Do you support Hamilton's LRT proposal? If so, what will you do to ensure Hamilton's success in building LRT? If not, why do you oppose it?

Responses to the question: "Do you support Hamilton's LRT proposal? If so, what will you do to ensure Hamilton's success in building LRT? If not, why do you oppose it?"

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70 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael James No No, I am not for funding LRT in the present economical circumstances.

At this time, the infrastructure underneath our roads requires repair and much improvement before we spend any more tax dollars by changing the entire concept of public transportation in the G.H.A. Especially, when improvements can be made to bring the present system up to standard.
Bratina, Bob Yes I have supported the concept of LRT from the beginning. We will have to fine tune a number of details before a final plan is implemented. What has not been done the the securing of commitment from Council to provide financial support for the plan in partnership with Provincial and Federal funders.
Butani, Mahesh P. Yes I support the LRT. However, we have to move away from politicizing its need, and focus on quickly creating the other vital components that makes an LRT scheme successful.

One of this crucial component is the creation of 'economic conditions' that support the implementation of an LRT. Our current zoning and economic development policies do not support compact urban growth - and although political lip-service is paid often to such relevant growth, the reality is that many private sector investments and community driven initiatives in the urban areas have suffered irreparable damage on account of the anti-urban development policies that dictates our city's growth.

The other vital component being our political and institutional culture, which unfortunately continues to put the cart before the horse, and as a result many critical, progressive initiatives end up failing in our city, at much cost to the tax payers. We need to redevelop a culture that understands the sequence of community building, and respects the facts that certain blocks need to be firmly in place, before we can add more blocks on top of it.

In moving forward, our city needs to seriously begin driving the required economic conditions that will not only justify, but sustain the LRT scheme. Expecting the federal and provincial levels to entirely pay for the costs of the LRT project is unreasonable and far fetched in the absence of the underlying local economic conditions. Given the sorry state of our existing infrastructure, finding local council consensus for new transit infrastructure investment will not be easy.

Creating sound economic conditions to support the LRT is not nuclear science. It just requires a radical political shift in thinking - and the required planning & zoning policies, along with its resulting urban economic growth will flow from it.
Di Ianni, Larry Yes I strongly support LRT. If elected on October 25th, I would immediately take steps to initiate a community-wide lobby effort of both the Provincial and Federal governments. This type of effort proved successful for Hamilton when I led the community in lobbying the McGuinty government for assistance with Social Services funding.

The community group I would bring together to lobby senior governments would include McMaster University, Mohawk College, business, labour, community groups, social services, citizens representing our city's diversity and organizations who've been advocating for LRT. I would also ensure that our entire community was represented: Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek.

Working together with Council and members of the community, we would produce a "Transit Hamilton" report that would describe our community's need for, benefits of, and plan regarding LRT. We would undertake a major community campaign including social media, petitions, rallies and presentations to governments in Toronto and Ottawa.

The city's existing transit plans must also be revised to include areas of the city beyond the proposed LRT lines at Eastgate Square and McMaster University. This revised transit plan would provide details on LRT feeder routes and implementation timelines. The current plan excludes every other area of our community except for the old City. This is not how you build consensus and support - it's not how you build a city. We need to include and engage our entire community in the city's LRT and future transit plans.
Eisenberger, Fred Yes LRT is one of my five main priorities as mayor. Under my leadership I secured $3 million in funding from Metrolinx to do advance engineering work and submitted our business case. LRT will provide an economic uplift for the entire community. In my second term, I will establish and personally lead an LRT SWAT team of government relations experts and community partners to secure government funding of LRT for Hamilton.
Filice, Pasquale Yes Yes, its a great project. it will be more expensive in 5 or 10 years from now.
Graydon, Edward H.C. No I do not oppose the expansion of mass transportation, but I question the usefulness of light rail. If light rail is what the voters want then I will make sure they get it, but as your Mayoral candidate I believe that much more pressing issues exist.

I had a friend that was a brain surgeon that worked at the General, and I have never forgotten his comments, that brain cancer was so prevalent in Hamilton. Arlene Mintz was the surgen that was exposed to so many cases, and a friend of the Wasserman's of Hamilton. I am not opposed to dealing with issues of mass transportation (LRT) has long as we tackle the issues that the steel plants place on our health. The time for real change is "now" I believe that we can do it all.

