


Update 4: Here is a map of the businesses and organizations that have pledged their support for Hamilton's LRT plan:

Graham Crawford was raised in Hamilton, moving to Toronto in 1980 where he spent 25 years as the owner of a successful management consulting firm that he sold in 2000. He retired and moved back to Hamilton in 2005 and became involved in heritage and neighbourhood issues. He opened Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on James North in 2007, a multi-media exhibition space (aka a storefront museum) celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the City of Hamilton.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted June 09, 2016 at 15:41:49

Downtown Bike Hounds also supports LRT :-)

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:35:20 in reply to Comment 119217

With No bike lane on King street where ya gonna go...the way of the emergency vehicles and darts no stopping on King street or bike riding...you think it will be safe riding your recreational bicycle down King?

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 09, 2016 at 20:39:33

*ahem*

Not "Ainslie-Wood Westdale Community Organization*" but "Ainslie-Wood Westdale Community Association".

Parochially,

Ken

* splitters! **

** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS-0Az7dgRY *

*** Sorry to force the joke ... but, you know ... millennials ... so little knowledge of capital-C Culture.

Comment edited by moylek on 2016-06-09 20:51:16

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 09, 2016 at 20:54:36 in reply to Comment 119220

What have the Romans ever done for us?.

Those Romans are pretty good at urbanism.

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2016-06-09 21:02:32

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 10, 2016 at 20:26:39

Not that I am being contrary and disrespectful of all the important work this site has done for LRT in Hamilton but, I'm actually far more interested in a list of groups that don't want LRT because I think that might be more instructive and illuminating. To be fair guys, telling me that the Hamilton Light Rail Initiative is pro LRT is a little redundant. In all seriousness, I actually think that a similar list of anti-LRT groups, types, there numbers and status would be quite interesting as means of comparison. I'm sure there are a few anti-LRT supporters whom are regularly on this website who could be useful in this regard. They often tell us that many people all over Hamilton are truly against LRT so, give us a list please! I am being quite serious a real list of anti-LRT groups would be useful. So if you are really anti-LRT please come forward and give us a list of these groups, please!

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 09:48:16 in reply to Comment 119247

Wholeheartedly agree. But one addendum to that is the businesses and homes that are on the LRT route that will be greatly affected by this .Apparently no one wants to hear from the real people this will affect. It's just fine and dandy to support this project especially if you can profit by your support. But lets hear from those who will lose their homes and jobs. I am sure noone of these corporate supporters will be affected by road closures on King street to cut their business in half for more years then they want to admit to. I still would like to know where the cost over run money will come from to complete this project.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:03:34 in reply to Comment 119389

Why don't you check out how many of the companies on that list are on the LRT route, they know what they're getting into and they support it anyway because they can think past the end of there nose.

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:08:17 in reply to Comment 119393

Very few are on the proposed route that support the LRT , But they all stand to take a profit by supporting a project this big. It specialists, development companies realty and cafes not on King stand to support a TROLLEY ( cannot understand why they don't call it what it is a modern day trolley with overhead wires )

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2016 at 08:20:28 in reply to Comment 119247

I'd be interested to know. But I've not heard of any. I couldn't find anything on google, either.

Granted that negative evidence is not the best evidence, it still seems evident that organized neighbourhood and business groups are generally expressing support for LRT.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 16:00:14 in reply to Comment 119249

I recall hearing that a carwash owner and pawnshop owner weren't supportive. But I've not heard of much opposition, even when overhearing people in coffee shops or on the street.

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:04:58 in reply to Comment 119255

Gilbert's Big and Tall Men's Shop a 62 year landmark on King street has posted a NO LRT comment on their sign. I am sure many old established businesses are not in favour of losing a 30-50% drop in sales when their roads will be closed for longer than several months. Imagine closing james street with Morgensterns, Miller Shoes, two landmark businesses having no walk on traffic and that would greatly affect Millers...pun intended lol

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By History Check (anonymous) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:42:25 in reply to Comment 119394

Would that be the same Gilbert's Big and Tall that said they would be finished if Good Shepherd Square was built?

Last time I checked they're both still there on King St.

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 17, 2016 at 12:03:59 in reply to Comment 119399

OH ! Do you have a copy of that quote somewhere ? Would be interested to see it . Me thinks you are putting words into someone's mouth !

