Light Rail

Metrolinx Project Development Process for B-Line LRT

By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published October 04, 2011

Just in case there was any doubt, Metrolinx's description [PDF] of their "project development process" shows that by the end of the year we will be at the final step before construction "Scope, funding, procurement".

Note that, although the EA is not yet approved, Hamilton has already done the 30% design (this is what a lot of the $3 million was spent on).

Why we would be "going slow" and talking about "feasibility studies" at this stage is beyond me! It seems that Council does not actually understand that we have essentially finished the Planning, Design and Engineering (PDE) stage, and all that remains is the final design and construction!

Of course, Metrolinx also knows this, which is why they need to be clearer about how and when we actually get through the final decision box.

Here is a list representation of the Metrolinx project development process:

Nicholas Kevlahan was born and raised in Vancouver, and then spent eight years in England and France before returning to Canada in 1998. He has been a Hamiltonian since then, and is a strong believer in the potential of this city. Although he spends most of his time as a mathematician, he is also a passionate amateur urbanist and a fan of good design. You can often spot him strolling the streets of the downtown, shopping at the Market. Nicholas is the spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail.

28 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 04, 2011 at 12:57:32

Based on council meeting the other night, it appears as though 15 of them very clearly understand that we've done all this work and are nearing a critical juncture. If there wasn't an election taking place in 2 days, that vote would have been 15-1. Council as a whole absolutely understands where we stand as far as I can tell.
I don't see why one vote out of 16 should derail any of the work we've done until this point or change the priorities going forward.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2011 at 15:11:56

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-10-04 15:49:13

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By iggy (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2011 at 18:13:09 in reply to Comment 70311

You are the Ignatieff of Hamilton political commentary. Trying desperately to provide an intellectual foundation to was is essentially deeply flawed leadership at city hall. You claim those pushing LRT in the current conext are shortsighted and are even dangerous. This is ridiculous and reeks of the navel gazing exceptionalism that holds this city back.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2011 at 19:32:59 in reply to Comment 70316

You do prove my claims iggy - don't you?

You could have at least got a better anon handle if you were going to go so philistine on me :)

Well, in any case you should read "Lament for a Nation", one of the most discussed books in Canadian history written by Ignatieff's uncle - George Grant, who kinda captures your sentiments or at least your reality.

Failing which, you do have to read the "Residential Intensification Study -(PED07053)", and maybe we can even discuss it here sometime.

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By iggy (anonymous) | Posted October 05, 2011 at 10:17:41 in reply to Comment 70318

Lament is a good read and it's amazing how it holds up even today. As for municipal documents like the intensification study, we could wade knee deep in the policy literature that has been produced but is subsequently ignored when it comes to political calculation and decision-making.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2011 at 18:53:06 in reply to Comment 70316

You are the Ignatieff of Hamilton political commentary.

Wow. Massive fail at the start of a comment-blast. (I do give you marks for somewhat-decorum.)

Mahesh doesn't do 'political commentary'. I know, because I've probably digested more than most of what he proffers in terms of observations and critiques and tangible solutions to what ails Hamilton.

He doesn't do it because he has better things to do with his time.

Besides; 'Political commentary' really isn't de rigeur on this site. People provide opinions about substantive issues...LRT, the PanAm Games, downtown revitalization...which I suppose the addle-brained might see as being akin to 'political commentary'. If they were squinting, tilting their heads to one side...and dopey.

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By George (registered) | Posted October 04, 2011 at 15:44:02

Premier McGuinty on Bill Kelly show, talks a little about LRT for Hamilton

Bill Kelly Show, Oct. 4th, Dalton McGuinty (Ontario Premier) http://www.900chml.com/Station/BillKelly...

Comment edited by George on 2011-10-04 16:21:28

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By dwntwn invstr (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2011 at 22:13:33

Mr. Butani is a smart guy. He seems to protest too much though. Anyone can criticize and find reasons not to take action. LRT will, more likely than not, be an overall benefit to the people of this city - no matter how you parse it. Mr. B's personal attacks against the proponents of LRT are unseemly and embarrassing. Maybe I haven't read as many books as he has, but I know a pompous windbag when I see one. I for one, prefer to dream big. Don't let the defeatists get you down...