I will add that there is little question that during the construction of this project, that there will be massive retail losses. I am not the mayor that started this make work project, and believe that some will be very displeased during the process. I believe that some will lose their livelihood.
Haines, Andrew No I used to work as a Bus Driver for the Hamilton Street Railway from 1988 to 2001 and every day that I worked there, I wished that the HSR still had streetcars on the road.

I think that Streetcars are cool!

I am a railway nut: I like trains, big or small.

I wanted to drive a Hamilton Streetcar SOOO bad; it hurt.

Unfortunately, the Streetcar had been absent from Hamilton streets for many, many years before I started at the HSR and they were unlikely to return any time soon.

So, WHY am I opposed to the installation of an LRT system in Hamilton?

I have several reasons:

1: The concept that the HSR cannot possibly provide timely, efficient and economical service to Hamiltonians WITHOUT the installation of an LRT system is utter horse feathers!

2: The five routes in the system could cost up to $500,000,000.00! (Yeah, like we have THAT kind of coin in our pockets!)

3: Streetcars, although really cool-looking and (I'm sure) fun to drive, STILL get delayed by other road traffic: they cannot magically levitate off their tracks and float over that congestion, gridlock or the fender-bender on the road ahead.

4: The entire concept of Hamilton getting an LRT system has been shoved-down our Hamiltonian throats in a very-similar way to how the "Stadium" debate has been shoved-up our Hamiltonian butts and I don't like the spin-doctoring surrounding the LRT system AT ALL!

5: The money needed for an LRT system could be better spent on things like health care for our Senior citizens.

However if that amount of money MUST be spent on transit, I believe that the City should acquire every fleet taxicab in town, call them HSR vehicles, replace them, by attrition, with electric hybrids of similar size and finally have the HSR provide value-added, door-to-door service INSTEAD of spending Billions on an LRT system which will NOT provide more efficient service than what is being provided now.
Hamilton, Glenn Yes I would have an assigned professional dedicated to assuring a successful outcome for this opportunity.
Leach, Ken Yes The LRT proposal not only build the basis for the City of Hamilton, it allows for investment by our community. Funding for the system will obviously need to be both municipal and provincial, but as a long term strategic initiative we must move forward.

The construction of the LRT could work hand in hand with municipal infrastructure issues. If we are to tear up the major east-west corridor, should we not plan to do much needed undeground work at the same time. With pre-planning and proper budgeting we should be able to complete multiple projects allong the way.

As the province continues to download services to the municipalities we need to assume that we will be stretched even further than we are currently. With that in mind, the LRT expenditure will become a cost savings in the future.
Marrone, Tone No I disagree with the proposal to construct the Light Rail Transit in Hamilton for the following reasons:

1) The Metrolinx report has determined that it would be much more cost-effective to use a Bus Rapid Transit solution than the LRT. So why not save $800 million to $1 billion, much of it from Hamilton, and improve the downtown in other ways. Why choose a method that is not most cost-effective? With a Bus Rapid Transit solution, we can upgrade our transit system, and still have money available to start making a real effort into repairing our decaying infrastructure.

2) The Province is in worse financial shape than Hamilton, and to expect them to support a transit solution that is much less cost-effective than the alternative is ludicrous. If Hamilton pushes for the LRT, we will likely have to pay much more than one-third of the cost.

3) It seems inevitable that the LRT would mess up Hamilton's synchronized traffic light system if it is located on Main Street. In any eventuality, even with increased transit ridership, it will remove 2 lanes from an east-west corridor, and move us closer to a downtown traffic nightmare like Toronto's.

4) Hamilton downtown is not Toronto downtown! Until the area is cleaned up, not enough people will be willing to move here, shop here, or use the downtown transit system.
Speziale, Gino No We did the research on Light Rail Transit. Many cities across the USA are having serious issues with their LRT. From congesting roads to the cost of implementation and maintaining the LRT, people in various cities are very upset that their taxes have increased to offset the operating costs. Ridership was down in most of these cities. The politicians of the City of Hamilton are not competent to see past their noses and they have proved this over and over again.

The Hamilton taxpayer is under a great deal of financial pressures from all levels of Governments and would not be able to sustain such a cost to maintain this system. Until the city council becomes proactive and introduces sustainable endeavours which generate revenue that would cover the cost of such a transportation as the LRT.

As Mayor, I will introduce revenue generating projects that not only would cover the cost of LRT but I will also reduce taxes so the citizens can afford to ride on the LRT.

