Wednesday October 24, 2012

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday October 24, 2012

Mac report illuminates issue of LRT for city

Senior Hamilton bureaucrats are carefully studying a report produced by McMaster University researchers that suggests that light rail transit has the potential to succeed in Hamilton but will be a “long, challenging and costly process.”

The study looked at successful and failing LRT systems across North America in terms of their ability to attract riders and new development.

It will be a big part of a staff report coming to councillors that will definitively recommend whether the city should forge ahead with building an LRT line for Hamilton, said city manager Chris Murray.

“It will speak to all the things we need to do to take advantage of the growth opportunity Hamilton is enjoying.”

The university report, produced by the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics and commissioned by the city, is “good advice to staff and council on how to move ahead with LRT,” said Murray.

Though he stopped short of saying LRT is now a city target, he said Hamilton has “already invested heavily” in LRT.

“I don’t think the feeling is out there that LRT isn’t worth pursuing.”

But Mayor Bob Bratina has repeatedly shot arrows into the hearts of those pining for B-line LRT stretching 13 kilometres between McMaster and Eastgate. It’s projected to cost between $875 million and $1 billion to build.  (Source: Hamilton Spectator)