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 05, 2011 at 01:49:17 in reply to Comment 70322

dwntwn invstr: Isn't just graying me down enough? Now you have to go and call me names :)

How would you really feel, if we do end up meeting sometime, and you find out that I am not a pompous windbag at all... then what?

Meanwhile, as you suggest, I will not let the defeatists get me down :) and continue to push for bigger dreams... that are achievable and sustainable.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted October 05, 2011 at 07:23:50 in reply to Comment 70326

Mahesh's tongue wagging condensed:

...consummate political puppeteers...needs to grow up, and grow out of its self-centered obsessions...

Mahesh savors the backlash:

...I will not let the defeatists get me down :) and continue to push for bigger dreams... that are achievable and sustainable.

Bigger dreams? Achievable and sustainable? I wonder, does such a dream include restoring your flooded basement a full two years after the fact? Hmmm, is that something achievable I sustainably ask?

You talk big Mahesh but when IT comes down to brass tacks, your words becomes pointless with false promise to act.

When someone here calls you a pompous windbag they are simply making an observation based on your writing, while I on the other hand have experienced your full-blown out-gas igniting.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 05, 2011 at 22:29:50

Hopefully Metrolinx will at least come back to council with some official information on what the suggested next steps in the process are, so council at least has an idea where to go next. They seem a little lost...

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted October 05, 2011 at 22:45:10

“stupid,” “addle-brained,” “dopey..”

I don’t come to RTH to be insulted and am tired of pompously, conspicuously-initialled clowns infecting this site.

Youse guys keep insisting you’re unparallel geniuses, but can’t figure out why nobody cares what you have to say. You’re middle-aged men, who have yet to realize your childish, relentless “smartest-guy-in-the-room” shtick is tiresome and entirely off-putting. You claim to be writers, but are incapable of editing or articulating an idea succinctly.

If you’ll stoop to taking advice from a stupid, addle-brained, dopey, mouth-breathing troglodyte, who enjoys Beer, hockey fights, and MMA more than politics and policy, here’s some:

Start your own websites. Oh, right. I guess there is so little readership, you resentfully turn to the uber-successful RTH to scream for the attention you seem to frightfully crave.

(Stop resenting Ryan – it ain’t his fault.)

Run for mayor. Oh, right… Sorry.

Host a town hall. Oops. I apologize if that’s a soft spot.

Try being the nicest guy in the room for a change. (I bet the chronic failures subside, a wee bit.)

Spend the long weekend staring into a mirror looking at, and for, the source of your problems.

Grow up.

Go away. You keep calling for me to be banned from RTH. I’m not normally in favour of censorship, but I wouldn’t mind if evil clowns were prohibited.

Just kidding! I love youse guys. Your sooper smart.

M. Kevin P. Somers

Comment edited by Kevin on 2011-10-05 22:47:35

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2011 at 01:21:22 in reply to Comment 70351

Thank you Kevin for exposing yourself so tragically to the world!

"I wonder what to write about And squeeze my spongy brain 'Til ideas start leaking out And it all starts up again... I could write something civil... Or I could write that this drivel Has come to an end" ~ Kevin Somers, What Can I Write About?

Become a better human being. Oh, right… Sorry.

Become an accomplished writer. Oops. I apologize if that’s a soft spot.

Grow up, travel, open yourself to diversity, engage with opposing views, learn how to write, stop stalking your own shadow, and poetry may come to you eventually, instead of just: A poem by Kevin Somers, which screams for help.

Stop resenting yourself, it is not your fault. Not everyone is a writer, not everyone is a poet. But if you choose to work harder, you could become one someday.

Everyone is born a good human being, but you chose otherwise. Why blame the world for it.

Instead of saying: Go Away, the next time, you could choose to say: Stay, and lift me, for I am lost, and I need your help in finding my way back home to good writing and poetry.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-10-06 01:38:15

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By tiredofmahesh (anonymous) | Posted October 06, 2011 at 09:39:00 in reply to Comment 70355

Holy crap Mahesh, could you be any more condesending, pompous and self important? How about you stop pretending to be better than everyone else, you're not convincing anyone.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2011 at 16:29:42 in reply to Comment 70360

tiredofmahesh (anon):

How about we stop pretending that the Residential Intensification Study, 2007 does not exist - and have an open public discussion on it here?

This study clearly does not rely on LRT to deliver intensification - so it would be an interesting discussion, don't you think? given the inexplicable positions everyone has been made to take on LRT by thrusting a single viewpoint onto the community.