City council has either lost complete touch with the citizens of Hamilton or they have chosen to turn a blind eye to the reality of the state of the City and the people. To introduce this LRT within the next four years would guarantee failure and the taxpayer will be left holding the bill which they cannot afford.
Veri, Victor No No LRT but will consider BRT/streetcars, etc. Just see Portland, Oregon. They only spent $125 million to get the job done, i.e. streetcars. In return, they received benefits from this of over $3 million, by their estimates. LRT will not be viable - too much investment risk for the return on benefits that may result.
Waxman, Steven Maybe If any project that can better Hamilton is financially feasible after a cost benefit analysids then it will receive support. If it is not affordable or there are other more pressing prioritires, then it will not receive support.
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Greco, Tony Yes This will probably be the most important injection of Federal and Provincial money to the City of Hamilton over the next 20 years. This transit will be a catalyst to the future development of the City. It will not only better tie the city but will the source of much of our growth.
McHattie, Brian Yes I support LRT 100%. I would develop a collaborative group of Hamiltonians to come together and make a trip to Queens Park to make it clear support if widespread in the community. We also need to look at sources of local funding should the Province decide not to provide 100% dollars.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Caplan, Marvin Yes I was one of the people who fought for the last LRT proposal in 1980. I have been following the issue carefully. While I still wholeheartedly support the project, one of my Business "Kitchen Cabinet" members has asked that, if elected, I review the numbers. His question is, "would the $'s spent on LRT be more valuable elsewhere?"

One issue that has received no press is the disruption that will be caused over two years to our downtown. That too must be part of the equation. Thus, In the interest of complete transparency I will review the issue if elected. My belief at the moment is quite strongly that LRT is worth the money.

What will I do? What I have always done, first consult with community, experts, and colleagues. Then, lobby my extensive contacts at the Provincial level, work to build strong political support community consensus and realistic and balanced capital budgets.
Casey, Paul Yes I absolutely support the LRT proposal. I think we just have to look at cities like Portland and see the benefits for the economy, community and the environment. However, this not one of those "instant gratification" projects. It will take years to reap the full value once the ground is broken.

To ensure success in creating a successful LRT system in Hamilton, we would first and foremost need buy-in from the citizens of Hamilton, procure provincial/federal and private dollars and partner with other municipalities that are implementing their LRT strategies as well (ie Kitchener/Waterloo).

We do not have to reinvent the wheel on this one, the proof exists that if done well it can be a big contributing factor to sustainable growth. I would ensure that this is one of the priority items to get a jump on as it would have a positive influence on many of our cities other pressing issues.
Castle, John Maybe Ryan, I have asked a good many people they all say the same thing: What exactly is the LRP????? Will it run on electricity, Broward fuel cells? natural gas, what is route, what is cost/benefit analysis reveal?
Coleman, Shane Yes I support the LRT. However, I want to see it built with environmental promotion in place. I am disappointed to see that so much money was spent on City Hall, the Hamilton Farmers Market, Central public library where all built with out a single 21st century green initiative.

I think the previous Councillors were sleeping. No geothermal or solar? Where are our bicycle lanes on all these newly developed roads? Hamilton needs a new Chapter.

I lived in China for five years during the buildup for the Olympics and I saw first hand how areas started to boom everywhere newly developed subway stops where placed.

We are moving into a new generation where people desire to live downtown again, close to amenities such as hospitals, restaurants and parks.
Deans, Ian Yes In general terms I support the development of LRT. There will be some hurdles to overcome leading up to getting people to support the proposal.
Farr, Jason Yes Yes - all day GO first though. I like the end result of LRT - as a former Urban Geography student (Mac - 91 - 94) I am well aware of the bennifits to rejuvination and tax base growth and LRT will provide
Ferguson, Lloyd No The LRT is no different than a street car in TOronto and atreet cars have add little to the economy, job creation, the reduction of congestion or anything for the poor. It is not necessary and will be a tax burdon for years to come.
Geleynse, Martinus Yes I excitedly support Hamilton's LRT proposal! This is an initiative that will enhance our downtown dramatically, enable fast and efficient transportation, and encourage development!