Comment edited by ref_erendum on 2016-06-17 12:06:59

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By Sullivan (anonymous) | Posted June 17, 2016 at 12:25:58 in reply to Comment 119441

You sound pretty sure about that, any chance you're the same person from Gilbert's who's putting out the sheet of fake "facts" about LRT?

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By maybe (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 00:01:28 in reply to Comment 119247

There aren't any organized groups against it. Do you know of a single one?

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 09:55:15 in reply to Comment 119248

https://www.facebook.com/NOHAMILTONLRT-6...

Apparently they have support from the majority of businesses on King street from Queenston to MacMaster. Most of their questions have been stifled by the LRT and govt.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted June 17, 2016 at 13:21:48 in reply to Comment 119391

Will those people who are organized against LRT put their names (and business names) behind their position so that a legitimate conversation can be had? If not, then it's not much of an organized group when compared to the vast numbers of individuals and organizations who have done research and come out publicly in support of LRT

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 17, 2016 at 13:03:49 in reply to Comment 119391

That page only has 41 likes. Where's the list of this 'majority' of businesses? Me thinks you're the one putting words in people's mouths.

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 09:23:00

So let's get this straight here, a group of 3 organized businesses in one area of the city and a few city councilors is the only truly organized opposition to LRT. Come on guys there has to me anti-LRT groups than that, even the laws of averages says there should be more.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 22:32:47 in reply to Comment 119250

The 3 businesses are for LRT, they just don't want construction in front of their busineeses. They want that segment along Main Street.

So even they are not anti LRT.

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By orangemike (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 12:00:20 in reply to Comment 119250

i know. there seem to be some keyboard warriors that have time on their hands. organize. brand yourself. "jim grahams crackers anti public transit zealots" sounds about right. "allan taylors anti public transit tailgaters" is another good one.

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By Majority (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 11:59:23

The problem is that the majority is not organized not that they don't exist. Only a small percentage of people bother with organized protest or advocating. Advocates make up less than 0.5% of the population as a rule

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2016 at 07:30:22 in reply to Comment 119251

Only a small percentage of people bother with organized protest or advocating.

Except that the logos on the poster don't represent organized protestors or "advocates" for the LRT cause. If neighbourhood associations from established neighbourhoods (Durand, Kirkendall, Westdale), chambers of commerce, and BIAs don't represent voices of conventional majorities, then I can't imagine who or what would.

Unless one accepts that majorities are necessary silent, and that it's the people who don't get engaged with civic life )outside of voting once every few years) who are the ones who, somehow, land on the correct answer to every problem.

Comment edited by moylek on 2016-06-12 07:31:30

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 15:25:51 in reply to Comment 119251

If there really is a majority I seriously doubt they are that poorly organized. I believe after thinking about it, most people realize its just part of the general change in cities continent wide. I just don't think there is as many people against LRT as you think there are. I am sure you are hoping there is more. I'm also sure there a few people who really don't like LRT because it represents a transformative change that they will have trouble dealing with personally and professionally.

With other rapid transit projects I have been involved with, you see a lot of suburban based home builders up in arms because they just realized there main business and product type is being sidelined by changing times and tastes. One owner who is in charge of a big company in the York Region market told me that, many builders are just not equipped to change and will not be able to handle the new designs required. Creating denser neighborhoods/communities with different designs and types of homes is simply beyond their building experience.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 21:27:27 in reply to Comment 119253

the last mayoral election had a clear anti-LRT candidate, and two pro-LRT candidates threatening to split the vote. Even with the vote splitting, a pro-LRT candidate won.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 21:47:59 in reply to Comment 119260

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 15, 2016 at 11:22:14 in reply to Comment 119261

Sorry, that's pure revisionism. The main complaint about Eisenberger's position was that he was pro-LRT by stealth and the citizens' panel would be rigged to achieve his desired outcome, so it's rather rich for opponents to come back now and try to claim Eisenberger was neutral on LRT.

Of course even if it were true that he was neutral, it would simply mean that the number of people either for or meh about LRT still outnumbers the number of people against. Either way, anti-LRT loses.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2016 at 12:38:46 in reply to Comment 119331

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 15:45:58

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 16:43:02

Yes, people like me who deal with this subject matter for a living are just "talking down to you" when we tell you are experience and professional observations. Guys, I don't live in Hamilton, so you can take my advice or not. But, if you guys are seriously going to listen to a group of politicians who's arguments against LRT are so poorly thought out that I was actually laughing when I read them, then you should probably not trust their answer to LRT, which is some very poor version of BRT. If that's what they really want at all, I suspect that what they are really thinking about is probably, just some express bus system and some painted lines on the road with nice bus stops and nothing else. Which is not BRT! The old line that BRT supporters often announce to the public which states that, BRT is like a rail system with buses instead o trains and that is cheaper to operate and build. This above all shows the real naivete of the public and the complete and utter lack of any operational BRT knowledge, of most BRT supporters. It will never give you as much bang for your buck, as a LRT system will.