Mahesh P. Butani

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 07, 2011 at 09:15:41 in reply to Comment 70373

The city as a whole (including council) typically ignore studies, they just put them on the shelf where they look pretty all lined up.

So why should the 2007 residential intesndification study suffer any different a fate?

Yes...I know...I know...but really, why not advocating the city consider all of its past studies when making future decisions?

P.S. @Mahesh - Intelligible Headings: they make your lengthy works more accessible. ;-)

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By TnT (registered) | Posted October 06, 2011 at 00:53:00

It is sad it degenerated to this, when there really Was hope of some light shining on the dark dealings of city council.

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By tiredoftiredofmaheshes (anonymous) | Posted October 06, 2011 at 10:51:06

Can we *please* have a group-hug?!?

LOL

It's funny how some people react to stuff in ways that remind me of elementary school playground taunts.

Oh, wait...

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By George (registered) | Posted October 07, 2011 at 23:50:21

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/BA1D...

  1. The City continues to plan and advocate for LRT funding while assessing the related costs, benefits and impacts.
  2. Defer a final Council decision until a concrete funding commitment from senior government(s) is known, and capital and operating funding arrangements are established.

...snip...

The B-Line planning, design and engineering and A-Line feasibility work is scheduled for completion by March 31, 2012, in accordance with the Contribution Agreement with Metrolinx. A meeting was held with senior staff from the City of Hamilton and Metrolinx on September, 22, 2011 to discuss project status. At the meeting Metrolinx indicated that:

• Hamilton is at least two years a head of other projects, in terms of implementation readiness, including the Hurontario LRT project in Mississauga/Brampton.

• Hamilton is not required to prioritize between LRT and GO service extension, as LRT is a local transit service whereas GO serves an inter-regional function.

• To make a funding decision Metrolinx requires a Maintenance Storage Facility (MSF) location and phasing study. Following MSF and phasing, Infrastructure Ontario will be able to complete a Value For Money (VFM) exercise for Metrolinx

Also from the report:

On numerous occasions, Metrolinx has stated that Hamilton has set the standard for other municipalities undertaking rapid transit planning which focuses specifically on Hamilton’s integrated planning approach and the City’s ability to deliver on tight timelines. This approach has put Hamilton’s B-Line LRT project approximately two years ahead of other projects in terms of implementation readiness.

Comment edited by George on 2011-10-08 00:52:34

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2011 at 19:52:01 in reply to Comment 70397

The City Manager, SMT and all staff responsible for delivering this remarkable report amidst the media driven clamour, need to be highly commended for their efforts.

While much soul searching needs to be done by those who have spent the entire summer asking the wrong questions and attacking the wrong targets -- one thing that has been cleared by this report is that the LRT work as managed by Chris Murray and the SMT, and undertaken by various departments, was in no way impacted by the earlier resource reallocation -- as was vehemently claimed by the LRT lobbyists.

Much work yet remains to be done pending Council review of financial and technical implications of this complex undertaking.

Going forward - hopefully, cooler heads prevail in the media, and a more constructive public discourse on transit and intensification issues is allowed to emerge on this forum in the coming days.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-10-09 19:56:28

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By George (registered) | Posted October 10, 2011 at 00:13:03 in reply to Comment 70406

Mr Butani said,

Going forward - hopefully, cooler heads prevail in the media, and a more constructive public discourse on transit and intensification issues is allowed to emerge on this forum in the coming days.

And some decent communication from the mayor that is both clear and representative of the city (council)

Comment edited by George on 2011-10-10 00:53:01

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By George (registered) | Posted October 12, 2011 at 00:25:53 in reply to Comment 70409

Apparently council agrees

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

City council has stripped Mayor Bob Bratina of his power to lobby the upper levels of government.

In an unprecedented move, council passed a motion Tuesday barring the mayor from meeting with senior levels of government, making financial commitments and negotiating — unless he is in the company of other councillors and the city manager.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 12, 2011 at 02:46:13 in reply to Comment 70453

Apparently there are always two sides to a story George :)

Bratina first learned of the motion when it was presented at the very end of a nine-hour committee meeting. He said he’s open to a more formalized governmental affairs policy, but disagreed with -how the motion was brought forward.- “I had never seen that before, and it had a -lot of implications- on how the mayor’s office should conduct its business. So it would have been fair to advise me of it,” he said.

