The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it?

Responses to the question: "The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it?"

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10 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael James Yes I would move to create bus stations within each of the 7 Cities, connecting them to the Center of the G.H.A.

This would improve ridership in the outlying areas, Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Mount Hope and Stoney Creek and seeing as Bus Stations act as Community Centers, this would give us a place to meet for coffee and get to know one another as we wait to connect with our ride. More buses looping the 7 Cities and a line whose only purpose is connecting them all to the core on a regular daily basis.
Bratina, Bob Yes We need to re-examine the fare structure. Another City slogan might have been "best place to raise a Fare.". Transportation planning needs to incorporate things like cost of parking vs cost of a bus ticket.

I had asked for and received a report from staff on jurisdictions who had reduced or eliminated fares altogether. There are arguments in favour of this approach. Fares are just one component of ridership levels, but critical.
Butani, Mahesh P. Yes I support the goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020.

To acheive this goal, we will need to adopt a more holistic planning approach which aligns our economic development goals with transit design. A well designed transit network will increase ridership and drive operational sustainability.

A similar question has been asked by CHML 900 in their survey today: "How do you see the future of transit in Hamilton?" (see Mayoral Survey at: http://www.900chml.com/News/Election2010/Candidates.aspx )

Below is my answer to this question, which also addresses the realization of doubling our transit ridership:

"I believe that we need to evolve a holistic approach to our transit issue. We are presently dealing with a totally fractured transit system, that does not address our current needs, let alone our future needs.

Our disconnected transportation system has retarded our city's growth and caused many serious environmental and economic problems - including the continuing dependency on automobiles for local commuting. [...] I will actively push to develop a holistic regional metropolitan Hamilton transit solution which acknowledges and embraces the divergent needs of all our urban and rural communities - and adopts innovations in transit planning solutions to meet our present and long-term needs.

A good transit solution defines the city's identity, and gives it the basis for its economic growth and cultural vitality.

Under my direction, Hamilton will begin to reconfigure its economy by deploying innovations in transit design and financing - with a view towards building a solid foundation for an economical, environmental & user friendly, and seamless multi-modal transit network.

I specifically do not see this as a simplistic case of LRT v/s No LRT or bikes v/s cars v/s bus v/s trucks issue - as it is being made out to be in our media.

Or transit problems have been historic in nature, and developing a holistic and comprehensive transit approach is the only way we will be able to overcome our economic and environmental problems."
Eisenberger, Fred Yes I support the goal of doubling transit ridership by 2010. I have made improving public transit one of my five main priorities as Mayor. Securing Light Rail Transit for Hamilton is the key goal under this priority. Under my leadership we have already acquired $3 million in funding from Metrolinx to undertake advance engineering work necessary for the project, the only municipality in Ontario to receive such funding.

Also under my leadership the city has already submitted its business case, ensuring that Hamilton is at the head of the queue for funding.

During this campaign I announced I would create and personally lead a government relations SWAT team made up of civic and community partners to press other levels of government for LRT funding, with a goal of $850 million to $1.5 billion in necessary funding. This team will join me to take the case for LRT funding directly to the responsible ministers in Ottawa and Queen’s Park. As the same time, we are already doing the advance engineering work necessary to ensure that our community remains at the front of the line for funding.
Graydon, Edward H.C. Yes The easiest way to achieve this goal and to take in the issues that are surrounding poverty into account, are to lower the bus fares immediately back to $1.50. The issues surrounding poverty will not be tackled in any meaningful way unless action is taken. Rhetoric is so common place during election time, it matters not what mayor is elected to office, what matters is that action be taken. To me it makes very little common sense to be talking about LRT all while many Hamiltonians are living hand to mouth.

If I were mayor I would immediately lower the bus fares back to $1.50 with the goal of bringing the city closer to its goals surrounding the environment. If by lowering the fares brings ridership up and allows more money into the pockets of our citizens, all while improving the health and air quality of Hamiltonian's then I say implement change "now".

At this time of year many politicians are all of a sudden bikers, but I question the timing, I truly believe that biking is a great way to get around with added feeling of freedom ,but for many the factor of time does not allow the luxury when holding down a job or two.

All forms of transportation are needed ,but I suggest that we make access to some a little easier and cheaper in the short run ,not the long run.

I rarely see Bob, Larry or Fred waiting for the bus and it is for this reason I suggest talk is cheap and action talks louder than words.
Haines, Andrew Yes How about we double the transit ridership by 2011 instead?

1st: Expand the service to the outlying communities forthwith. That means REAL transit service, NOT a single, almost empty bus driving around the perimeter of Waterdown, for example. REAL transit across the entire Greater Hamilton Area.

2nd: Lower the base fare to $2.00 and charge $0.25 for a 120 minute transfer.

3rd: Acquire a fleet of electric taxicabs and use them as HSR transit vehicles, providing value-added door-to-door service for less than a "regular cab" would charge. (doing so would ALSO lower the overall emissions from the HSR as a whole.)

Basically: make it silly to NOT take public transit.
Hamilton, Glenn Yes I would support that goal by making the bus routes user friendly and have better shelters for winter months.
Leach, Ken Yes Transit revenues and ridership have been dropping for years, yet the city seem to be unable to respond. In mid-2010, HSR asked council for $3,000,000 to improve services, and council deferred the decision till the 2011 budget.

The creation of an arms-length transit corporation, although widely debated, that is in control of daily activities and answers directly to the council has been proposed. This transit corporation will be mandated to work closely with the communities and improve services, and efficiencies.

Currently the net operating cost for a single transit ride is $6.27 (2009 stats.) nearly double the cost of 2008. The layers of government make it extremely difficult to ensure flexibility and cost effectiveness of routes.

We must reduce the number of 'dead miles' and ensure that we place transit where and when needed. This can most effectively be done by a commission comprised of business leaders and community spokespeople from throughout our city.

The implementation of the PRESTO pass in late 2010/early 2011 will also make it more convenient for citizens to utilize transit.
Marrone, Tone Yes Yes I support this goal. I'd also like to see us implement the bus rapid transit. Our buses are half empty because I believe the fares are to steep. I'm also an advocate for free senior bus passes at 70 not 80 and affordable teen bus passes. Taking the bus is great for the environment and promotes the sense of community. I'm all for it.
Waxman, Steven Yes Firstly, wew must have a 3rd party citizen review and consultation to deteermine what Hamilton needs and wants, create a plan and follow it. Accesibility and scheduling are key to ridership. You can't expect the use of HSR to connect to GO Transit when the 1st trains are leaving before buses are even making there way into the core on a regular morning schedule.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

5 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Di Ianni, Larry
Filice, Pasquale
Speziale, Gino
Veri, Victor
Wozny, Mark