Light Rail

Mayor Fred Endorses Light Rail

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 19, 2007

Until now, I've despaired at the silence coming from the Mayor's office regarding a new light rail system in Hamilton.

True, Mayor Fred Eisenberger arranged for the Bus Rapid Transit Office to be renamed the Rapid Transit Office (minus the word "Bus"), convinced Council to approve a rapid transit budget, and managed to get Hamilton included in the Greater Toronto Transit Authority plan for developing rapid transit across the GTA (we were missed in the original plan).

However, we've been waiting for the Mayor to come right out and say something in support of light rail instead of merely working in the background.

Yesterday, in his State of the City address, Mayor Eisenberger finally delivered:

City Council has already approved and we are targeting funding for two rapid-transit corridors. Imagine, as we move into the future, the possibililty of getting from one end of the city to the other by light rail quickly, safely, smoothly and without harming the environment.

Let's hope this is yet another indication that the movement to bring light rail to Hamilton is gaining speed.

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 adrian (registered) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 15:34:20

Kudos to the mayor for supporting proper public transit in Hamilton. If he is able to see this through, it will be a lasting legacy.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 19, 2007 at 16:05:39

Great news -- bringing rail back downtown could be the tipping point for us. Renaissance!

I think the bottom line is that the entire city -- from the heart of downtown to the furthest reaches of our rural boundaries -- benefits from any economic development in the core. The core is what should drive this city, not the strip malls on the fringes. Hamilton will always be judged from afar (i.e. external investors) based mainly on the downtown -- LRT could be the key to unlocking its potential...

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2007 at 23:48:19

Two corridors eh? Is he taking requests?

1. King/Main - Mac to Eastgate
2. Upper James/Claremont - and potentially the airport

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 07:26:54

those are the two lines already decided on, although the James/Upper James one appears to be using the James Mtn Road access.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 09:15:18

James Mtn Road? How powerful are these trains! How do they work the maximum grade for trains into that? How about one of those inclined railways up the mountain again?!

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By Frank (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 09:25:58

That's not Ryan. that's Frank! For some reason Mozilla doesn't use the name I type in the box.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 10:14:40

I think both modern streetcars and LRT trains can handle a 7-8% grade. What are the grades of the Jolley Cut, James Mtn Road and Claremont, anyone know??

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 20, 2007 at 10:20:27

What ever happened to that whole "fountain" idea for boosting hamilton's image? scrap that.. I think we need to build either an incline railway instead, or even better, a cable car tram up the mountain with a lookout tower up top. it can work triple-duty: hamilton imagery / tourist attraction / public transit.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted September 20, 2007 at 13:56:20

I think it has to be pointed out that most of our existing streets are the right SCALE for LRT. It's a very simple retrofit.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 03, 2007 at 16:20:45

The Mayor's State of the City address is posted here:

http://mayorfred.ca/pages/speeches/state...

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