What those politicians won't or don't tell you is that, a true BRT system that even comes close to having any operational cost savings at all or has the built in passenger carrying capacity and operational flexibility of the virtually free LRT system you are ready to give up, will require a very special, complex and expensive to build BRT system. It will require more than just painted lines on a road, it will require expensive physically segregated BRT rights of way, with well thought out complex stations and will be just as disruptive to the core of the city and its businesses during construction as the LRT construction, could be. Then as passengers levels increase it will cost a lot more than a LRT system to run, which is the big issue with BRT systems, their very steep operational cost curve as passenger levels increase compared to rail based systems. On top of all of this, you will have to pay at least a portion of the building costs if you choose this transit option instead of LRT.

Look at the highly disruptive debate in Brampton they are having around the final 3km of the Hurontario LRT Line. Even when they choose a route they will have to wait for their turn again for provincial support and will probably have to put in their own money for a line they don't own! Until then, they are stuck with their Zuum System, which is not true BRT and it will be many years until it has its own physically segregated right of way. Which will allow something close to real BRT ability and capacity.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 21:25:46 in reply to Comment 119256

you're exactly right, and most residents in Hamilton and virtually every single biz/community organization understands what the world-renowned experts on the topic have presented to us. The few councillors leading the charge against LRT don't want BRT either. They hate the idea that money is going to be spent on transit. It's for poor people who don't deserve to have a dime spent on them.
They are simply using 'BRT' as an attempt to kill the LRT project, and then it'll be easy to back out of the BRT idea once we 'find out' that there's no money on the table for it. Lords knows Hamilton city hall won't spend anything to build it.

It's also worth pointing out that expertise and degrees earned through formal education matter on such topics. None of our councillors have such credentials. Once was stocking video store shelves as a 'career' before politics. Another was playing minor hockey in Northern Ontario if I recall. Yet another has done little more than read teleprompters for decades.

None of those prior careers are bad whatsoever. But none of them lend an ounce of credibility on major civic planning projects. Councillor Ferguson has had a successful career in the construction industry, and oh guess what, despite being out in Ancaster he supports LRT and has for years. Education matters. My advice is to listen to those who have one.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 16:46:49

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2016 at 16:54:14

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 07:53:54

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By Inferiority Complex (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 09:36:56 in reply to Comment 119264

Seriously, are you looking for reasons to be combative?

If people aren't interested in organizing, that's their problem. Those who do want to be involved in their community get the priviledge of putting their NA logo and name on letters they send since they are involved.

If you're not for LRT, take the initiative and start an Anti-LRT group. Then you can send your letter to council and the media stating your position and who you represent.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2016 at 08:09:20 in reply to Comment 119264

Mostly NA's represent about 1-5% of the population.

Yeah, but they represent the Silent Majority :)

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By notheyarenot (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 10:47:47 in reply to Comment 119265

They are the noisy minority. Every neighbourhood has the busybody afraid to mind your own business types who like nothing better than to try and bug council to pass by-laws about your trees and whatnot. The majority want peace and quiet, like the status quo for the most part and remain annoyed and quiet until those pesky nosey neighbours start pushing too hard.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:12:56 in reply to Comment 119269

comment from banned user deleted

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 11:20:44 in reply to Comment 119270

Neighbourhood associations don't speak for the majority, this anonymous internet troll (aka Allan Turbo Taylor) speaks for the majority! You kill me. Hey admins, wasn't Allan banned from this site?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 08:16:27

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 09:48:34

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By Wasting Time (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 15:19:23 in reply to Comment 119268

Because inundating your councillor with time wasting asinine issues is a better use of their time, right

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 15:27:23

comment from banned user deleted

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By Talking down talking down (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 19:44:56 in reply to Comment 119274

LRT isn't asinine. You contacting your councillor for nuisance things like you listed above is a waste of their time.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2016 at 20:19:21

