Comment 10035

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 31, 2007 at 15:33:29

My understanding is that Mayor Fred supports LRT completely, but is trying a different way of doing business than former Mayor Larry Di Ianni, under whose imperious leadership you were either a team player or an obstructionist troublemaker.

Fred's trying to change the entire culture at city hall - among staffers at least as much as councillors - and that means a softer, more respectful and inclusionary approach.

In support of light rail, Mayor Fred has: 1) renamed the Bus Rapid Transit department to the Rapid Transit department, 2) convinced council to approve an actual budget, 3) convinced the GTAA under Rob McIsaac that Hamilton should be in scope (it wasn't originally, and is a big part of why the provincial announcement included a planned $300 million for Hamilton), and 4) asked staff to start investigating the best way to provide rapid transit, based on operating costs, air quality, investment potential, etc.

The idea is that since the case for LRT is so strong, especially with the province offering to pick up most of the capital costs, city staff will come back convinced that it's the way to go.

Then the mayor can go to council with the research already conducted and the staff already on-side. With a strong enough business case, even the likes of Lloyd Ferguson might be persuaded that the investment is worth making.

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