Posted February 12, 2020
Hamilton Light Rail has topped 5,000 supporters, including the addition of 1,000 new supporters since mid-December when Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney announced she was halting Hamilton's LRT.
Supporters come are from all corners of Hamilton, which is consistent will the level of support the project received in the last municipal election where the pro-LRT candidate won 13 out of 15 wards including the lower city, mountain, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas and Glanbrook.
This outpouring of support comes as there are signs of cautious optimism for LRT:
As the Hamilton Spectator editorial board noted, "It's widely recognized that the math used by the province to justify the decision is fake and any real cost overruns wouldn't be out of line with overruns on other transit projects that are going ahead."
Leaked documents show that the Ontario Treasury Board had already approved the $3.7B 30-year cost for Hamilton LRT before it was cancelled. This shows that the project is considered affordable at the provincial level.
Some of the key players involved in the cancellation debacle have been quietly removed from Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney's office.
A number of the members appointed to the Hamilton Transportation Task Force, the body charged with recommending next steps, are either explicitly pro-LRT or well positioned to understand the importance of LRT.
The province has indicated that the Hamilton Transportation Task Force will consider LRT, either the existing plan or a more affordable one, as part of the deliberations.
These are all signs of a provincial government that understands it made a mistake and miscalculated the backlash it would receive from Hamiltonians. This now opens the door for getting LRT back on track and your support goes a long way in helping to keep the pressure up.
We plan on presenting a 300-page book compiling comments received since December 2019 to decision makers, including the Hamilton Transportation Task Force, as they decide next steps.