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Hamilton has an historic opportunity to build a modern rapid transit system with the Ontario government paying the capital costs. Together we can make it happen!
Hamilton Light Rail (HLR) is an independent group of citizens who believe that Hamilton needs an ambitious approach to economic development and urban revitalization based around high quality rapid transit. To that end, we are dedicated to promoting the goal of building a light rail transit (LRT) system in Hamilton.
This includes a campaign to educate Hamiltonians about the many benefits of light rail, provide evidence-based reports and resource materials, and build broad support across all sectors of the community: citizens' groups, neighbourhood associations, business groups, and trade associations.
You can find us on social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hamiltonlightrail
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HamOntLightRail
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamilton Light Rail is strictly volunteer-based and is not affiliated with the Corporation of the City of Hamilton or with any commercial interests. We're citizens who want Hamilton to enjoy the many benefits of light rail transit.
To see the City of Hamilton's official website for the Rapid Transit Office, click the following link:
Hamilton LRT Advocacy
We are happy to be joined in our engagement by another independent citizen-based organization in Hamilton that is also advocating for the city's LRT plan. That organization is called Hamilton LRT Advocacy and you can visit their website here:
Light Rail in Hamilton first started to look like a real possibility in 2007 when the Province announced MoveOntario 2020 (now Metrolinx), an arms-length provincial body dedicated to building integrated rapid transit throughout the GTA and Hamilton. The Ontario Liberal Party even campaigned for re-election in 2007 with the promise of two light rail lines in Hamilton.
After a grassroots campaign by Hamilton Light Rail and valuable independent research by city staff, Hamilton City Council voted unanimously in October 2008 to support an east-west light rail line. Since then, City staff in the Rapid Transit Office have undertaken the functional design and detail design of the B-Line, while Planning staff have been preparing a Secondary Plan for the B-Line that will support and encourage transit-oriented development.
In early 2010, Metrolinx released a Rapid Transit Benefits Case Analysis that clearly favoured Light Rail as a potent investment in urban vitality, economic development and improved quality of life. The Province also granted Hamilton $3 million to undertake a class Environmental Assessment as part of its LRT planning.
After that, things went off the rails as newly elected mayor Bob Bratina began undermining the LRT plan after running for election on a platform to "work with all levels of government to bring light rail transit to Hamilton." The Province was told that LRT was not a priority for Hamilton, and the project was even suspended in mid-2011. HLR engaged in a public campaign to demonstrate the broad public support for LRT and to focus Council on staying the course in its LRT planning.
In February 2013, Council voted to submit its completed Rapid Ready LRT plan to the Province for full funding. In May 2015, the Province announced full capital funding for a hybrid LRT plan that built most of the east-west B-Line (from McMaster University to Queenston Traffic Circle) and the first part of the north-south A-Line (on James Street from King to the West Harbour GO Station).
Unfortunately, a year after the Province confirmed its approval and full funding, a small group of City Councillors began to undermine the plan, questioning its purpose, implementation details and necessity. Once again it became necessary for HLR to engage Hamiltonians in sending a clear message, this time to Council, to accept YES for an answer and reaffirm its support for the LRT plan.