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Hamilton area transit
Here is a good article, mostly about our own ION, from the Hamilton point of view.


The author makes some very good points, gives credit to the foresight of some of the Waterloo Region politicians, and explains how the Hamilton LRT initiative sputtered to a halt.  Worth a read!
Wow, there might be even more vitriol and ignorance in Hamilton about LRT than our own city.


Who knew that a city with only one lane of East-West travel would be the best city for driving. Go figure.
Yeah, I gotta give him a [citation needed] on the majority of his arguments.
(10-24-2016, 06:27 PM)KevinL Wrote: Yeah, I gotta give him a [citation needed] on the majority of his arguments.

I remember a while back (when our ION negotiations were pretty much 100% going to happen) arguing with someone from the Greater Hamilton Area and he was going on how Hamilton would 100% have LRT before Kitchener-Waterloo. Even when telling him that the plans are already in the works, he said that there no way in hell that it would happen before Hamilton. Just funny how things went.

I am mixed with the LRT thing. IT's a good thing, we're not going to see maximum benefit for sometime. (and I mean probably 20 years)

I got his point that Hamilton could handle it better, route wise especially, but that doesn't mean everything.
We're were already seeing the benefits of LRT before it was even under construction.
/\ Yes. And even more now, before it's even operational.
I think there's a good possibility that LRT will not happen in Hamilton. Another councillor recently came out against it "as proposed," ostensibly because the province pledge $1 billion for the LRT, but not the ~$300 million the City had requested for other transit improvements.

The bus lane debacle illustrated the suburban/downtown divide in Hamilton very well- the councillors representing the people who benefitted from slightly better bus service voted for the bus lane; those whose constituents only ever go downtown to drive through it voted against. The suburbs have enough seats on council to defeat LRT; if they sense the tide turning too strongly they'll vote to stop it. Nobody should underestimate the City of Hamilton's ability to act against its own self-interest.

I guess there will be no referendum, though we'll see today. But council can still stop the LRT, and there are the votes to do that.
@MidTowner I guess we will see. It would be disappointing though, and a rather bad decision for them. On the more selfish side, that would probably be good for us (us being KW). As was pointed out by some of the presenters Hamilton is competing with other nearby cities.
It would be a terrible decision for them, but they might make it. I guess it could be good for us if it freed up funding that could be used for Ion Phase II. In a ridership sense, though, I think the Hamilton LRT is more called-for than even Ion Phase I: the various routes along the B-Line (King and Main corridor in Hamilton) are overburdened, with crush loads and pass-bys a common feature of the daily commute.

It's a big mess. Their attempt at an express bus pales in comparison to the iXpress, and ridership already justifies more than that. They really can justify LRT, even without any consideration to economic development. But they still might wind up rejecting it.
If they Pull a Brampton™, I really will despair for the future of transit in this province. Very short-sighted thinking.
@MidTowner  Oh, you're absolutely right, it being a bad choice in no way means it won't be the choice.  Just look at Brampton.

I also suspect you're right, I've only visited Hamilton a handful of times, and never taken transit, but given the descriptions of the council delegates, it does sound as though their transit system is much farther over capacity than ours.  I've occasionally been left behind by a GRT bus, but I've never seen one which felt the need to display "full bus" on the front of it.

On the plus side, it seems as though there is a great deal of citizen support for the LRT project at the council meeting.


I didn't actually mean good for us in terms of available funding at a provincial level (which might also be the case). I meant economically. Building the LRT should be good for economic development, Hamilton not building it means fewer competitor cities to KW.
There are a number of news stories the last few days claiming that the provincial government and Metrolinx intend to change the LRT plan in Hamilton, eliminating the spur up James Street to the new West Harbour station. The funds saved from that elimination may be used to pay for BRT up the Mountain along Upper James, to the airport, which is served by an express bus now.

Also rumoured (this all seems to be only a little better than rumours) is that Metrolinx is doing better than expected with negotiations with CP, and it may be able to provide all-day Go train service one day to the TH&B Station on Hunter Street- if that were true, that be a real argument against the West Harbour station spur.

If any or all of this is true, it’s probably good news. 1)The spur up James North didn’t make a tonne of sense, and wasn’t met with broad positivity. 2)Funding BRT up the mountain would make for a better network, distribute the benefits of the investment more broadly, and maybe win the support of a few suburban councillors.

It’s worth noting that the added cost of the spur line was originally the excuse for terminating the line before it reached Eastgate Plaza, the natural terminus (and current terminus of the B Line express bus). I guess that isn’t in the cards any more, which is a shame.

Changes again to Hamilton’s LRT plan might not be a very good sign, especially as it’s important for them to get the RFP out before the next provincial election. But eliminating the spur line is probably a sound move.
Not always, but usually, BRT systems are considered upgradeable to LRT. I wonder if a to-the-mountain route would be too steep for this to ever be the case? At least it's not like Western U, looking at LRT go by our Quantum Nano Center and Grand River Hospital, and suggest that LRT could never come anywhere near their campus because electromagnetism would be "too much" for their sensitive science and medical equipment. *facepalm*
(01-13-2017, 09:00 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Not always, but usually, BRT systems are considered upgradeable to LRT. I wonder if a to-the-mountain route would be too steep for this to ever be the case?

Looking at Ottawa, you see that "upgradeable" is a pretty loose term. Some parts of the line are being rerouted quite heavily as part of the upgrade.

BRT up the mountain will be different from LRT up the mountain. I would not be surprised if LRT up the mountain did something like become elevated as it approaches the mountain, and then enter a portal into the side of the mountain, to become a subway for 1 stop before resurfacing. LINK Light Rail in Seattle does something like this.
There have been discussions about the various ways LRT could possibly climb the mountain, and none of them seemed straightforward. It's far from impossible, though.

Viewfromthe42, The Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy at McMaster actually did say that EMF created by LRT would disrupt their very sensitive microscopes, and it was not a disingenuous concern- there probably would be an impact. The City of Hamilton paid for a report investigating the impact of the EMF on CCEM, and gave some details on mitigation strategies. Bottom line is that the impact can be mitigated, even for extremely sensitive equipment like CCEM's Scanning Electron Microscope. So it was surprising to hear UWO (er, "Western University," ugh) claim that this made LRT a non-starter somehow.

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