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 09:16:51

@By Talking Down, if you consider this being talked down to then sorry, you desperately need to be talked down too. Under normal conditions advice from people who are consultants like me cost money, here is some free advice. @By Talking down, a properly designed BRT system doesn't operate at all like LRT, it might have superficially similar layouts but that's it. Everything else is different, if you want your BRT system to work well, anyway. It only appears to operate like a rail service. Ottawa's BRT issues mainly come from the concept of starting the Transitway system from outside the core, then moving towards the core as the system progressed. This made certain sections of Transitway cheaper but ultimately lead to the crowding downtown because it raised the cost dramatically of fixing anything in the core of the city. The suburbanites on the Regional Council in Ottawa liked this type of system development on the Transitway Network because it worked for them politically. After having several conversations with your Councilor Whitehead a year or so ago, I could immediately tell he was in favor of this kind of Busway development and only if the province paid for it. Believe me, has no intention of ever voting to spend more City of Hamilton money on transit, if he can get away with it! He doesn't support it at all! He is not anti-LRT he just anti-transit, period!

"The majority want peace and quiet, like the status quo for the most part and remain annoyed and quiet until those pesky nosey neighbours start pushing too hard".

@By Talking Down, our municipal system works best when people do advocate for a position. More things get done that way. Yes, they are loud and those advocates are annoying sometimes. But they function as the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Yes, the majority do want peace and quiet and the status quo, right up until the system starts to fall apart! Well that is happening right now, we can't afford to continue the current way we build communities, via suburban sprawl development. They just don't generate enough taxes to pay for themselves. We can't afford to keep taking away commercial taxes away to prop up suburbs like we have been doing in just about every North American city. Suburbs just don't pay there way, with the taxes they are supposedly generating which is most of them unfortunately. Although some do, most do not even ever come close to paying or themselves!. Its not a theory, its a fact! There are 45+ years of provincial data on the subject, its publically available but its a hard long read. Those first generation post war suburbs, which are now all 50-60 year old inner city suburbs need most if not all of their infrastructure completely replaced. We can't do that if we have to continually prop up suburban neighbourhoods, that don't generate the taxes to pay for their own existence. We can't afford to have kilometer after kilometer of empty suburban roads that, only see moderately heavy use for 1-2 hours a day, at the best of times! All while you hollow out the higher density core of your city

The 4-6, sometimes, 8 lane road system we have built in cities here in Ontario has become unaffordable to maintain, unless 33-50% of the road space (depends on the road width and number of lanes) is diverted to more efficient transport uses like bicycles, LRT or BRT. I we continue to build roads like this, will have to have a lot more user fees for roads (tolls). Even most of the new expressways we build don't pay for themselves either, even when they are full. The reasons for changing have been staring us for years now, every time we look at our property tax bills. The answer is less not more lanes and more transport options other than cars. For reasons of just general efficiency, there will be fewer lane-km's for cars and preference of those remaining travel lanes will be given over to commercial and emergency traffic not personal automobile transport trips. Focusing more money on LRT and better transit in general is part of that fundamental change we are going through! Get use to it, the world has changed and a city that bases 90-95% of its transport system on personal, private, low capacity vehicles, is in serious trouble, developmentally and financially! Just ask Dallas, the city with the continent's biggest LRT network (104 Miles and expanding), businesses have given up suburban business parks and now want to be located by LRT stations and major transit facilities. They found it is a lot cheaper to build and operate their commercial building developments there! Its also cheaper for the city as well.

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 09:59:41 in reply to Comment 119278

Is this what we can expect?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-...

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 18, 2016 at 09:36:03 in reply to Comment 119392

That's Bombardier's Issue not Grandlinq's issue. This has happened because we have never built a 100% low floor LRV's in North America! Only 70% low floor LRV's which have raised floors at the Trucks have been built in North America. 70% Low Floor LRV's are considerably easier to build, require much less quality control but not as fully accessible for passengers. Bombardier warned everyone that this might happen years ago and that it was better that they build these LRV's in their European LRV plants where they have been building 100% low floor LRV's and their components or 15 years on time and on budget. The vehicles would be sent to Canada in there individual completed sections and final assembly would take place at the actual transit's property own maintenance facility. But politicians wanted Canadian jobs at all costs, even when they were warned again about the very steep learning curve that Mexican workers at their parts plant and Canadians workers at the Thunder Bay assembly plant would have to under go. No one, especially our own politicians want to hear that our Bombardier factories and there workers were just not ready or trained for this yet! Everyone is still blaming Bombardier!

