Our only hope for LRT at this point is to convince the Province to save Hamilton from its own short-sightedness.
By RTH Staff
Published March 11, 2015
First of all, thank you to everyone who has expressed support for light rail transit (LRT) over the years. The effort to achieve LRT in Hamilton has been long and often frustrating, and the last several years have been characterized by confusion, delay and obstruction from our leaders.
Despite all that, thousands of Hamiltonians have spoken up in favour of LRT. Just last week, Council received more than 100 personal statements of support.
Nevertheless, our Councillors voted to approve the HSR Ten Year Transit Strategy, a highly political document designed to sideline LRT by deferring it beyond the current round of Provincial rapid transit funding.
The Ten Year Strategy was crafted to achieve three political goals:
It lets the City off the hook to invest in growing local transit;
It lets the Province off the hook to invest in rapid transit; and
It lets them do this without ever having to vote against LRT.
The approval of the Ten Year Strategy confirms the LRT Plan as a zombie program with no funding, no timelines, no development and no public engagement. We've already seen how quickly public support can drift in the absence of public consultation over the past few years.
Our only hope at this point is to convince the Province to save Hamilton from its own short-sightedness.
That would require the Province to agree to fund both the $302 million in local transit investment - of which $200 million will go toward a new bus maintenance and storage facility - and the $811 million in rapid transit investment.
This is not as crazy as it sounds. It is actually in the Province's interest to do this:
So please take a few moments and send a message to the Province asking them to fund both the Ten Year Strategy and the Rapid Ready LRT plan. In addition, please consider forwarding this link to someone else who might also be willing to express their support for LRT.
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