Light Rail

Letter: Beasley Neighbourhood Association Supports LRT

By Letter to the Editor
Published July 18, 2011

Dear Mayor Bratina and City Councilors,

RE: Light Rail Transit (LRT)

We write on behalf of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association to express our strong support for the proposed construction of LRT along the B-Line corridor. We urge you to champion LRT within our city and to advocate urgently for LRT funding from Metrolinx and the Government of Ontario.

Experience in other cities has demonstrated that LRT sparks capital investment and economic growth in surrounding neighbourhoods. By contrast, the past sixty years of car-centered planning in Hamilton have led not only to capital flight from our downtown but also to the demolition of large parts of neighbourhoods like Beasley to make room for urban highways and parking lots. These expanses of asphalt and concrete create an environment that is inhospitable to local uses.

By providing an alternative to the personal automobile, LRT promises to make our streets safer and more welcoming for active transportation and to free up underused downtown land for redevelopment. Of all of the public works that the city might undertake, we believe that LRT has the greatest potential to help renew the prosperity of neighbourhoods such as ours.

Current ridership on the B-Line route is already sufficient to justify LRT and will be expected to rise once LRT is built. While LRT has higher capital costs than bus rapid transit, its operating costs are lower.

Moreover, we currently have an opportunity to receive capital funding from Metrolinx to cover most or all of the cost of LRT construction. This opportunity may disappear within months depending on the results of the upcoming provincial election. Other cities such as Ottawa and Waterloo Region have already committed to building LRT.

Do we have the ambition to join them?

Thank you for your attention to our letter.

Sincerely yours,

Paul Sousa
Chair
Beasley Neighbourhood Association

John Neary
Vice-Chair
Beasley Neighbourhood Association

Bill Simone
Vice-Chair
Beasley Neighbourhood Association

Paul Elia
Secretary and Communications Officer
Beasley Neighbourhood Association

We welcome feedback from our readers and invite you to send a letter to the editor. Please read our submissions policy for details.

17 Comments

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By f hayek (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 13:31:13

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 14:34:35

Can someone please post a link to the study/report that outlines the current B-Line ridership is already sufficient to justify the B-Line.

I've read that a lot on this blog, but don't recall coming across a study or report which lists that as being the case.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 18, 2011 at 14:40:05 in reply to Comment 66362

The HSR isn't able to provide accurate day-to-day ridership numbers, because currently a number of riders show cards to operators but do not swipe them.

IBI Group undertook an HSR Operational Review in March 2010, which found the King, Delaware, B-Line and University buses carry over 13,000 riders a day, or more than a third of total ridership on the HSR system.

The study also documents frequent "drive-bys" as overstuffed buses pass people waiting at bus stops.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 15:32:48 in reply to Comment 66364

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 18, 2011 at 20:35:41 in reply to Comment 66367

When Charlotte, North Carolina's LRT system went live in 2007, city staff projected that it would attract 9,100 passengers per day, increasing to 18,000 by 2025.That would have been considered a successful implementation. Ridership grew much more quickly than projected - as it almost always does - and has already reached 21,000.

Since the route of the B-Line LRT already carries 13,000 riders a day on buses, there's absolutely no question that the ridership is there to justify LRT - even if you set aside the growth in development and tax assessment that will accompany it.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 16:01:03 in reply to Comment 66428

First we aren't talking about projections, we are talking about reality today and the reality today is the B-Line doesn't carry 13,000 riders a day.

The best I can figure is that number is an aggregation of the B-Line, plus the King Bus (1 & 1A), plus the Delaware Bus (5's).

Not all the riders are on the B-Line and not all the riders will move to an LRT, since the King and the Delaware buses will still be used just as they are today.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 16:20:50 in reply to Comment 66523

plus the University Bus.

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By Me 109 (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 19:50:01

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 22:40:08 in reply to Comment 66424

It is untrue and insulting to imply that the BNA membership would be bullied by a single member regarding an issue such as this one.

When the Durand Neighbourhood Association expressed its support for LRT, no one implied that the DNA is the personal mouthpiece of its vice-president Nicholas Kevlahan (who has been a much more vocal advocate of LRT than I have been), or that Durand residents are unaware of civic affairs.

Please correct your ignorance regarding Beasley Neighbourhood. Oh, and it would be nice if you'd post under a real name, too.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 16:09:15 in reply to Comment 66436

I don't think the knowledge that Nicholas Kevlahan was the Veep of DNA was common knowledge, as that letter was only signed by their prez.

But knowing a person who sat on the Advisory Committee was in the executive of that group does diminish the importance/impact of their support.

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By Neville Chamberlain (anonymous) | Posted July 18, 2011 at 23:27:20 in reply to Comment 66436

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By Leo Amery (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 20:08:13 in reply to Comment 66449

You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 09:00:47 in reply to Comment 66449

If you had any courage you'd sign your name to your comments. I'm not going to engage with anonymous flamers anymore.

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By Me 109 (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:08:12 in reply to Comment 66473

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By Foot (anonymous) | Posted July 20, 2011 at 12:41:23 in reply to Comment 66502

Oh, fat little Schuyler. You never change.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted July 19, 2011 at 09:19:11 in reply to Comment 66473

This is Hamilton, the haters smell blood and they're out in force, just don't take the bait.

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By Natalia (anonymous) | Posted April 17, 2012 at 14:53:37

It is funny that the VP of a nation has such an important position, and so much prestige but just a little bit of decision power. The VP is a symbol of the country, but it will be always seen like the second one, the one that made it, buy not really. I think it would be very interesting get into the VP world, that is why HBO is lounging its new series Veep, a comedy that tell us all the experiences that the VP of US and in this case her time have to live to make it work for the "people"

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