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 14:12:46 in reply to Comment 119278

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 12:03:04

Still haven't seen one anti-LRT group or businesses yet, other than ones already mentioned. Where is this majority? They have had years (almost a decade) to organize, so where are they guys?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2016 at 12:57:01 in reply to Comment 119279

Don't you know? It's really hard to get people to organize in opposition to something they hate and fear.

/sarcasm

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By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted June 13, 2016 at 12:54:47 in reply to Comment 119279

I know only a few businesses around me that are fervently anti-LRT.

The pro-LRT businesses , the pro-LRT-but-worried, and the neutral not-interested-in-it-all businesses, far outnumbers the few fervently anti-LRT businesses along the B-Line corridor.

There are also agnostic businesses that will ask questions to both anti-LRT and pro-LRT canvassers and both camps still can "claim victory" on the exact same business because of the responses they've given.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-06-13 12:55:53

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By TAXED (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 18:09:25

Just got my tax bill for 2016. I haven't ridden a bus in Hamilton since 1986. I pay about $1800 for gas for my car including tax. I am now paying $665.92 for a transit levy for buses I will never ride.

I am certain that after the billion dollars I funded through my income taxes is spent, there will be another billion to re-adjust the transit system in Hamilton that I will pay for. You have lost my support and not only that I am putting my house up for sale and moving out. I bought my home in 1996 for $300,000.00 and I cannot afford to pay these taxes any more.

I don't know if LRT is good or bad. I know I cant pay 665 bucks a year for the privilege of others to ride a bus.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 08:56:48 in reply to Comment 119286

Taxes overall in Hamilton are high, but the transit levy is only a small part of it. Improving the local economy and densifying to add more tax revenue per hectare is a big part of the rationale for LRT.

This will help keep a lid on residential taxes (or even lower them) and Ontario residents from outside Hamilton are covering over 95% of the cost to keep your taxes down.

That sounds like a pretty good deal!

You choose not to use the bus, which is perfectly within your right. But no one is stopping you from getting better value from your transit tax by actually using the system from time to time. And you might decide to use it if it were more convenient and comfortable (and attractive).

And would you really want to go to a system where there were no general taxes and only user fees so you would only pay for those services you actually want?

People with no children in school would pay no school taxes. Public schools would charge fees directly to parents.

People who don't drive would pay no taxes towards road construction and maintenance (they would only pay indirectly via increased prices for goods delivered by road or the cost would be built into transit fees charged to those who drive).

The cost of fire service would be charged to those who actually use the service (e.g. people whose houses burn).

People would pay private security services if they want police protection. How many times have you personally called the police?

It would be a very different society.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-06-14 09:01:17

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By Reality Check (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 19:55:14 in reply to Comment 119286

Right. Public transit should be fully funded by users but roads should be subsidized by everyone.

Interesting logic stream there. You sound a tad selfish.

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By TAXED (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 06:55:23 in reply to Comment 119289

Your view that I am selfish that as a homeowner I should spend income tax and property tax to the level I do to support public transit says a lot about you and is a reason why I will look for a home where this level of taxation does not apply. $1600 transit levies on $450,000 houses in Ottawa tells us where we are going with this and clearly Ottawa is not where I will go.

(BTW I guess those people who are getting a free ride on my ticket aren't selfish are they!)

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By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:08:29 in reply to Comment 119299

You will pay a transit levy wherever you go. Also, Hamilton real estate is among the highest performing in all of Canada. Unless you really have to move I wouldn't. Hang on to that asset - in ten years it will be worth twice what it is now.

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By Huh? (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 09:27:25 in reply to Comment 119299

What you are clearly failing to grasp is that you too are getting "a free ride". All municipal taxpayers whether they own a car and drive or not pay for roads.

Why shouldn't everyone also fund public transit?

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By huhhuh (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 12:49:38 in reply to Comment 119304

What you fail to grasp is that the very vast majority of homeowners are drivers so they are paying twice. People who use the bus only are more subsidized than people who drive and use the bus or just drive. In other words, the proportion of taxes that pay for any transit from non drivers is lower than for drivers. Drivers overpay overall.

There are no transit levy's in lots of Ontario jurisdictions.

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By What? (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 13:35:37 in reply to Comment 119311

You make no sense. You are at best ill informed.

Repeating a falsehood does not make it true.