To support it, I will work closely with residents, businesses, the HSR, Metrolinx, City staff, and elected officials at all three levels of government to realize optimal implementation.
Gentile, Matteo Yes Yes I absolutely support the LRT. However, I support building it along Barton St as this will revitalize a much needed area while we also tackle infrastructure at the same time. It will be essential to bring not only short term jobs but lasting upgrades as businesses begin to re-open along Barton St keeping up with the passenger needs. I will unite with council and ensure we get the funding for this important project.
Hess, Erik Yes The intensification of our downtown living space hinges on the LRT. Through my past work with the city, I have always considered all the options and presented what I believed to be the best plan for any given project. If elected, I would work to that same end with the LRT, and support the routes and plans that best serve Hamiltonians.
Ielasi, Pat No No I don't support the LRT at this time, for the following reasons.

a) We cannot afford it.

b) our current transits system will be sufficient to meet our needs,

i) We just need to re-evaluate the current routes and schedule's and make better use of our resources both mechanical and personnel.

ii) We need to provide service to all memebers our community expand the service to the outer portions of our city, Stoney Creek, Glandbrook, Waterdown, Andcaster and Dundas. if we provide service to one community we should provide it to all. we all should benefit from the service provided an all pay our equal share of the cost of providing that service.

iii) We should centralise the go bus station and train station at a location located at the CN rail lines at the proposed West Harbour
Site, and have all The busses currently stopping on King Street at Gore Park have bus stops at that location....

- It is estimated that 35,000 people commute to the GTA daily to work if we want people to use the transit system it must be accessible, affordable, and timely. that is the only way we will be able to persuade commuters to use public transit.

c) Until we address the Infrastructure problem, namely the decay of the sewers....... I can not support spending money putting rails 8 inches into the roads, only to rip them back out again to fix the sewers.... LETS FIX THE SEWERS FIRST
Janjic, Ned Yes LRT in our city would be fantastic, and especially beneficial to Ward 2. It would drastically change the face of our community. The benefits would be significant.

Unfortunately, the Pan Am stadium issue has dominated the political landscape. We cannot allow vital infrastructure projects to be hijacked by high profile single-issue politics. The transportation system is the backbone of our future growth and prosperity.

We as a city council should forcefully lobby with a unified voice to higher levels of government to ensure the LRT becomes a reality.
Jelly, Matt Yes I fully support efforts to lobby senior levels of government to put in place key federal and provincial funding to establish a world-class LRT system in Hamilton. I believe this is one major component to linking Hamilton's many communities, and expanding our existing transit system to better serve the entire City. LRT has been proven to be an effective stimulator of economic development in cities all over the world. City Council should not squander the opportunity to be the next municipality in line for Federal and Provincial investment in LRT. I will support any effort to make this case loud and clear.
Lescaudron, Dawn Yes Yes, I support the LRT proposal. However, during the construction phase consideration must be given to the small businesses that will inevitably suffer a loss in profit. Before we can initiate we must secure funding from provincial and federal levels and not have our property taxes suffer as a result.
Novak, James Maybe I support a Rapid Transit System for Hamilton. However, currently available data and or proposals do not clearly demonstrate the need for rapid transit at this moment. Population trends show that the population in Hamilton increased by only 15,000 residents between 2001 and 2006. We need to know what our current ridership is with the HSR and what the projections are for the next 20 years. Will our historical buildings downtown and throughout the city suffer structural problems because of vibration? Hence, the city is expected to call in engineers from Europe who have dealt with preservation and safety of historical structures in a LRT environment. With a price tag in excess of $800 million, we need to determine how LRT fits into our priorities from a ecoomic development point-of-view. How will it affect our neighbourhoods and the downtown. We must also consider less expensive alternatives.
Pipe, Charlie Yes I support the LRT proposal. This is a great long-term plan - it will increase the ease of transportation across the Golden Horseshoe area and reduce dependency on cars.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Black, Bob No No I do not support the Hamilton LTR proposal, we have an infrastructure that is causing problem after problem and we already have a bus system that could be better utilized. It is time to start to take care of the people who are struggling day after day before we start to make multi million dollar changes to have faster access to an airport that is not ready yet to expand due to a lack of participation.
DiMillo, Mark Yes I strongly support LRT. If elected on October 25th, I would immediately take steps to initiate a community-wide lobby effort of both the Provincial and Federal governments. This type of effort proved successful for Hamilton when I led the community in lobbying the McGuinty government for assistance with Social Services funding.

The community group I would bring together to lobby senior governments would include McMaster University, Mohawk College, business, labour, community groups, social services, citizens representing our city's diversity and organizations who've been advocating for LRT. I would also ensure that our entire community was represented: Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek.

