Light Rail

Realtors Association Endorses Light Rail

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 26, 2008

The Realtors' Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) has formally endorsed light rail transit.

In a May 14 letter to Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Council by Ann Cosens, the RAHB President and John Vail, the Government Relations Chair, the association wrote "to express our full support of the development of light rail transit (LRT) in Hamilton."

The RAHB believes light rail will help to achieve the city's goals: "revitalization of the downtown core, intensification along main corridors, increased economic development and broadening of the tax base."

They argue further that LRT will help to "encourage economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build community."

You can read the full text of the letter on the Hamilton Light Rail website (PDF).

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 gullchasedship (registered) - website | Posted May 26, 2008 at 10:40:59

That's all fine and dandy. They don't have to pay for it. Our taxes are already higher than most municipalities in Ontario. Let's get our house in order before ordering luxuries.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 26, 2008 at 11:27:14

  1. In a city, rapid transit is essential infrastructure, not a "luxury".

  2. The province has already offered to pay the capital costs, and the operating costs for LRT are lower per passenger than for buses/BRT.

  3. Our taxes are higher in Hamilton because residents bear a larger share of the total tax burden. By attracting commercial and office development, LRT will increase business tax assessment and reduce the residential share.

  4. Attracting new development in the existing developed area will also: reduce tax increases on existing ratepayers, increase the efficiency of existing infrastructure, improve business downtown for existing businesses, increase employment opportunities for Hamiltonians, reduce oil consumption, and reduce air pollution.

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By downtowner (registered) | Posted May 26, 2008 at 13:50:10

Good for the Realty Association. They are on the ground and know what's good for the city. Heed them. And also heed their support of the Airport Industrial lands. That too makes sense for the city.

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