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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4 Candidate Responses (top)

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.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

2 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 06
Febers, Michelle
Jackson, Tom