Working together with Council and members of the community, we would produce a "Transit Hamilton" report that would describe our community's need for, benefits of, and plan regarding LRT. We would undertake a major community campaign including social media, petitions, rallies and presentations to governments in Toronto and Ottawa.

The city's existing transit plans must also be revised to include areas of the city beyond the proposed LRT lines at Eastgate Square and McMaster University. This revised transit plan would provide details on LRT feeder routes and implementation timelines. The current plan excludes every other area of our community except for the old City. This is not how you build consensus and support - it's not how you build a city. We need to include and engage our entire community in the city's LRT and future transit plans.
Gibson, Sean Yes I strongly support the LRT and the development of this future/visionary project in the City of Hamilton. The challenge will be how to effectively secure the funds necessary to acquire this initiative. We must prioritize the needs of our citizens and if the LRT is a financially viable and practical venture, I'm all for it. This project and all of our future projects in this city must take into consideration "Where will the money come from?"
McGrimmond, Wilamina Yes The LRT is a long time in coming here and I would love to see it materialize instead of just talking about it, as it works very well in the West where I came from.
Morelli, Bernie Yes I do support the Hamilton LRT proposal. It does need considerably more consultative input, but I believe it is the link that will take us to the next level as it hooks up with the transportation system throughout the GTA and Niagara/Golden Horseshoe area.

I plan to support its final implementation - subject to the financial feasibility for all tax payers and a full consultative process for all to comment.
Tetley, Paul Yes As a supporter of public transit, I support development of the LRT.

As Councillor, it will be my goal to ensure the plan for the LRT is based on providing efficient and affordable public transportation which is properly funded by Metrolinx, and it benefits the entire City of Hamilton.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bulbrook, Norm Yes I would like to say upon just learning about this issue and not having done a full investigation into the matter that I could support a project to this effect. To implement its success, I would endorse its green features upon saving on individual car pollution and the price of our rising insurance and fuel. By the time LTR is fully implemented in our region no one may be able to afford to drive.
Cicconi, Giulio Maybe The total cost of this proposal is a challenge. If the Federal and Provincial Government do not partner up with the City of Hamilton to bring more dollars to this project, we would have to look at alternatives depending on the funding gap. This would limit the impact on the taxpayers of our city.
Merulla, Sam Yes I strongly support LRT and will continue to focus my efforts and energy on issues that matter by continuing to aggressively lobby the province to implement the funding strategy for LRT rather than fruitless endeavours i.e. stadiums that have consumed this city far too long. I will also continue to steer this council in a direction conducive to our city's needs rather than meaningless wants.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Behrens, Chris Yes I am definitely a supporter of Hamilton's LRT proposal. LRT will improve the quality of life for our youth, up to our seniors. It will also encourage Hamiltonians to leave the car at home, decreasing air pollution and traffic congestion. Unlike how we have dealt with the Pan-Am games, we need to work together with great leadership to keep the LRT in Hamilton alive.
Knowles, Steven No I do not support the current LRT proposal. While I am a believer in public transit, we are working ahead of ourselves on that pipe dream. Those are wants when we must focus on needs.
Pecyna, Ed No I support the improvement of transit and the implementation of rapid transit in Hamilton but I am not convinced at this point that LRT is the way to go. There are two reasons:

1. Capital cost
2. Operating costs

There is much studying to do on this subject so I can't give you a definitive answer here. However, based on what I have seen so far, even though the LRT has been referred to as the "sexier" choice, I am leaning towards a more cost effective BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). Consider the following:

System = LRT, Capital Cost = $829M, Operating Cost = $12.0M
System = BRT, Capital Cost = $218M, Operating Cost = $ 4.8M

LRT will cost almost four times as much to build as BRT, and approximately 2.5 times to operate it. I'm not convinced the benefits outweigh the costs. Metrolinx made their proposal to the provincial government, who will be responsible for the costs (i.e. the provincial taxpayers). Judging how the economy has fared for Ontarians over the past few years, I suspect the provincial government will look at cheaper options (i.e. BRT).
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi No No, I don't support the LRT proposal, for now. This is because of the following four reasons:

1. Where is the money coming from?

Hamilton is currently in deficit, have a debt and we have one the highest property tax rates in the country.

2. Where is the ridership to support the LRT going to come from?

We only have to look to Toronto to see that mass public transit is not a profitable enterprise. Hamilton's current and in next 5 years urban geography doesn't have the population distribution to support the running of the LRT through transit fares alone. We require centres with high population densities to make it practicable. Thus, at present, the LRT will be a drain on our budget that we cannot afford with the present city economic model.

