Light Rail

City of Grown-Ups Launches Transit Plan

By Ryan McGreal
Published May 18, 2007

While unambitious Hamilton struggles to upgrade and re-brand its Beeline to a "rapid transit" system with a station at Eastgate Square, the city of Montreal is busy unveiling an $8 billion transit plan that will include new streetcar lines and highway tolls to pay for them.

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said the plan - the first of its kind for the city - focuses on encouraging sustainable development and public transit use to limit the number of cars on city roads and highways and contain greenhouse gas emissions.

"Today we are making a break with an outdated method for transporting people and goods, and [we’re] launching a new way of thinking," he said at a press conference Thursday morning.

This comes on the heels of Toronto's multi-billion dollar transit plan, which calls for 80 km in new light rail corridors.

Meanwhile, Hamilton just barely avoided jacking its bus fares enough to reduce ridership by over a million trips a year.

Presumably we'll eventually, reluctantly adopt some watered-down version of light rail (i.e. bus rapid transit) only once nearly every other decent-sized city in Canada has already done it.

C'mon, Councillors: try to give us something to feel proud of.

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 jason (registered) | Posted May 22, 2007 at 22:37:33

the link to montreals '8 billion dollar' transit plan actually brings you to a release on toronto's streetcar announcement.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 22, 2007 at 23:34:27

Thanks, Jason. I fixed the link.

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