Will you push for increased transit investment on the Mountain? If so, how will you pay for it?

Responses to the question: "Will you push for increased transit investment on the Mountain? If so, how will you pay for it?"

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13 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bradshaw, Philip Yes I will do my best regarding increased transit on the Mountain. Perhaps we can funnel taxpayer money in this direction from areas where money is being wasted. We will have to see once on City Council.
Farraway, Doug Yes I will be very active on this file pushing for increased transit investment. The how you will pay for it question is a tricky one because until the Master Transportation Plan, the HSR review and the Citizens Panel on Transportation release their reports we are in a transit limbo. I do support and state clearly and unequivocally that I will support an end to area rating of transit.
Gordon, Tim Yes Absolutely, I will push for increased transit investment on the Mountain. Specifically, I would like to see the implementation of frequent service for mountain stops, comfortable stop locations, convenient rider information with route designs that make sense to commuters and are easy to track. Efficient operations (including better coordinated services) will make everyone involved happy. We can predict that commuter trip time reduction and financial incentives along with the changes I mentioned earlier will increase ridership and commuter behaviours. This strategy will be balanced through careful spending/route and operations planning in addition to expanding commercial capital growth in Ward 7 (specifically along Upper Wellington Street and Concession Street, effectively adding funds to our budget). Furthermore, I will advocate to use municipal endowment funding for public transit from the province of Ontario to bolster the necessity for transit oriented development in Ward 7 and throughout the city.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes Yes. There is an opportunity for the City of Hamilton to emulate other city's successful campaigns for transit investment. We need to look at what works and what does not work and hold the provincial government accountable for its financial investment promises for transit dollars.
Nicholl, Anthony Yes Yes, I believe transit is an important investment on the Mountain. There is a need for improved transit to and from the Hamilton airport. I would also implement improved transit to the downtown core by creating a B-line schedule directly from Lime Ridge Mall to Gore Park. By creating a well balanced budget, improved transit options can be implemented.
Pacey, Jeanne Yes I have been hearing an abundance of complaints from students, seniors, and regular users of the Mountain transit system, it is a problem. The solution is to add busses and address the numerous complaints that busses drive right pass stops, and to shorten wait times. There is a 10-year strategy that has been approved and is in the process of implementation. I am a strong supporter of having excellent transit through out the city. No one likes fare increases, but then again none of us are happy with our transit system right now, so this option will need to be evaluated and weighed against the current service problems.
Qureshi, Uzma Yes Yes, I will. I want better, more reliable transit for Ward 7. Our bus service isn't good enough for Ward 7 residents. The buses run too infrequently. They're often full which results in them driving by passengers who don't even have a bus shelter to stand in out of the weather, whether they're going to work, to school, or to a doctor's appointment. East/West connections are often very inconvenient, meaning passengers have to travel north or south to then go east or west. The LRT system may provide some opportunities for us to reassign buses that now run downtown to the mountain. We'll likely need to buy new buses also, but some of the rolling stock we have is still very serviceable.
Rabb, Howard Yes Yes. Currently more than 700 people a week are left behind on the Upper James route by buses that are full. The Mohawk and Fennell routes are also very crowded and frequently leave people behind. During my canvassing I've met many people that have had this happen to them.

In order to expand transit services on the mountain we need two things. More buses, and a place to store them. Our current facility is full (technically over capacity) and we need more space. I would push to see the Wentworth facility re-opened so that some buses servicing the lower city could be relocated there. This would save money on both fuel and staff time as we wouldn't need to deadhead so many busses back up to the top of Upper James every single day.

This will extend the life of both facilities (and our buses) and allow us to expand NOW, and not wait several years while a new storage facility is built.
Skelly, Donna Yes As Hamilton's population ages and more people move to the mountain, transit use and demand will increase. With that increased use will come demand for more buses. As Councillor for Ward 7 it would be my responsibility to advocate on behalf of transit users to ensure those demands are met and exceeded, but those additional costs cannot be borne by the current taxpayer. Instead Hamilton must encourage more businesses to open or relocate here growing our tax base.
Starr, Damin Yes I will encourage council to increase the allocation of funds provided to the municipality from the Federal Government through the Gas Tax under "Environmental Sustainability". Presently, it is my understanding approx. 10% is earmarked for transit and I would like to see this increased to 30%. Low ridership directly impacts operating benefits passed down from the Province. It seems logical investing towards increasing ridership is a win for everyone.
Vecchioni, Louis Yes Transit is an important issue for the residents of Hamilton, there is a need to increase transit investment, there has to be a better connection for people to travel in all areas of the city. Isolating for example between the lower city and upper city, creates division that does the city harm, other cities seem to find the dollars to improve transit and hence rider ship !

We could start by using the area rating funds, that some of the wards use internally to get much needed cash, and the 10.5 % increase council members are asking for their own office budgets of 2016 to kick start transit improvements sooner than later.
Young, Robert Yes I would definitely push for increased transit investment on the Mountain.

Having a Dual Honours BSc. and successful businesses and I'm aware of the many revenues that could be tapped before needing to increase existing taxes. Rather I would suggest lowering taxes, spending less and tapping certain industries as follows:

How to pay for increased funding and investment for the Mountain Transit System:

1) Wasteful spending is a bigger issue than revenue for Hamilton Council. There is plenty of money, revenue and taxes. In fact taxes are so high that there is no answer to where the money is going.
2) Eliminate improvident spending by seeking out innovative non-stop cuts. Appropriate funding through new revenues when applicable but emphasize on spending cuts.
3) De-politicize grants. By allocating block funding to the Hamilton Community Foundation, the city would save on overhead costs, as the HCF already gives out grants and loans.
4) Conduct thorough spending reviews to find cost efficiencies and consult residents to prioritize spending.
5) Spend less on unnecessary policing by legalizing potential trades that create the many revenues that could be finally fully realized from permits, licenses and user fees.
6) Reduce current taxes and focus spending on absolute necessities.
7) Back off on from Handouts and Corporate Bailouts.

Increased investment and funding for Bus Routes and Mountain Transit by Emphasizing on more important issues regarding:

1) Improved infrastructure; there are highly needed upgrades to our streets and parks. The current bus service on the mountain needs innovative routing and strategic planning for lesser wait times.
2) More articulated patterns with closer access to homes and businesses within the Ward.
3) Increased bussing and transit service throughout the entire Ward.
4) Merging of routes and with neighbouring Wards.
5) Emphasize more on Transit while excluding other unnecessary projects and costs.
Zuriel, Hans Yes Yes, I will work with Ward 7 residents and local transit experts to identify which aspects of transit are in need for upgrades. I will be pushing for modernized transportation such as an improved bus system with better fuel efficiency, improved capacity and higher frequencies. Furthermore, transit investments need to be done as efficiently as possible so as to stay within the existing budgets. Besides that, City Council needs to collaborate with the private sector and the general public for the provision of public transit. For instance, the municipal government could regulate companies such as Uber and Lyft in order to provide some affordable public transit. However, if additional expenses are necessary in order to improve transit, I will prioritize getting the funds from increased transfer payments from the provincial government instead of burdening local residents with additional fees or taxes.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

9 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 07
Bolton, Robert
Burt, Shaun
Charters, Bob
Danko, John-Paul
Heroux, Chelsey
Hetu, Luc
Murphy, Glenn
Nagy, Paul
Shahrouri, Mohammad