3. The city infrastructure is not prepared for the building of the LRT.

The LRT is planned for King and Main Streets, the two main traffic arteries of Hamilton. There is no plan on what to do with the traffic that must be diverted to build the LRT. If we start building the LRT without preparing the infrastructure for the redirection of traffic, we are going to have gridlock during the building period.

The obvious consequence of this would be that people will avoid going into the downtown core, businesses will fail and when the LRT is down we will have a high density transit system that goes through a ghost town.

4. Our current mass transit, the HSR, isn't run effectively.

The stated purpose of the HSR is to get people from one spot of the city to another. Its current design does not allow it to fulfill this purpose. To make matters worse, this poorly designed bus schedule we have is pretty much a work of function. There seems to be no enforcement of the schedule upon the drivers. It is common to see a line of buses one behind each other on the street, which means that people have either been waiting or will wait dozens of minutes at the bus stop that they should not have to.

This of course, makes people distrust the HSR, and makes it less likely for them to take it. Before we start getting all excited about a bright and shiny new LRT, we need to fix what we have now. It doesn't matter how fine the equipment is, if we don't use it effectively its nothing by a huge waste of money.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beck, Keith Yes I have been a long-time supporter of the LRT. Whatever can be done to complete the project I'm interested in doing.
Duvall, Scott Yes Yes I support the implementation of LRT for the East/West route to start. I also support the North/South route as this will take into consideration the residents on the Mountain and give them much needed access to our downtown areas. LRT is a forward thinking plan to help alleviate traffic and environmental issues, however, it must be funded by all levels of government and affordable for the taxpayers of Hamilton.
Gallagher, John Yes I am in support of the LRT. It is imperative that city council and the Province not drop the ball on this one. Twenty-five years ago - or so - the city was offered and elevated rail system from downtown to the mountain and then on to the airport. The council and provincial reps at the time failed this community terribly in letting that electric train slip through our fingers. If I am elected I will push as hard as I can to get the LRT approved and up and running as soon as is possible.
Pettit, Trevor Yes I support LRT but think we should put more emphasis on the north south leg rather than east west. I believe we should have LRT running from the airport north to downtown and on to the waterfront. This would encourage more mountain people to go downtown and would ultimately enhance the west harbour redevelopment. I will be a voice for LRT in any scenario but especially a north south route.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jenkinson, Kim No No I do not support the LRT proposal. There are four major problems with our current transit system:

1) Lack of connectivity. Gore Park is our central downtown HSR core, but the Go Bus is three blocks away and there are no parking facilities at the GO station.

2) Lack of reliability. The busses are not on schedule, HSR must let people waiting know when the next bus will get there. People report the bus can be anywhere from 10 minutes early to 20 minutes late. This would not be an issue on the East/West lines on King and Main, but it is certainly an issue on the Mountain routes. Which means transit is.

3) Not user friendly. If busses are not on time and connections are difficult to make or are out of the way, the transit system is not user friendly. The lack of available busses is also an issue, many route

4) Low ridership. In part because of all of the reasons above.

The LRT does not address a single issue above. Who exactly needs to get across the city? People need to get IN TO and OUT OF the city: the LRT does not address that. The top problems with the LRT are:

1) It will not address the primary issues of transit users in the City as listed above.

2) It will snarl traffic and effect businesses across the route (some good some bad).

3) It will increase the operational costs of transit and the longer term replacement costs.

The basic issues of our transit system need to be addressed before we add meaningless infrastructure. Transit in Hamilton absolutely needs a common sense plan to move forward and it needs to resolve the major problems to attract ridership, but at this time the City of Hamilton does not need the LRT.
Whitehead, Terry Yes Yes, I support the concept of LRT. However, there needs to be a better understanding of location, cost and impacts to existing businesses. I would be interested in obtaining a cost/benefit analysis.
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Clark, Brad Yes I support the LRT proposal provided the City of Hamilton does not have to contribute to the capital costs. I do not support the left hand turn restrictions along the route. The restriction is not necessary. We simply need to pass a by-law giving the LRT the right of way just like the TTC in Toronto.
Fiorentino, Nancy No Although I support the expansion of transit services and increased ridership on transit and note the many benefits of transit services to the residents, businesses, and the environment, I do not support Hamilton's LRT proposal at this time for the following reasons:

a) The capital expenditure for the LRT is very costly and will burden the taxpayer significantly. I do not believe or even remotely see in the future that the other levels of government will pay or assist in paying for Hamilton's LRT. With a capital cost of over $300 million dollars for a LRT line from McMaster University to Eastgate Mall, it truly is false hope to think that the Province will assist and then set a precedent to assist other municipalities with similar requests.

