Special Report: Light Rail

LRT Support Letter from Anchor Institutions

The letter expresses support for the benefits of transit investment and urges Council to continue implementing its rapid transit plan.

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 22, 2017

The leaders of ten major Hamilton anchor institutions have signed a joint letter urging City Council to continue implementing the city's rapid transit plan, starting with the B-Line light rail transit (LRT) line and A-Line bus rapid transit (BRT) line.

BLAST rapid transit network
BLAST rapid transit network

The "BLAST" network is a system of five rapid transit lines serving the entire city. The first line, an east-west LRT route running from McMaster University to Queenston Traffic Circle, has already been approved for full capital funding by the Province with construction to begin in early 2019.

On March 28, 2017, Council will be receiving a requested Environmental Project Report Amendment from Metrolinx and City staff, which must be submitted to the Province as part of the Environmental Assessment process before the project can proceed. After voting for LRT 52 consecutive times, Council is now wavering on whether to move forward.

In the letter, the signatories state, "we believe in the transformative potential of a robust transit system, including both traditional and rapid transit, for the health and prosperity of our city." The letter goes on to "urge the City of Hamilton to continue with the implementation of the BLAST transit network."

The letter is signed by the heads of the Hamilton Community Foundation, McMaster University, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Health Sciences, and Mohawk College.

Following is the full text of the letter:

March 21, 2017

To: His Worship Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton, And Members of Hamilton City Council

Hamilton, Ontario

Dear Mayor Eisenberger and Members of Hamilton City Council,

As anchor institutions in Hamilton, we believe in the transformative potential of a robust transit system, including both traditional and rapid transit, for the health and prosperity of our city. We support the full implementation of Hamilton's BLAST network that will enable our students, our patients, our employees, and our citizens to benefit from improved mobility within our city and a wider variety of transit options.

To this end, we urge the City of Hamilton to continue with the implementation of the BLAST transit network. We gratefully acknowledge and value our provincial government's leadership in funding for the Light Rail Transit B-line and Bus Rapid Transit A-line as key components of the BLAST network. We fully support the staged completion of the BLAST network and the collaboration of all levels of government to complete this project together.

Sincerely,

Terry Cooke
President & CEO,
Hamilton Community Foundation

Patrick Deane
President & Vice Chancellor,
McMaster University

Sean Donnelly
President and CEO,
ArcelorMittal Dofasco

Howard Elliot
Chair,
Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

Manny Figueiredo
Director of Education,
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

David Hansen
Director of Education,
Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board

Dr. David A. Higgins
President,
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

Keanin Loomis
CEO,
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Rob MacIsaac
President & CEO,
Hamilton Health Sciences

Ron J. McKerlie
President,
Mohawk College

Letter from Anchor Institutions to Council on Rapid Transit
Letter from Anchor Institutions to Council on Rapid Transit


Hamilton's LRT plan is under serious threat. Please show your LRT support at the March 28, 2017 General Issues Committee meeting and urge Council not to ruin this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

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 john1242 (registered) | Posted March 22, 2017 at 08:23:14

I support the BLAST network in the diagram above shows LRT B-Line is from Eastgate Square to McMaster as #1 priority as Rapid Ready report Feb 2013 for 100% funding.On May 25 2015 Wynne Government change her ask Funding from McMaster to Queenston Circle with A-line LRT spur line to waterfront Liberal Goverment put city Council ,in a position to acceptance.No way Queenston Circle is show ?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 22, 2017 at 08:38:24 in reply to Comment 120965

Both the Metrolinx Benefits Case Analysis and the Rapid Ready plan included options for a phased construction that would stop short of Eastgate in Phase 1 and then extend to Eastgate in Phase 2. The Province decided to fund the phased construction plan (partly in response to LRT opposition from Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins) and Council happily accepted that funding commitment.

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