Posted January 09, 2024
As we begin 2024, it's now approaching three years since the Federal and Ontario governments jointly announced a $3.4 billion funding commitment to build and operate light rail transit (LRT) in Hamilton. Since then, millions of dollars have gone towards expropriating land and demolishing buildings along the route.
In November 2023, Metrolinx, the Ontario crown agency tasked with implementing the LRT project, announced a change that will shift the route to Dundurn Street, eliminating the need for a separate rail bridge over Highway 403. This has the potential to save construction time and money.
However, despite announcing these changes, Metrolinx has been vague about a project timeline and has not even put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) yet, which is the first step towards getting shovels in the ground to build LRT.
You read that right. Almost three years since the LRT funding announcement, the procurement process has not even started yet.
Enough is enough.
Hamilton Light Rail (HLR) is calling for:
Immediate initiation of the RFQ process for Hamilton LRT.
A commitment to a public project timeline with milestones including the beginning of construction and proposed completion date.
More transparency and better ongoing communication from Metrolinx around the Hamilton LRT project.
The Ontario government first promised to build the Hamilton LRT in 2007 – almost 17 years ago. It was originally supposed to be up and running in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Needless to say, it's time to get rolling on LRT. We deserve more transparency and a stronger commitment from Metrolinx to a project timeline, starting with the RFQ.
Locally, Mayor Andrea Horwath and City Council need to start putting pressure on the Province to make building Hamilton LRT a real priority.
Hamilton Light Rail (HLR) is an independent grassroots organization with over 5,000 supporters city-wide, who strongly supports the Hamilton LRT project.