All Statements of Support
BARB MCKEAN says,
Perhaps some people have lost track of the fact that they aren't building LRT for themselves or their constituents, but rather for our children and grandchildren. As the Greek proverb says, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
What would a visionary politician like Thomas McQuesten do if he was on Council today? He and others had a vision of Hamilton as a world-class city and so they made decisions to protect greenspace, start a botanical garden and bring a university to town - probably risky and radical investments in the day, but look at their amazing legacy and what it has meant for Hamilton. Anyone who has traveled widely in North America and Europe knows that LRT is the norm in other world-class cities, and that robust public transit systems are essential to the quality of life and sustainability in large cities. This is an essential piece of infrastructure, it has been well studied and there's money in place to make it happen so let's get on with it!
Jinsong Wang says,
100% support Hamilton LRT. It will speed up gentrification of the city of Hamilton.
Make Downtown Hamilton attractive for living and business, it will eventurally benefits to every Hamiltonian. The saved bus running cost may apply to Mountain bus which will make Mountain Hamiltonian happy too.
Ben Doro says,
Public transit is the central nervous system to any major industrialized city...or one that wishes to be one, perhaps like the Ambitious City that Hamilton states it is. This is an incredible opportunity to breathe some life in to a city that has literally regressed over the past 20 years. I have been a proud Hamiltonian all my life, and witnessed many of City Hall's debacles over that time, however if this opportunity is squandered over political stick-handling, those responsible should be held individually accountable. The housing market is finally showing signs of life, but traffic is worse than ever as it is becoming primarily a bedroom community. Public transit will not only create jobs, but perhaps foster further development in areas that have been so depressed by losses in employment opportunities. Does anyone realize that the reason for the spike in real estate activity is primarily due to the proposed advances in public transit?
Brian H says,
As a resident first, and as a teacher second, I feel it is my moral prerogative to a) demonstrate sound sustainable behaviour for my students and b) advocate for a more sustainable world. In a time when we should be concerned about the safety of our streets, and the pollution spewed from our current transportation system, we have the remarkable opportunity to build a system that will move us around one part of the city and cut down on our pollution output.
Let's not stand back and let this opportunity pass.
John Connolly says,
The LRT is an important piece of infrastructure for Hamilton. It will join different sections of the city together in a manner that will have economic benefits for the city and its residents. This is a statement supported by evidence from other cities in Canada, the US, and around the world.
Hamilton is changing for the better and it is noticeable even in the last ten years. New construction including hotels and university buildings are replacing the previous landscapes of endless and often empty parking lots. The LRT will complement these developments and is, in fact, essential if the city is to get the full economic and social benefits of them.
Dorte Deans says,
I have been excited by LRT since it was first broached ten years ago. I like the design, the convenience, and that it will get us ready for a larger city in the future. I am frustrated by the constant squabbling on council when the project is being given to us free of charge, with gift-wrapping and a big bow! It is silly to even consider refusing this and keeping our heels fully mired in the mud if the past. Move on! Move ahead! Join the 21st century!
Paula Randazzo says,
Recently I was talking with long time GTA friends, describing how exciting it is to see the new restuarants, cafes , galleries opening in Hamilton. How below the mountain is attracting people to move and invest in Hamilton. That's why it boggles my mind that Council would even consider NOT building the LRT.
If we want people (lots more people) to invest in our core we need to ensure a transit that will match the growth.
Not to mention the funds provided, the jobs created?? Those against can only be playing politics.
We expect councillors to be leaders first. Build the LRT!
Michael Ladouceur says,
I believe that public transportation in the GTA is a necessary and vital part of infrastructure development, economic growth and environmental responsibility; and furthermore is inevitable regardless of any active or passive resistance.
I wholeheartedly support the LRT plan for Hamilton put forward by Metrolinx and entrust and urge our elected politicians to facilitate and enable this progressive initiative with a long-term vision for the greater good of the region.
John Hannah says,
I live on the "mountain" and FULLY support LRT. My city will benefit and so will I.
Frances Neufeld says,
Here are some facts that should be considered. It astounds me that some councilors are playing politics with our future.
• The revenue sharing arrangement has not been finalized yet. It is one of the issues being negotiated under the Memorandum of Agreement between Metrolinx and the City.
• Hamilton will not be responsible for the operational and maintenance costs. The LRT system will be owned and operated by Metrolinx.
• Emergency vehicles will be able to use the LRT right-of-way, just as they do in other cities that have LRT systems.
• The Province has clearly stated that Hamilton taxpayers will not be responsible if the project goes over budget. If necessary, the project will be scaled back to keep it in budget. However, Metrolinx has an excellent track record of staying in budget, e.g. the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which is much larger and more complicated than Hamilton's system and is on time and on budget.
• The overall construction time is expected to be 4-5 years, but the construction is likely to be staged so that each segment of the route is closed for a shorter period of time to minimize business disruption.