"It passed almost unanimously, with Bratina and clrs Russ Powers and Maria Pearson opposed. Several councillors were absent from the vote."

Total vote count: 16 Opposed: 3 Balance: 13

"Several councillors were absent from the vote."

How many?... and, why were they absent from such a drastic motion (made without citizen consultations), which can impact the way this city is run.

There is far more to this story that yet remains to told of the intent, method and madness of this motion.

I am sure, the 'Ball' will be in Terry's court by tomorrow morning.


George, as stated earlier:

For good communication to evolve in Hamilton, first we must put a decisive stop to wild interpretations and wilder conclusions of events, utterances and expressions, [and motions] which then are immediately followed by media swarming that puts everyone on the defensive.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 10, 2011 at 16:59:35 in reply to Comment 70409

George, Respectfully, Hamilton's 'summer tempest' of 2011 was just that - a sudden emotionally charged cloud-burst of pent-up feelings - (all well meaning concerns, about our city's well-being and success), which has come to be hitched on the LRT.

In the madness that ensued there was no room for any kind of communication to survive.

All logical attempts to clarify positions were publicly slighted.

Good things were happening thru the summer, but we choose to only see the bad in them and magnify it.

Maybe... our city did need this cathartic 'clamour' moment to cleanse and rejuvenate its spirit -- by its last exaggerated public act of self loathing, fear, and mis-trust -- before it settles into a period of self-confidence, respect and trust in diverse opinions and approaches to city rebuilding.

Steve Arnold's four lines from June 30, set the domino effect.

Two lines of these four -- was his observations attributed to the Mayor:

"On the thorny transit issues, he said he’s fully supportive of expanded GO service, but has reservations about the LRT plan. He also doesn’t think there’s wide public support for the plan."

And the other two lines from the total from his 48 line article -- was a quote attributed to the Mayor:

“We still haven’t figured out what all the costs of that are going to be,” he said. “We’re not hearing any kind of clamour from the public on that file.”

(this could have also been grammatically interpreted as: the public at large is still awaiting more information - and that he does not see the public rushing to stake a position on this until all facts emerge...)

The two parallel events triggering this clamour generation were:

1) the reallocation of resources around the LRT team by the city manager;

2) the mayor's affirmations of an all day GO service. (This was weaved into the imagery of Steve's four lines above, to launch a call for clamour via a flood of articles and even a petition).

Never mind that Steve's article was essentially about a business association pushing the buttons of the administration - seeking reduction on the development charges for industrial development projects.

And never mind that this very article also quotes the following most clearly:

"The business leaders added they feel the same lack of support from council and the city’s MPPs over the drive to get all-day GO service and a LRT system built here.

“Our political leaders have to play politics in Toronto for Hamilton,” Duke said. “So far we haven’t received any feedback to say this is even a priority.”

The fact that the business leaders were also clearly asking for an all day Go service was completely overlooked in the ensuing clamour - the back and forth of which went on to define the GO v/s LRT scenario.

The fact is that the commitment for GO was delivered as per the business communities own wants - and as was even earlier mentioned in a staff report to the council which was approved.

But this GO win for the city was sadly projected by the media as an irrelevant achievement and instead it was made the butt of many jokes and even vivid caricatures which sprung from a lack of a deeper understanding of issues.

George, thank you for posting the above link to this new report on all levels of transit.

Now we can safely conclude that the LRT was never put on the backburner - and if some still feel that it was put there with evil intent, it is because they choose to ask the wrong questions.

One can only hope that the pending motion to clarify all of this is pulled back unilaterally by council - because it is the right thing to do in light of this report and emerging facts around this issue.

Between this report and the Mayor's clearly worded clarification of July 5 on LRT to Nicholas Kevelhan -- there were no gaps in communication. When you box someone in a corner and start to shower brickbats - the reactions always lead to a downward spiral in communications. We need to stop being teachers and start learning to be students.

Added to this report, is the pre election commitment already made for the all day GO service from James North, - all of which collectively could hopefully convince the business community to recognize that in spite of all the rhetoric - both their objectives for the GO and the LRT have been on the front burner thru the summer tempest.

