Comment 46942

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 31, 2010 at 23:12:31

Fascinating article. Really enjoyed it.

I've long been an advocate of BRT, and feel it's gotten a bit of a raw deal in this case. Without a massive offer of 90% Federal/Provincial funding, LRT just would not be possible for Hamilton any time in the near future. But with a little creativity, BRT could be done without a single new vehicle.

It doesn't have to be an either/or thing. We spent over half a billion on the Linc and Red Hill - transportation just isn't cheap. The lower city clearly needs a major cleanup of its east/west routes. We clearly have the ridership for it, and there's already huge grooves carved right across town. The mountain routes are a different story - getting LRT up the mountain is going to be complicated (one of the main issues which killed the 80s plan), and the ridership really isn't there for many of the routes. Also, there's some really clear development interests at work suggesting routes like Rymal Rd. or out to the Airport. The first of these barely supports a bus route, and the second has failed repeatedly to keep one going. Spending hundreds of millions running trains out there is clearly a big waste of money. It's just as dumb as putting a stadium there.

What makes sense to me is a B-Line LRT (the first priority, LRT-wise), with a heavily serviced A-line LRT or BRT evolving as soon as possible. From there, run BRT routes east/west across the mountain, to test the waters for LRT expansion there (I suspect Mohawk or Fennel would be much better than Rymal). Beyond that, another north/south route in the east end would make a lot more sense than going further south in the west.

Whichever choices we make must be based on facts, not magical thinking. Ridership statistics, population density, demographics, economics etc. Not a blind hope that the project will simply bring good fortune wherever we put it.

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