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2016 at 15:12:00 in reply to Comment 119313

I am not sure that you make sense.

Motorists in Ontario meet at least a large portion of the costs that they impose on the road infrastructure—and in major urban areas probably much more than those costs. If we look at the total cost of driving, including vehicle costs, cost recovery will tend to be closer to 100 per cent.

http://www.conferenceboard.ca/topics/ene...

A 2013 study found that specifically in Toronto and Hamilton drivers paid more than the costs of the roads. See http://www.conferenceboard.ca/press/news...

The writer is neither misinformed nor illogical.

He may be wrong though as these studies are not without their critics.

I wholeheartedly agree with you though that repeating falsehoods doesn't make them true.

Comment edited by notlloyd on 2016-06-14 15:14:28

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 15, 2016 at 11:39:52 in reply to Comment 119316

I addressed the conference board report here:

https://raisethehammer.org/article/1994/...

which also refers to the 2005 Federal Transportation study that showed even assigning every fee tax and license charge (including traffic fines) does not come close to covering the cost of building and maintaining roads.

But my main difficulty is that I didn't actually understand the point he was trying to make (I had to guess it had something to do with thinking renters don't pay property tax and take the bus more).

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-06-15 11:41:16

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 13:05:52 in reply to Comment 119311

I don't understand your argument.

Everyone who lives in Hamilton pays the property tax that funds our roads, either directly or indirectly through their rent (and the property tax rate is much higher for those who rent). Municipal roads are funded out of property taxes.

If you only take the bus and don't drive your taxes are mostly going to roads you will never use because buses travel on only a tiny proportion of the total street lane kilometres.

And bus riders also need to pay an additional user fee to use the roads; drivers get to drive for "free" (no user fee).

If everyone took the bus and no one drove our road costs would be a tiny fraction of what they are now.

Every city that has a bus service funds it partly out of property taxes. You'd have to live in a very small place to avoid paying tax for transit: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transit...

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-06-14 13:09:39

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 14, 2016 at 07:29:36 in reply to Comment 119299

There are two reasons Ottawa has a higher transit levy: 1) they have a much higher level of transit service across the city - which means transit is actually usable for a lot more people (and a lot more people use it); and 2) they decided to build BRT instead of LRT 30 years ago, and BRT has a much higher per-passenger operating cost than LRT.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 07:52:44 in reply to Comment 119300

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 18:58:19

My Transit Levy is almost $1600 in Ottawa. I'd kill for only $665.92 but I'd be stuck with Hamilton's pathetic level of transit service.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 19:17:10

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 20:00:08 in reply to Comment 119288

Try again, my home is valued at $475,000 which is only slightly above the city's average.

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 20:01:41

My taxes are about $4200 this year.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 20:07:31

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 20:27:18

Here is a picture of neighbors house who is currently selling for $466,380, its typical for this neighborhood.

https://www.zolo.ca/ottawa-real-estate/4...

Well I don't know about the site but I have my tax assessment right in front me.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2016 at 20:34:52

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 09:51:44

Yes, If you look at the city's website on the average bill 17% is for transit however, that is an average of all property taxes residential and commercial. Roughly 38% of my bill is transit either the direct transit levy or LRT system charge, which is inline for all residential properties in the urban transit zone of the city. Yes, we also have the highest transit levy as a percentage of our total tax bill in the province.

Part of that is because of the large bus fleet required with Transitways (BRT Busways). In 2011-12 our bus fleet was almost 1100 buses (1087). This is why we switched to Double Decker Buses (which are very expensive) for our express routes. They hold more than articulated buses and the express routes don't require a massive number of people getting out of the bus all the time. The vast majority (85%) of all the passengers are getting off at 1 of 5 downtown Transitway Stops, thus mostly eliminating the main drawback of Double Decker buses, the difficulty with exiting the upper deck. These buses replaced older buses on a 2 to 3 ratio. For every 3 retired only 2 replaced them. The fleet now numbers around 940 in 2016.