If anyones feet need to be held to fire in all of this - it is the business communities feet - which need to start walking the big-talk of downtown investments; and not hold back the growth of this city with poorly conceived designs and development proposals that are dependent on big things happening first.

For good communication to evolve in Hamilton, first we must put a decisive stop to wild interpretations and wilder conclusions of events, utterances and expressions, which then are immediately followed by media swarming that puts everyone on the defensive.

We are all at fault here, equally. Let us be thankful that we have a functioning city, in spite of our worst doubts, fears and self-loathing.

A very happy thanksgiving to all!

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-10-10 17:03:12

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted October 08, 2011 at 11:41:47

Thanks, George, for posting the link to the updated city staff report on LRT to be received at the Special GIC Meeting on October 13, 2011 where council will vote on the LRT Motion by Councillor Farr.

The report notes that city staff had a meeting with Metrolinx on September 22, 2011:

“The B-Line planning, design and engineering and A-Line feasibility work is scheduled for completion by March 30, 2012, in accordance with the Contribution Agreement by Metrolinx. A meeting was held with senior staff from the City of Hamilton and Metrolinx on September 22, 2011 to discuss project status. At the meeting Metrolinx indicated that:

  • Hamilton is at least two years ahead of other LRT projects in implementation readiness including the Huronontario LRT project in Mississauga/Brampton;

  • Hamilton in not required to prioritize between LRT and GO service extension, as LRT is a local transit service whereas GO is an inter-regional transit function;

  • To make a funding decision Metrolinx requires a Maintenance Storage Facility (MSF) location and phasing study. Following MSF and phasing, Infrastructure Ontario will be able to complete a value for money (VFM) for Metrolinx.”

This is reassuring news. Much credit needs to be given to Jill Stephen (now working for the Niagara Region), her staff (now reallocated to other city departments or projects) and the volunteers at Hamilton Light Rail for their preparatory work in advancing the “implementation readiness” of the B-Line LRT and A-Line LRT ahead of other similar projects in other cities in and near the GTA.

Councillor Jason Farr’s upcoming LRT Motion to be heard by council at the Special GIC Meeting on October 13, 2011 was initially prepared in August, 2011 and therefore still contains unnecessary “GO vs. LRT” prioritization language. It does not yet mention the fact that Metrolinx made it clear to city staff on September 22, 2011 that Hamilton is not required to prioritize GO and LRT or that Premier McGuinty promised the Mayor on September 28, 2011 that the provincial government will fully fund the capital cost of all day GO train service to Liuna Station and Confederation Park. Here is the link to Councillor Farr's LRT/GO Motion: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/F80A...

One hopes that one of the city councillors brings a motion to amend Councillor Farr’s main motion along the following lines:

1.Adding a clause as the sixth paragraph of the preamble:

“And whereas Metrolinx indicated to city staff on September 22, 2011 that Hamilton is not required to prioritize between LRT and GO service extension, as LRT is a local transit service whereas GO is an inter-regional transit function.”

2.Deleting the existing sixth paragraph of the preamble:

“And Whereas achieving GO transit is of the utmost importance to Hamilton in the short term, and appears to be supported by Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario, yet need not preclude the ongoing preparation of the case for LRT over the longer term.”

And replacing it with new paragraphs seven, eight and nine:

“And Whereas achieving GO transit and LRT are of equal importance to Hamilton."

“And Whereas Premier McGuinty promised the Mayor of the City of Hamilton on September 28, 2011 that the provincial government will fully fund all day GO train service to Liuna Station and Confederation Park.”

"And Whereas it is important for Hamilton is to achieve all day GO transit service on or before the commencement of the 2015 Pan Am Games in July, 2015.”

3.And changing the wording of paragraph c) in the resolution section of the Motion:

“That council affirm the goal of achieving all day GO service to Liuna Station and Confederation Park, with the capital costs fully funded by the provincial government, on or before the commencement of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games in July, 2015. “

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-10-08 11:57:07

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2011 at 19:53:22 in reply to Comment 70398

• To make a funding decision Metrolinx requires a Maintenance Storage Facility (MSF) location and phasing study.

To me, this is going to be a very, very interesting task.

Might end up being an even more contentious element than the arbitrary design of B-Line.