• The construction period will be challenging for businesses, but the City and Metrolinx are already committed to working proactively with business owners to ensure they emerge successful from the construction period. In addition, a citizen campaign is already being organized to promote and support affected businesses during construction.
• The underground infrastructure that will be replaced is very old and soon due for replacement anyway. If we turn down the LRT investment, the businesses will still have to go through the reconstruction phase, but without a rapid transit system at the end.
• By having underground infrastructure replaced under the Provincial LRT budget, the City is saving tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure replacement capital spending, which it can distribute to other parts of the city that need road reconstruction.
• All property purchases will be covered by Metrolinx under the LRT capital budget. Of around 260 identified properties, most are just a thin sliver of land next to the public ROW. The total cost will be nowhere near the made-up $500 million number.
• There is absolutely no reason to think the new bridge over Highway 403 will cost anywhere near $1 billion, another made-up number. In any case, Metrolinx owns the project and is responsible for the budget.
• The transit-only lane was only two kilometres long and ran for just over a year. It was actually quite successful by a variety of measures, and in two separate surveys, a clear majority of Hamiltonians supported keeping it and tweaking the design to make it work better.
• LRT stops are spaced more widely than bus stops because that is proven to work more successfully in rapid transit systems. However, the location of stops has not yet been finalized, so Hamiltonians have an opportunity to recommend changes (e.g. adding a stop at International Village).
• Current ridership is over 30,000 trips a day, which would put Hamilton's LRT right in the mid-range of successful LRT systems in North America on opening day. In any case, Metrolinx is responsible to cover the operational costs of the system.
Hamilton's current LRT plan is just the first phase of a larger rapid transit network across Hamilton that will extend into Stoney Creek, south to the Airport and across the mountain.
• Building LRT will free up city buses that can be used to increase transit service in other parts of the city.
• Bus Rapid Transit is cheaper to build but more expensive to operate: each vehicle can carry fewer passengers, so more vehicles and drivers are needed. BRT also has a much lower maximum capacity. Ottawa, for example, built BRT (Transitway) instead of LRT and is now being forced to upgrade to LRT because their bus system is at capacity.
• BRT is just as disruptive as LRT during construction, since the roadbed has to be rebuilt to accommodate the weight of a high volume of express articulated buses. It also runs in dedicated lanes, so it will disrupt vehicle traffic just as much as LRT - but with much lower economic uplift.
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!
Bob Mills says,
Not everyone is going to ride the LRT but everyone is going to benefit. It will absolutely drive neighbourhood development and investment along the route and bring more visitors and shoppers into the downtown. And it will serve a generation of younger Hamiltonians who have made a choice to use alternative transportation rather than a car. It's a forward-looking vision and the time to start building it is right now.
Caroline Neufeld says,
A successful city is a visionary and well-planned city. Hamilton has the capacity to be just that, and now has a unique opportunity to take a major step in keeping with that goal, by taking advantage of the $1b investment offered by the province for an LRT.
I am a mountain resident, and I look forward to the eventual improvement of east/west public transit on the mountain. I understand that this is some time off but is in the longterm transit development plan that starts with the LRT.
It would be folly to turn down this once-in-a-lifetime offer from the province. PLEASE, Hamilton City Councillors, vote yes to LRT
Michel Ray-Zarate says,
This is the right decision. For the future of Hamilton. Don't let an other excellent opportunity to improve our city pass us by.
Sebastian Serafini says,
It should be extended to eastgate and installed on main st.
Liz Weaver says,
I don't live in downtown Hamilton but I fundamentally believe that the LRT will be transformative to the City of Hamilton and its residents.
We need to plan for the future of our community and this is a step in that direction - an important step.
david watson says,
When our family was considering moving to Hamilton a big draw was it's commitment to bringing LRT to the heart of the city. The planned route weighed heavily in our choice of neighbourhood, with us considering neighbourhoods both at the centre of the transit hub and at the ends of the line - but always near the planned LRT route. We knew full well that we would be impacted by construction for several years but we had the foresight to know that the short-term pain would be a longterm gain for our family It would be a shame if the city turned away a 1 Billion dollar commitment to developing the city and I would hope that council would be able to see past the hurdles of getting the project done and see the long-term benefits it brings to the residents and business' of Hamilton. Our family would be sorely disappointed if one of the big draws to Hamilton was turned away. Please say Yes to LRT!
John Stockton says,
Light Rail is a change agent for Hamilton. It will take our city from being an industrial backwater into a city where people want to live.... not just exist. Time to work together.
Mike Casarin says,
Would be very good for the Hamilton economy and will cut down on pollution in the city!
Jordan Kerim says,
Building a light rail tramway would be of major benefit to the city of Hamilton.
I understand there may be some opposition to building the tramway, however the long term benefits of building it would be of great value.