Due to cost problems, many of the express bus lines were merged as well. This following another huge merger of many more express routes in 2003-2005 period, mainly due to the very low return of express routes. They are very convenient for suburban passengers but most express routes in the 2003-5 period were only covering 30-40% of costs through their fares because of the massive one way passenger traffic flow, the bus must return back to the beginning of the route out in the suburbs empty. This led to almost 1 km out of every 5km or 19.7% of all the vehicle km's that OC Transpo traveled were as "deadheading" and not bringing in any money, also the highest in the province. The provincial average is around 7%. This process simply reversed directions in each peak period. Even today, most express routes barely break 45% return of costs through fares. The whole system only recovers 52% of operating costs through fares and still 16% of vehicle km's are not collecting revenue "deadheading". By increasing the length of our Transitway System we were forcing larger and larger costs on to our transit budget. The LRT system will shorten much of the distance the express routes will have to travel because most will simply drop off passengers at the end of the LRT lines. A few routes will still go all the way downtown but not many.

Buses can be effective rapid transit vehicles to a point but the longer the route and the greater the number of passengers, multiplies the operating costs of using them as a rapid transit vehicle. The system's busiest Transitway route for example, the "route #95" moves almost 50,000 people a day but requires a fleet of almost 60 articulated buses a day to move those passengers, for just this route alone. There are 8 other 90 series "Transitway only Bus Routes" as well as the many, many other bus routes that also use the Transitway as part of their daily route for crosstown travel. Transitway Routes 95 and 97 also operate 24 hours a day. The long length of some of these Transitway routes (25-38 km one way) forces even greater number of buses on the system just to maintain the basic 15 minute all day (5:30am-01:00am) Transitway only bus schedule frequency on each route. Roughly 70% of all OC Transpo's daily ridership (345,000) uses the Transitway as part of their journey.

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:00:23

Oops, that should be a bus fleet of 1087 in the 2010-2011 period.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:03:29

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 10:04:43

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By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 14, 2016 at 11:17:13

The high BRT cost are only part of the tax issue. The other main reason is unlike Hamilton's LRT system, $1.9 Billion of the $5.1 Billion of the capital costs for both phase 1 and 2 of our LRT system is being paid for by city of Ottawa Tax Payers, locally! Yes, by 2024 we will have a nice shinny new 50km long, 2 line LRT system. The reason we get a little testy in Ottawa is that, we here that people in Hamilton complain that the province is paying 100% of the capital costs for their LRT and that they don't want that. A big chunk of that transit levy, is the charge for our share of the LRT building program. We are paying roughly 37% of the costs locally, you are paying 0% locally. We don't think that is fair. We have been told and we also hope its correct that, the operating costs for the whole transit system will actually decline once we switch over to LRT from BRT as the main rapid transit portion of our transit system. Also when construction is complete in 2024-25 we might hopefully see a reduction in the transit levy as well as we won't need such a huge construction charge on added on our taxes.

Ask someone who lives in Waterloo how they feel about you guys getting your LRT system 100% funded through provincial money and still have the balls to complain about it. When they have had to fork over roughly 33% of the capital costs of their phase 1 LRT building program, through their local property taxes. They haven't received funding for their phase 2 LRT yet but, I suspect it coming soon. I just wonder how much they will have to pay locally for their phase 2 LRT building program.

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By ref_erendum (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 10:23:53

It's all fine and dandy to have logo supporters . Apparently no one is checking the validity of some. It appears to me that the Logo ballots are being stuffed, by fictcious supporters of this project. Mr. Crawford I don't think start ups that haven't started up should be included on your posters. " Toas Wine Bar" is a good example to start. Also businesses that stand to profit by their support are questionable to say the least .

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 11:39:21 in reply to Comment 119397

Basically, you are saying only opponents who believe they will be harmed by LRT should be heard. In your various posts you have tried to discredit the opinions of:

  1. Supporters who live near the line because they will benefit directly.

  2. Those who don't live near the line because they won't be affected.

  3. Businesses that believe they stand to gain from LRT.

  4. Business people who are starting new businesses, especially those who are starting new businesses in the immediate area of the line. They are clearly voting with their time and money!

  5. Anyone who might make an (indirect) profit from LRT even though you've also claimed that LRT won't provide any significant economic benefit (where is the profit coming from?).

Combined with just making stuff up about a facebook anti-LRT page (there is no evidence at all of the majority of businesses along the line supporting them!) fraudulent logos (a very serious charge by an anonymous commenter based on nothing), about how construction will proceed and how long it will take and people losing their homes and jobs.

You sound just like Ron Berenbaum, who has been writing misleading letters attacking LRT to the Spec since 2014 (as well as opposing traffic calming and two way conversion) for many years. Maybe you are related?

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2016-06-16 11:43:33

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By fmurray (registered) | Posted June 16, 2016 at 13:55:17

Thank you for all the work you've put into this, Graham.

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