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By George (registered) | Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:16:25

Also form the report:

On September 22, 2011, a joint Metrolinx /City of Hamilton meeting was held for the purposes of providing a status update on the Planning, Design and Engineering (PDE) study and project benefit & cost report (Making the Case). At this meeting, Metrolinx indicated that it was encouraged with Hamilton’s progress on the Rapid Transit initiative and urged the City to complete the work plan outlined for 2012. This work would provide the necessary information allowing Metrolinx to put forth a positive recommendation stating that Hamilton’s Rapid Transit initiative has reached a maximum state of implementation readiness,prompting the Board to proceed with a funding recommendation for LRT B-Line Rapid Transit. Staff is recommending to complete the 2012 work plan as outlined in Table 3

Comment edited by George on 2011-10-10 12:20:31

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 11, 2011 at 06:16:27

The stuff of a proper discussion about LRT (Because really, we should only just have begun the actual dialogue, what with the aforementioned report having been issued...):

http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/a...

Straight answers on LRT, please

Simple questions that should have been studied by now

As a taxpayer, I’m concerned about the stampede to light rail transit, even before further studies have been presented. A report is going to city council soon outlining the LRT plans. I’m afraid we’re being rushed into building a transportation solution to a non-existent transportation problem, in the guise of a redevelopment plan for downtown with little concern about the rest of us.

Until the public has examined all of the facts and those of us who are most affected have had a say, hold your endorsement.

As an inner-city dweller who may have the shiny new tram/streetcar (or rapid bus) travelling within one block of my home and as downtown worker I will benefit the most, but I’m skeptical.

Before we commit our future scarce tax dollars to the next edition of Grow our City or Save our City, I, and I assume all taxpayers, want some definitive answers to some simple questions that should have been well studied by now. For the record, I’ve read most of the studies cited by the city, including the Metrolinx study of February 2010; I hope the next report to city council will address the following:

  1. What problem is the LRT plan attempting to address? Is there some sort of traffic congestion strangling our city that I am not aware of? Is there a hue and cry to “please do something” about our transit system that can’t be fixed at less cost? Is there some sort of projection of actual people moving in vast quantities to Hamilton in the near or medium future? How much longer will my drive time be to visit Stoney Creek, Westdale, Ancaster or get out of town? If this is a plan to convince me to get rid of my car and only use public transit, you will be mistaken. I’ve travelled on LRTs in Calgary, Vancouver, Zagreb, Amsterdam and many other cities. We don’t have the population densities along the proposed routes to match any of those cities. Where will the riders come from?

  2. During construction of any alternative transit option, how and how much will the city reimburse the lost business and lost jobs of those working along the routes? The considerable construction time for LRT will cause businesses to close and many people will lose their jobs.

  3. During this debate at least one official has claimed that LRT will reduce our taxes. How much and when? And please don’t tell me in 2038. And if that’s not true or measurable now, please withdraw the statement and refrain from that type of nonsense again.

  4. How much more will it cost us taxpayers to operate and maintain the systems, compared with what we pay now? Have you seriously studied how to make our current transit operation more efficient without tearing up our streets and causing congestion for those of us who choose to drive? If not, then please present those of us who drive with a viable option.

  5. We’ve been told that LRT will bring us untold investment and greatly increase our property values. Prove it. Where will the investment come from and for what? The Metrolinx studies project property value increases of 1 to 7 per cent. And that’s in the area around the transit stations only. It’s silent about the properties along the route or away from the stations. What are those projections?

  6. What is the overall effect on the non-inner city dwellers? Will it take someone commuting to central Hamilton longer to get to work? How much longer and at what cost? Will the cost be an “area rated” cost to us who will benefit most from the expenditure, in Wards 1 through 5? Be honest with all the taxpayers.

  7. If this is a good idea so far, tell us how many more permanent jobs will be created by this massive expenditure, in Hamilton, along the routes? The Metrolinx study says, at best, by 2038 the LRT will create at most 138 nonconstruction jobs. Is this the best you can do for expenditure of $800 million of our tax dollars? Please.

  8. Have other routes been contemplated? (The neighbourhoods along Rymal Road have a higher population density than the lower city and it’s still growing.) With employment projections for the Airport area and higher housing density, shouldn’t they be in contention?

  9. Is there a better economic strategy to spend $800 million that addresses real problems than this proposal? Can $800 million be better spent to create more than 138 jobs?

Don Drury is a Hamilton resident and a former member of Hamilton council.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-10-11 06:43:02

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