Transportation

Province: $3 Million for Hamilton Rapid Transit Study

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 02, 2009

The Ontario Government has just announced $3 million in rapid transit funding so that Hamilton can conduct class environmental assessments, route design and public consultation for its proposed B-Line and A-Line rapid transit lines.

The provincial announcement of the funding states that this planning study is set to be completed by Spring 2010.

According to city rapid transit staff, this provincial funding announcement will not accelerate the overall time line to build the two rapid transit lines.

Metrolinx, the provincial body coordinating rapid transit in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTAH), is currently conducting a full benefits analysis on the B-Line to determine whether the city will receive funding for light rail transit (LRT) or bus rapid transit (BRT).

That study should be completed and presented to the Metrolinx Board this summer.

Based on the general criteria that Metrolinx has articulated for rapid transit projects, a full benefits analysis - which includes impacts on communities, economic development, and the environment as well as a straight business case - would seem to favour light rail transit as the superior option.

LRT has higher capital costs but significantly lower per-passenger operating costs. In addition to producing no emissions at the tailpipe, it is quieter and smoother than buses. It has also been shown to attract many more new riders and to generate far more transit-oriented private investment than BRT. Properties close to an LRT line generally increase significantly in value.

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 squarepusher (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2009 at 13:47:39

Too bad they can't push up the deadline, I want me some Light Rail sooner not later!!

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By Wiccan (anonymous) | Posted April 06, 2009 at 13:19:47

Hey squarepusher,

If you want it sooner rather than let why don't you put up the cost for it! Hamilton taxes are high enough as it is and are criving away business and residents.

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