It's time for Council and the Province to commit to Light Rail Transit in Hamilton.
Light Rail Transit (LRT) on the east-west B-Line is a tremendous, once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Hamilton into a thriving, economically diverse centre.
Last October, City Council reaffirmed its support for LRT and called on the Province to commit to capital funding. The province said it can't make a commitment until after the planning is complete. That planning should be complete by the end of this year, but the Province now says it can't commit to funding until after it finalizes an investment strategy next summer.
We call on Council to keep the LRT plan on track, and we call on the Province to keep its promise to pay for it.
Back in 2007, the Province recognized that rapid transit will transform the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The 2007 Liberal re-election campaign even promised "two light rail lines across Hamilton".
Conceptual image of LRT in Hamilton. Image Credit: City of Hamilton.
The City did a feasibility study in 2008 that recommended to build LRT, move quickly, and start with the east-west B-Line. In response, Council unanimously directed staff to proceed with "the functional design, detail design and construction of the B-line rapid transit corridor ... utilizing Light Rail Technology."
In 2010, a Benefits Case Analysis by Metrolinx concluded that LRT on the east-west B-Line would provide a much bigger overall benefit - economically, socially and environmentally - than bus rapid transit.
The Province even gave Hamilton $3 million to complete the required Environmental Assessment on the LRT line.
Then, last September, Premier Dalton McGuinty told the Hamilton Spectator that all-day GO train service "was the No. 1 ask of the city. We've had some important conversations with the mayor, and this is their priority, which made it our priority. Over time, we can enter into other discussions about things like the LRT."
It's time to move forward.
Council needs make sure LRT planning remains a priority to complete on time. The Province needs to indicate that they will keep their promise to fund its construction.
It's time for Hamiltonians to remind the City and the Province that we believe - as the City's and the Province's studies have confirmed - that LRT is the right decision.
Now is the time for the City and the Province to finish the job of building LRT.
Please help us run a constructive civic campaign by refraining from the use of personal insults and derogatory language when submitting a statement. This is a tremendously positive opportunity for Hamilton: please focus on the positive.
Show your support for LRT
Please note: Statements will be sent to the contact list which includes City Council, MPPs, Premier McGuinty, and local provincial candidates. These politicians and officials may respond to you via email.