Light Rail

Public Consultation: Overwhelming Support for LRT

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 11, 2008

Public Works staff just published a public consultation update (PDF link) on phase two of the Rapid Transit Feasibility Study that reports back to the public works committee on the public outreach program the rapid transit team undertook during the summer.

As Lisa Zinkewich from Public Works reported at the August Hamilton Light Rail meeting, the response was unprecedented and strongly positive about light rail.

In the update just published, staff report that they heard from more than 1,600 people, of whom 94% support rapid transit. That support breaks down as follows:

In addition, 91% are in favour of implementing additional rapid transit routes once the recommended routes are established.

Respondents cited several reasons for supporting light rail. 71% mentioned the environmental impact, 67% mentioned potential to attract new ridership, 58% mentioned potential economic benefit, and 51% mentioned sustainability.

Other reasons mentioned include operating cost, life cycle analysis, vehicle cost, and construction cost.

Support was tied to funding from higher levels of government. 90% of respondents would support rapid transit if Metrolinx funded 75% of the capital costs; 81% would support it if Metrolinx funded 66%; and 65% sould support it even if Metrolinx funded only 50%.

Respondents came from every ward in the city, and in all wards, support for rapid transit of some kind was over 50%. In only two wards (14 and 15) was support for LRT specifically less than 50%, and in only one ward (15) was support for LRT not the biggest share of the total.

Rapid Transit Preferences By Ward
Ward % LRT % BRT % Either % Neither
1 74 6 17 3
2 76 5 17 2
3 62 11 23 4
4 49 15 29 7
5 63 16 19 2
6 56 11 20 13
7 58 13 21 8
8 59 13 22 6
9 56 15 17 12
10 57 14 17 12
11 71 2 18 9
12 62 6 20 12
13 75 4 16 5
14 40 7 40 13
15 32 36 32 0
NA 64 8 24 4

The report also included letters of endorsement from several community and business organizations, including:

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.

0 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds