(I sent this letter to Mayor Larry Di Ianni and City Councillors)
If Hamilton wants to grow up and become a proper city, then City Council needs to stop regarding transit as a marginal social service that it can trim to save a little money.
Every great city in the world has an excellent transit system that functions as an integral part of an efficient, effective transportation infrastructure, not as welfare.
We talk about using tax revenue to "invest" in roads and highway capacity, but "subsidize" transit. This double standard has to end.
The City of Portland, Oregon has invested heavily in light rail, dramatically increasing ridership and attracting $2.4 billion (USD) in new private investment.
Portland has experienced robust economic growth over the past decade while actually reducing significantly its output of greenhouse gases by replacing automobile trips with transit.
In successful cities, people choose transit because it is the best way to get around, and that convenience helps provide the conditions for a healthy economy that attracts investment.
This creates a more level playing field for access to employment and all city amenities and services, providing benefits to everyone, including people who use transit because they don't have a choice.
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