b) We have an aging infrastructure that needs to be addressed first! What is the sense of putting down LRT lines (assuming that we can afford it) only to tear it down to fix roads or sewers (etc) in the near future. Not only will this cost the taxpayer more because we are doing things twice, but it will also disrupt commuters, transit services, and local businesses twice (or more) and until construction has been completed. Let's get the aging infrastructure that we all depend on up to at least minimum standards first, if not much better than that, and then we can talk LRT.

c) A common misconception regarding the LRT is that it will eliminate the use of bus services. This is not the case. The LRT being proposed, is only for the main roads and routes in core areas. Transit services are still required in suburban areas that will feed into the LRT line. Therefore the cost of the LRT is not justified at the end of the day when it only is proposed in specific core areas of the City and not other core areas, and also it creates an added cost for transit feeds into the main line.

d) There are transit alternatives to the option of LRT that require further review. Alternatives such as a Bus Rapid Transit service with a dedicated bus lane will enable an increase in the frequency of bus service per routes, and will also cost the City of Hamilton less than 1/3 of the cost of an LRT line. It will enable immediate action (in the short term) to take place to advance the interest of the transit user and assist local businesses in getting the customers to them. It will also enable the current transit buses to be used to their fullest capabilities. If money is to be requested or spent, then why not for added services to areas that are currently under serviced rather than using more money to simply place LRT only in core areas. We cannot forget about the quickly developing new areas of the City who do not have transit services at all.

e) Timing. The LRT proposal will take many years to be fully implemented. We need to increase transit usage and ridership NOW! The LRT is not a short term solution and does not benefit the transit user in the immediate future.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes While I support Hamilton's Light Rail Transit Proposal it will be important to ensure that the capital costs are funded by the Ontario government. I will advocate for the LRT while it remains to be a benefit for economic development and urban revitalization and as long as funding comes through.
Mowatt, Andrew Yes Yes I support LRT. Hamilton needs to move into the future. I will work with council to make sure the other levels of government support and properly fund the project.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bustamante, Jose Pablo Maybe I stand for a better transit system. I believe that we need to improve our transit system and that we require a comprehensive master plan for the HSR. A plan that will include all options including monorails like in Wuppertal, Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal_Schwebebahn). If the master plan and the research point us to an LRT, then let's build it. I will not jump into a solution like the LRT or a BRT without having a plan. Many other projects in the past lacked of a master plan. The airport for example was a good idea, but was done aiming for passengers when Toronto Airport was under major renovations, thus the timing was not good. The Red Hill Creek Highway in the other hand was not designed taking in consideration heavy rains. We need to plan better our main projects.
Josipovic, Bernard Yes I do support Hamilton's LRT proposal. We need to control traffic and pollution in this City before it get's out of hand. The LRT has many benefits to it.
Pearson, Maria Yes Yes, emphatically, yes! I support LRT. I believe Hamilton missed the opportunity in the 80's and we cannot have this happen again. We need to keep pushing Hamilton forward.
Ward 11
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Chartrand, Ken Yes Yes I support this idea. I would like to be a part of the committee that will oversee this project. Our city needs to move forward and this will be a great step in the right direction.
Johnson, Brenda Yes Yes I support the LRT but we also need to support an efficient and easily accessible public transit (HSR) to ensure the LRT is sustainable.
Mitchell, David Yes Yes I support the LRT, I am willing to meet with the provincial committee delegates who are going to make the decisions about the LRT in Hamilton. I will also have discussions with Richard Koroscil (Chair of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce) who is our LRT representative for Hamilton to ensure that they are aware of the strengths Hamilton has to offer as well as the environmental benefits for this city by keeping more cars off the road.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cox-Graham, Brenda Yes Yes I support it. Our current council just committed 350 to 400 million to airport land development. I wonder where we will get the money.
Ferguson, Lloyd Yes We need full capital funding from the Province as part of the big move funding allocation.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Powers, Russ Yes Yes - I strongly support the opportunity of introducing an LRT (rather than BRT) system onto the main routes traversing our City. It will relieve current congestion and provide our citizenry with a modern, efficient and quicker mode of travel and the opportunity for downtown economic renewal. I'm pleased that my Council colleagues have supported and approved my request for future westerly extension of the 'B Line' of the LRT system to University Plaza in Dundas to connect with our local collector bus routes. The LRT has a $1.2B price tag that will only happen with willing partners, who are prepared to contribute their fair share...the future of LRT in Hamilton is contingent on a satisfactory arrangement for all.
Robinson, Glenn Yes Yes, I support Hamilton's LRT proposal and the transit oriented development it will facilitate.
Scime, Danya Yes I support the long term goal of having a LRT in Hamilton. With that said, this is an investment of possibly over $850,000,000.00 ~ a huge amount of money!

