Dear Mayor and Council,
I am very concerned that Council is no longer working to develop the best possible LRT system for Hamilton, despite having unanimously voted in support of LRT as Hamilton's preferred rapid transit solution less than three years ago.
This vote helped the City win a $3 million grant from the province to do a detailed design and land use study which has involved input from thousands of Hamilton residents, and demonstrated the enormous benefits and widespread support for this project.
I have strongly and actively supported LRT for Hamilton for many years now. As a founding member of Hamilton Light Rail, and as a volunteer member of the City's Rapid Transit Citizen's Advisory Committee I have seen firsthand the enthusiasm of hundreds of Hamiltonians from all walks of life for LRT.
The City has never before seen the sort of participation and enthusiasm for an issue that the City's Rapid Transit team has documented in their Open Houses and in the comments they have received supporting LRT.
Together with support from many neighbourhood associations (including Durand), the Chamber of Commerce, the Realtors, BIAs, Clean Air Hamilton, McMaster and the Spectator Editorial Board, it is difficult to claim there is not public support for LRT! In fact, I don't ever recall an initiative with such widespread support.
Finally, Metrolinx has indicated they would pay for all direct costs of Hamilton's LRT if the project is approved. Together, with the new possibility of Tax Increment Financing, this will minimize the cost for Hamilton taxpayers in the short term and allow us to reap the proven economic development benefits of LRT in the longer term.
I urge you to renew your support for LRT now, and work together to make Hamilton's LRT project the best it can be!
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