The low floor trams can carry far more people than any other kind of transit or road vehicle.
Building the tramway will also help attract real estate and commercial developent. Since the 1980s there has been a loss of jobs from the industry in the north end. I have witnessed the poverty situation of downtown Hamilton worsen since the early 1990s when I originally lived in the city.
Downtown Hamilton and downtown Toronto are also probably negatively affected by having both built the large modernist downtown malls that were both built in both cities, that being the Eaton Centre and Jackson Square. It is likely that demolishing these malls and putting back what was once there could help further for both cities with helping heal the urban fabric of both cities, but of course that is a subject matter off topic from the Light Rail issue being discussed here.
The light rail plan is definitely far greater than the previously proposed Hamilton Wentworth Rapid Transit proposal from 1981 or the GO ALRT inter regional rapid transit proposal from 1982. The light rail tracks will run along the street, there would be no disruptive elevated guideway of any sort.
It is important that work start soon. There is some chance that a new provincial government will be elected soon. If it is an Ontario PC provincial government they may move to terminate funding for the light rail project. That would be not good for the city's future.
I support the city's plan for the B Line Light Rail line and any further planned routes or light rail expansion. It is an investment in the city's future, one that will surely modernize the city further in what is now more of a post industrial era for the city of Hamilton.
- Jordan Kerim
Andy Coltman says,
Dear Elected Officials,
To be honest, I've put off writing this note over the past number of weeks simply because I can't believe I'm having to.
Please stand by the multiple previous expert reviews, endorsements, and unanimous Council and community reviews that have already looked at, and endorsed, pursuing the proposed initial, and future, LRT plans for Hamilton.
Please don’t squander this chance for significant Provincial investment to improve car-alternative transportation in Hamilton and please, again, don’t miss out on this opportunity to renew aging infrastructure that will have to be dealt with anyway as part of this larger, largely Provincially funded, initiative (traffic and businesses along the LRT route will need to be disrupted to pave roads and repair sewers eventually anyway!).
Please ensure that the Provincially funded LRT project, as proposed and budgeted for, gets underway as soon as possible and turn your attention to ensuring that the operating agreements, zoning, and infrastructure renewal opportunities it presents are all considered to maximize the project’s on-going and peripheral upsides for our City.
Hamilton is on the cusp of (or well into) a significant renewal of its lower City. This will have major impacts on our tax base and allow more sustainable financing of the urban (and suburban) needs our City faces. Please don’t allow trolling naysayers and narrow-mined parochialism to stand in the way of projects that might assist this uplift.
I hope you will support the LRT.
Martha Ronalds says,
Please continue on with the plans for Light Rail Transit. It will mean a lot for the future of transportation and business in Hamilton.
Jordan McCarter says,
The LRT initiative is paramount to the future success of our city. Short term pain will exist for some but this is merely in exchange for the long term gain of the many.
Please have someone get council's shit together. That group, past and present, is a big part of the reason why Hamilton has encountered it's unfortunate challenges. That someone needs to ensure that council does not let this incredible opportunity become one of those unfortunate challenges.
William Elliot says,
LRT is a game changer.
LRT is about community building.
An investment in LRT is an investment in the whole city.
Cathy Swenson says,
I strongly support LRT. For Hamilton to grow and thrive it needs a robust public transit system. Just say yes!
William Mehlenbacher says,
It's called progress climb on board that Train now it is the most economical way to go not everyday someone gives you a billion dollars
Melissa Crawford says,
LRT is vital for Hamilton's future.
RYan Plestid says,
Light Rail in Hamilton is essential for the retention of young talented individuals. These are the drivers of future economies and Hamilton is in a unique position to attract them. This is the only affordable, truly urban city in Ontario. This is a city that integrates seamlessly into the GTHA and can access the economic resources Toronto has to offer. As inter-regional transit improves we must be able to attract talent, not at the level of Toronto, but with a pull that is significantly stronger than other municipalities in the region.
LRT is more than transit, it is an exercise in city building, and it is sorely needed.
Lynn Weller says,
This is huge win for Hamilton and the people. Keep this momentum going and let's get this LRT to our city!! It will put Hamilton on the map for all the RIGHT reasons
Paul Federico says,
LRT - Lets be progressive and move ahead with this outstanding opportunity that will benefit both us and future Hamiltonians.
Lets make this City greater than it is !!!
Joe Gauthier says,
A rapid transit system is a must for the lower city now
Do not choke the best routes through the city or people will avoid traveling downtown an by pass area
DO NOT USE MAIN OR KING
Look to the north Cannon / Barton
Look to the south Hunter street railway
LOOP FROM WEST GO STN to EAST GO STN
Future = expand across mountain along the LINC
Regulate service level to demand
LOOP FROM WEST GO STN up west mountain to EAST GO STN up Red Hill Expwy