There is sure to be disagreement with some of the outlying areas regarding this issue...I need to look at the big picture here and I do believe that if we have a LRT in Hamilton, it will encourage economic growth and more jobs.

What I would do is make sure that there is a concrete plan on how we will integrate what we have now with what we visualize for the future.

I would insist that City Staff and Council are acutely aware of how we 'merge' our existing transit with our future transit systems. We must look at our roadways and infrastructure and make sure that as improvements are done, we will not be 'un-doing / re-doing' them in five years from now to accommodate the LRT. In other words, before a road is widened, a sewage or waterline is repaired, we know where our LRT route is and do the upgrades to support that future line at the same time.

I believe if we have all of 'our ducks in a row', we can secure more Provincial and Federal funding and combine it with monies already set aside for one project to be cost effective and pro-active towards our LRT, combining projects in a financially responsible way.

I would also propose that any new industrial/commercial development that is on the planned LRT route have an extra development charge added for this bonus. In the big picture, the properties en route will be of increased value.

We need to work 'smarter, not harder' to ensure that our tax dollars are spent in the most frugal way possible.
Tammer, Ron Yes Yes, I support the proposal to bring the LRT to Hamilton. I am a big supporter of public transit in general, and would work to ensure that service is improved to the point where there would no longer be a social stigma attached to using the HSR. I would ensure that the route for the LRT was sufficient to afford the most convenience to the highest number of riders, and allow for easy transferring to the bus system, Go Transit, and other inter-city transit.
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bos, Neil Maybe I might be a proponent of LRT - if there are users. And if the LRT goes somewhere, it would be an opportunity to get some cars off the road. There are environmental issues too.

Obviously I don't know enough about this proposal. So let's just say, "Maybe."
Gaspar, Brian Yes I would support light rail transit providing certain provisions were met.

1) A high-speed system.
2) Integrated with transit system
3) Provide a positive cash flow within 2 years of completion
4) Properly planned.
5) Improve time of travel for improved quality of life
Partridge, Judi Yes As the city of Hamilton continues to grow in population it is essential to build a LRT system throughout the city. The business case for LRT must be a priority to sell our case for support to Metrolinx and the Ontario government ~ that needs to happen NOW. There are already two other municipalities presenting their business case to the province - if we don't get on this, we will be left behind, again.

LRT also needs to be affordable for people to access. People will benefit by having faster, easier access to jobs, and industry/business will benefit with a more efficient transit opportunity for people to travel to those jobs created. Building a LRT system in Hamilton may be a deal breaker for investors looking to locate business here.

It is proven that LRT transit is seen as more appealing to higher educated, young more urban lifestyle people which will result in increased ridership and less single passenger vehicle transportation. My vision for transit in Hamilton also includes multimodal systems and improved services to outlying communities.

An example of this is to implement smaller shuttle hybrid buses serving urban areas of Waterdown and Carlisle. Currently the bus servicing Waterdown is a huge lumbering bus with few riders. The schedule cannot be accessed on the HSR website and is not promoted - people do not know the schedule or see it as reliable.

Waterdown is one of the fastest growing urban areas with 6,500 additional homes being built mostly in East Waterdown. This will result in 17,000 more people with in the next 3-5 years. Additional transit systems along Dundas St. East and Hwy #6 north connecting to Hamilton, Burlington, Mississauga and Guelph needs to be developed over the next 10 years.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

13 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Paquette, Raymond
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Jones, Hoojung
Wright, Kevin
Ward 05
Bedi, Jaswinder
Collins, Chad
Rukavina, Frank
Stacey, Dave
Ward 06
Febers, Michelle
Jackson, Tom
Ward 13
Zuliniak, Marty
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert