Oct 30, 2007, 12:56 AM
A very cool new website dedicated towards LRT for Hamilton
Sample LRT Map for Hamilton
Go ahead and discuss Hamilton's future public transit!
Oct 30, 2007, 3:52 PM
perhaps we can call this thread "Hamilton Light Rail" to distinguish it from the other 2 threads here called transit or HSR.
Oct 30, 2007, 4:10 PM
Okay I'll try and get someone to change the title thread.
Did you go to the LRT meeting last night? Anything interesting?
Oct 30, 2007, 5:04 PM
I missed out....someone must have.
Oct 30, 2007, 10:48 PM
That's a pretty kewl map... where did u get is from? I cldn't find it on the lighrail site!?
Oct 30, 2007, 10:52 PM
Minutes for the Oct. 29, 2007 Light Rail Meeting
Summary of the discussion and action items from the October 29, 2007 meeting.
By Ryan McGreal, Last Updated Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Hamilton Light Rail met on October 29, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Sky Dragon Centre (27 King William St. (b/w James and Hughson), Hamilton) to discuss strategies for promoting light rail in Hamilton. Hamilton Transit Users Group and Raise the Hammer facilitated the event.
Hamilton Light Rail has officially launched a new website to organize public support for light rail in Hamilton, with timely information, news, resources, presentations, and other tools for outreach and education.
The site is still a work in progress (it's little big buggy in Internet Explorer 6), but already contains some pre-existing information about light rail in Hamilton. It also includes a registration form so readers can sign up to participate in the discussion and receive updates.
After a discussion about affiliations, organizational structure and strategies, the group decided to focus initially on the content and let a form suggest itself.
The most important initial goals are to:
Research the benefits of light rail (much of the groundwork has already been done);
Create presentation resources;
Train presenters; and
Establish an outreach strategy for building support.
The idea is to put together an entertaining and informative presentation (or possibly two presentations: a shorter initial version and a longer detailed version) that volunteers can use to promote light rail to various organizations in the city. The idea is to have a consistent, accurate information package and to approach a wide variety of groups to give talks and ask for statements of support.
Pro-Light Rail Arguments
A discussion about the major arguments in support of light rail produced the following list:
Light rail has higher capital costs than buses or bus rapid transit (BRT), but the Provincial government has offered to pay the capital costs for two rapid transit lines.
Light rail has lower operating costs per rider than buses.
Light rail has lower maintenance costs than buses, and vehicles last much longer before needing replacement.
Light rail attracts many more new riders than buses/BRT. People who would never get on a bus are happy to ride a modern light rail system.
Light rail can carry more riders than buses. (Note that the main east/west transit line across the lower city is already overloaded, even with articulated Bee-Line buses.)
Light rail attracts billions of dollars in new private investment, promoting neighbourhood development. Other cities that have invested in light rail have enjoyed excellent ROI. (Buses/BRT simply do not compare.)
New commercial investment lowers property taxes for city residents.
Because it promotes transit-oriented development, it will help Hamilton meet its provincially-manded intensification targets.
Light rail produces no emissions at the tailpipe, and produces far fewer total emissions per vehicle than buses, no matter how the electricity is generated.
Light rail promotes walking, which is good for public health.
Light rail is quiet, comfortable, stylish, and relaxing compared to buses and even compared to driving in traffic.
Light rail can be designed to have signal priority and dedicated lanes, so it is faster and more convenient than driving.
Light rail is accessible to riders with special needs.
Light rail reduces traffic congestion because it uses land very very efficiently, draws new riders out of their cars, and displaces more vehicles than the lanes it uses would carry.
Light rail sends a positive message that Hamilton is a progressive, forward-looking city, which can help to attract innovative businesses.
The following action items will be reviewed at our next meeting (see below for date and time):
Prepare a draft presentation (PowerPoint show and related pamphlet) and circulate to group for critiques and suggestions.
Come up with a list of anti-light rail arguing points to rebut (please send suggestions to Ryan McGreal).
Prepare an outreach strategy: draft resolution, sample letter, etc.
Arrange a speaker for the next meeting (a planner from the Kitchener-Waterloo light rail project).
Our goal is to have the presentation and strategy ready to deploy at the start of the new year.
The next meeting will be held:
Date: Tuesday, November 20
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: FRWY Coffee House
Address: 333 King Street East (at Wellington St. N.) Hamilton, ON L8N 1C1
Oct 31, 2007, 3:57 PM
some great articles from Portland recently...note the increase in pedestrian traffic. Brace yourselves - apparently human beings on the sidewalk buy stuff, not cars roaring through!! who knew??
Sacramento officials visit to study streetcar system
Portland Business Journal - by Michael Shaw Business Journal News Service
Portland's streetcars have helped fuel redevelopment, but Sacramento area officials who recently visited the city say financing streetcars in their city might be problematic.
Along the Willamette River, three high-rise towers have sprouted in the past year and a fourth is in mid-climb in the South Waterfront.
Portland officials told their Sacramento counterparts that South Waterfront is booming due in no small part to the city's streetcar system, which opened a new loop past the residential towers in August.
Apologies to San Francisco and its quaint cable cars, but Portland is the streetcar king. The system, once derided by TriMet as a "donkey trolley," has become the model for at least 20 other metro areas across the country, including Sacramento and West Sacramento, which are jointly studying a streetcar proposal.
Sacramento officials here want to know whether streetcars will work as well in Sacramento as they have in Portland.
A junket of Sacramento and West Sacramento officials toured Portland two weeks ago via mass transit, using all-day passes to segue easily from the airport light-rail line to the 7.2-mile streetcar loop, hopping on and off at points of interest. They found brownfields that bear striking resemblance to areas of Sacramento but are experiencing radical transformation through redevelopment.
They also noted significant challenges they would face in emulating Portland's success.
Streetcars are credited not with aiding development in downtown Portland, but with creating it -- foot-traffic studies showed an increase from three pedestrians per hour in one section of town to 938, attributable to the system.
"Is it a better connecting alternative to more light rail and how does it really work?" asked David Spaur, Sacramento's economic development director, as he waited to board the next car. "It looks like it works better than light rail for short distances."
Charlie Hales is a former Portland city commissioner in charge of transportation, an architect of the Portland system and now the manager of the Sacramento-West Sacramento project as a vice president for engineering firm HDR Inc.
Hales says Portland's streetcars were launched without a solid plan for funding while facing opposition from Portland's transit agency, which thought they threatened the existing light-rail system.
"It wasn't our only strategy, but it was the keystone of a set of strategies to bring the type of development we wanted," Hales said while showing a group the massive developments -- grocers, bookstores, five-story underground parking complexes -- that have sprouted since the streetcar system opened in 2001. "We didn't know it would work this well."
A key misunderstanding, Hales said, is how differently the streetcars function from light rail. Unlike light rail, the system isn't designed to move commuters in and out of downtown, but to circulate traffic within. The cost is $25 million to $30 million a mile, about half that of light rail, Hales said.
There are tantalizing parallels between Portland and Sacramento that officials say bode well for a streetcar system in the northern California city.
There's the South Waterfront itself, for one, a brownfield site that a few years ago was reminiscent of West Sacramento's "Triangle" district, where developers want to build high-density housing, offices and shops. Then there is the Pearl District.
A decade ago, it was a railyard like the one in downtown Sacramento. Today, it's a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood with restaurants, mid-rise residential buildings and character, whose success is chalked up to the streetcars running through the heart of the district.
The chief hurdle in Sacramento is paying for the proposed first leg, a $50 million, 2.2-mile line from West Sacramento City Hall to the Sacramento Convention Center. There are hopes for an expanded system that would drive redevelopment throughout the metropolitan area.
"That's what's really going to be the thing -- how do you pay for this?" West Sacramento City Councilman Mark Johannessen said.
Portland initially funded its system through increased parking fees, a tax increment finance district and an assessment district covering businesses within the streetcar zone. There's been so much development that assessments now play a much greater role in funding the system, Hales said. Portland also funds its streetcar through advertising.
In Sacramento, a large burden would fall to developers.
Hales dismisses federal funding as a likely initial source, calling it time-consuming and uncertain because transportation funds are generally awarded to light-rail systems that reduce driving miles more than streetcars do.
Financing aside, Portland's success isn't viewed as a guarantee for Sacramento.
Spaur asked: "Are you coming to the right city to compare with Sacramento?"
Oct 31, 2007, 3:58 PM
Clang, clang -- a trolley may be in your future
Portland Streetcar - Planners want to know which neighborhoods will welcome new lines
Monday, October 29, 2007
The next big thing for your neighborhood: How about the Portland Streetcar?
Emboldened by the success of the downtown streetcar line, city leaders want to expand service into a network that would crisscross the city.
Unlike bus service, city planners say, a streetcar could generate business and political momentum for clusters of midrise housing and commercial centers that could spread the walkable feel of popular urban neighborhoods.
About 140 miles of the city's busiest streets show potential for new streetcar routes, said Patrick Sweeney, project manager for the Portland Office of Transportation. Those streets have dense enough housing, employment and shopping -- and are zoned for more.
In the next six months, the transportation office will rank potential routes based on neighborhood and business support. Technical details, such as relatively flat terrain and wide intersections for railcar turns, also will be evaluated.
The toughest nut to crack might be finding a combination of neighborhood support and property ripe for redevelopment that could help raise millions of dollars in private money for each extension.
At three open houses starting today, residents will have a chance to plead for or against a line in their neighborhoods.
"A community that has a corridor and advocates for their own corridor is so important to us," Sweeney said. "If they don't support it, we're not going to pick a fight with a neighborhood."
Streetcars could make more neighborhoods resemble the popular retail corridor along Southeast Belmont, built originally along a streetcar line in the early 20th century. Likely routes could include Northeast Sandy Boulevard, lined now with car dealerships, vacant lots and low-slung buildings.
Streetcar routes could help determine how the city grows and absorbs its share of the 1 million new people expected to move to the metro area by 2040, said city Commissioner Sam Adams, who oversees the transportation office.
"It's a tough but important goal to try to accommodate the next 300,000 Portlanders within a quarter-mile of transit," Adams said. "In doing so, that protects the single-family neighborhoods that we have. If we do it right, it stands to strengthen our main streets and town centers."
At the earliest, a handful of the strongest potential lines might be built from 2010 to 2020, Sweeney said. Much of the money would come from a new federal program known as Small Starts, designed to help pay for streetcars.
Portland's plan might be among the most ambitious in the nation, said Gloria Ohland, a spokeswoman for Reconnecting America, a nonprofit transit group based in Oakland, Calif. "Portland is certainly leading the way in this effort, and other cities are really looking to Portland for guidance."
But many questions remain.
If a streetcar would bring denser development, does it stand a chance in a city where neighborhood associations sometimes criticize even modest proposals for multistory buildings?
If a streetcar depends on financial contributions from developers, are there enough along each route who agree?
Initial indications say yes.
The City Council has given preliminary approval to a new line along Burnside and Couch streets downtown. Planners have tentatively placed a spur from East Burnside up Northeast Sandy to the Hollywood neighborhood on a regional transportation plan. That's a first step in seeking federal money.
Dozens of neighborhoods from all corners of Portland expressed desire for a streetcar line at an open house last summer, Adams said.
The Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood of Northeast Portland strongly supports an extension from the Lloyd District east along Northeast Broadway, said Peyton Snead, neighborhood association co-chairman. The streetcar could take traffic off Broadway, make pedestrian crossings safer and bring other amenities, he said.
Others are more skeptical.
Developer Joe Weston, who said his large piece of the Pearl District benefited greatly from the city's first streetcar line, questions whether eastside lines will prompt much redevelopment and business investment.
Weston, who owns about 20 blocks along Northeast Sandy, said the city should wait for the extension along Martin Luther King Boulevard and Grand Avenue to open in about four years to see whether investment follows.
But streetcars have become so popular that the city needs the plan it's about to embark on, said John Fregonese, a regional planner whose firm lost a bid to create the streetcar plan. "A plan allows you to examine these things in a logical way, and you can decide not to do it and you've only spent enough money for the plan."
Oct 31, 2007, 5:01 PM
That's a pretty kewl map... where did u get is from? I cldn't find it on the lighrail site!?
it was only up for a few days. the layout and sections of that site are still being reworked. i reckon you'll eventually see something along the lines of "possible routes" with maybe a few sample maps showing all of the different options for where to put rails
LIGHT RAIL COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT IN HAMILTON IN OUR LIFETIMES
let's make it happen folks!
Oct 31, 2007, 5:13 PM
Houston just got the go-ahead for 5 LRT lines. Previously, some dumbass politician had blocked the proposal and they were scaled back to BRT with future upgrading in mind (does this sound familiar?) Part of the reasoning for installing LRT right away is that it will cost more to upgrade later than to do it right the first time. With Hamilton's one time provincial grant, the suggestion of 'starting slow' with BRT and upgrading to LRT in the future is obvious bullshit. If it's not done now when the money is on the table, it will certainly not be upgraded when there is no capital available. We should realize that there is no substance to this hypothetical future LRT upgrade mentioned in the transportation master plan. It is was likely thrown in just to fool us into thinking that they actually expended some thought on LRT. If the grant is blown on buses, we will be stuck with that.
Oct 31, 2007, 5:21 PM
you're right on Jon.
That's why we need to educate the politicians and staffers. they refuse to educate themselves, so we need to do it.
Nov 1, 2007, 1:37 AM
Just think of the ridership in Hamilton if LRT got built. As it is, the % of transit use in Hamilton is almost equal to Portland.
And per capital transit use is higher in Hamilton.
So it would probably be a huge success even compared to Portland.
Nov 1, 2007, 2:03 AM
Just think of the ridership in Hamilton if LRT got built. As it is, the % of transit use in Hamilton is almost equal to Portland.
And per capital transit use is higher in Hamilton.
So it would probably be a huge success even compared to Portland.
You're right...it would be a smashing success. Our city was built around the human scale and easy walking/transit use.
A few proper choices now would turn this into an incredibly bustling downtown.
I agree with the fellow in one of today's articles that said the area around the Gore could be one of the most exciting public spaces in North America.
Unfortunately the hacks running the downtown BIA and the folks at city hall are more interested in speeding through town.
Nov 1, 2007, 2:54 AM
maybe this sort of scene will be in our future:
Has anyone seen/read this site:
wow... I do feel bad for drivers sometimes, but c'mon...
If an HIV-positive person spits on you, it should be no problem as long as you have no skin cuts."
I know Union Reps aren't the most educated ppl in the world, but I'm sure EVERYONE else knows you canNOT get HIV from spit! Even IF it happens to hit a fresh, open, bleeding wound!
Wow... that's all I have to say...
Nov 2, 2007, 1:11 AM
Oh there's tons of misconception about HIV/AIDS.
^^ oh, I know. That statement isn't even a misconception tho. That's just blatant ignorance!
Don't worry, I wrote them a pretty fun email hehe
Nov 2, 2007, 1:29 AM
In other news my Grandpa, HSR driver, is retiring this month. 30 years as a bus driver and plenty of free HSR rides for me haha. He drives the Upper Wentworth and Upper Wellington bus.
Awesome! Congrats to Grandpa!!
I used to take the 25 a lot when I was in High School... I've prolly seen him b4!
Nov 2, 2007, 2:32 AM
that photo from Portland is the Pearl District...when I left town they were laying the track there and putting up those totem pole-type things...the rest was rubble, empty buildings and gravel roads.
Now look at it...amazing.
Nov 2, 2007, 3:37 AM
nothing surprises me about portland. i'd be happy with a fraction of the TOD they've enjoyed.
Nov 2, 2007, 11:33 PM
The funny thing though is that transit is much more popular in Hamilton then Portland. So if Hamilton even did some of these plans, their ridership would probably skyrocket, since residents already use the transit that is there.
Portland is a great city for trying to change from auto-centric to a more sustainable form. But transit use there is still very low. So Hamilton basically has a head start.
Nov 3, 2007, 2:58 AM
Mike...you're so right about the transit in Gore. I hung out in the park today watching all the people...on both sides of King most pedestrians were there for buses.
I think the buses should be moved off the south leg, but the north leg should go two-way and the black iron fence removed from the Gore so that people can board an eastbound bus from the north side of the park and a westbound bus from the north side of King.
Still keeping all the pedestrians there, but allowing more patios on the south side.
Nov 3, 2007, 1:10 PM
a great article from Houston, TX...that's right. Sprawled out, oil addicted southern US.
If light rail can work there, it MOST certainly will work here:
Nov 3, 2007, 1:44 PM
I was just reading a report last night(I will try to dig it up again), but it said that in Hamilton, double the amount of residents with higher education(college and university) take transit to work compared to residents with only high-school education. So basically the less educated you are, the more you drive. Interesting stat I thought.
It also said that the portion of Hamilton's population with no higher education drive more then the national average.
Current transit use in Hamilton for work trips is 8%. That is metropolitan wide, so I am sure it is higher in the core city. Just for reference, current transit use in Metro Portland for work trips is 6%. And for Hamilton's runner up, Winnipeg which is not that much larger then Hamilton, the % of of people who take transit to work is 20%. And just for fun, 15% of Mississauga residents take transit to work.
Nov 4, 2007, 12:53 AM
Nov 4, 2007, 1:26 AM
where'd you get that map??
The mountain 'commercial node' line would make more sense using Mohawk Rd instead of Stonechurch...Stonechurch has nothing on it along it's entire length. Mohawk is higher density and lots of commercial.
Nov 4, 2007, 3:37 PM
It came from Hamilton's presentation to the GTTA, which was very recent and still there pushing for a VIA Station at James St. The city predicts 10% of cars will be off the streets by 2011 and 16% by 2021 to 2031.
Current Modal Share
• single occupancy vehicle trips = 68%
• municipal transit = 5%
• walking or cycling = 6%
Near-Term (2011) Modal Share
• single occupancy vehicle trips = 58%
• municipal transit = 9%
• walking or cycling = 10%
• Annual Transit Rides per Capita (excluding GO Transit) = 60
Long-Term (2021 to 2031) Modal Share
• single occupancy vehicle trips = 52%
• municipal transit = 12%
• walking or cycling = 15%
• Annual Transit Rides per Capita (excluding GO Transit) = 80 - 100
Nov 4, 2007, 3:58 PM
i bet the % of cars taken off the street in the near future will be even greater than they predict. those are very conservative estimates.
mohawk has great potential as a transit corridor. lots of room for transit lanes and general intensification/infill. streetcars would do wonders for it. anyone have an extra $200M lying around? i'll check my sock drawer.
Nov 4, 2007, 5:26 PM
we HAD an extra 500million laying around....spent it all on Red Hill/Linc.
Nov 4, 2007, 5:42 PM
It isn't our money, it's the banks money. Now we're paying for the interest for the next 10 years.
Nov 4, 2007, 6:18 PM
some more great info from Portland:
When will Hamilton get it?? this type of private investment can only come when we choose specific and proper public investments in urban infrastructure. Suburbanites can call it subsidies or whatever they want (as opposed to their new highways) but the fact is, Hamilton will NEVER see 1.5 billion downtown until we get our heads out of our backside and quit listening to all these deadbeat skags from the 50's and 60's who ruined a bunch of our city then and continue to weild too much power and influence as they ruin more of our city today.
Nov 5, 2007, 2:10 PM
Just back from a trip to UK and Ireland. Iwas really impressed by LRT in Manchester and Dublin. The Dublin Luas in particular could easily be used as a model on what LRT in Hamilton could be like. I was amazed at how easily it coexisted with road traffic, how quickly it worked its way through the city, and, most importantly, how heavily it was used. I rode it at both peak and non-peak times, and the ridership was obviously high at both times. The system has 80,000 riders daily, with 26 million passengers in 2006. I particularly noticed how adaptive it was to handle volume of ridership. It looks to handle up to four articulated carriages. It also happens to be a really cool-looking LRT.
Check out their website: www.luas.ie
BTW, Luas is an Irish word which translates loosely in English as "speed"
Nov 5, 2007, 2:32 PM
very cool....yep, Hamilton could have one of these. We all need to keep riding our council and mayor in order to get them to make the right decision. the money is there, but so far, the will is not (of course, it's not a road).
Nov 5, 2007, 9:16 PM
more light rail news:
Starter Route in Kansas City Could Inspire a Regional Light-Rail System
In almost every major metro area that builds a downtown light rail line, suburban commuters get interested and the city ends up with a regional system.
By Brad Cooper, Last Updated Sunday, November 04, 2007
(Originally published in the Kansas City Star on November 3, 2007.)
Open your mind to the seemingly impossible
Kansas City builds a hip new light-rail line. Suburban commuters wonder: How can we get that?
Suburban leaders, long unconvinced that light rail is worth the cost, get interested. And Kansas City ends up with a regional system.
It could happen — it has in almost every other major metro area.
Other cities have proven over and over that once an area gets a taste of the transit high life, there's no stopping it.
Building a starter line "would inspire people and make them feel that this is something that can happen," said Lee's Summit Mayor Karen Messerli.
Last week, based on a consensus found in four months of interviews, The Kansas City Star offered a proposal for how a starter line could be built soon with local funding.
This week, the newspaper examines a number of ideas for how a starter line might grow into a regional system.
Possible routes include following State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan., along Interstate 35 into Johnson County and tracking Interstate 70 into eastern Jackson County.
None of these various expansions, based on interviews and transit studies, is favored by everyone or is certain to be built.
And many key factors will need to be decided in years to come, especially funding. Paying for such a massive system is costly and complex, especially because regional funding can so far only be approved on the Missouri side of the metro area.
Rail lines could end up being commuter trains driven by locomotives running long distances, electric streetcars running short distances, high-speed light rail — or a combination of all three.
Unlike the consensus that is building behind a starter route in Kansas City, little agreement has formed yet on a regional system, and many Kansas suburban leaders think light rail may simply cost too much.
But a starter line of some sort in Kansas City seems more certain all the time. City Hall is trying to decide how to tackle an effort to repeal the Clay Chastain plan that voters approved last year, while a citizens task force is expected to propose a replacement plan this week.
And some leaders are already looking ahead to a regional system.
Since taking office earlier this year, Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser has been working mayors on both sides of the state line, trying to woo them to the benefits of regional light rail.
So vital is the issue to the area economy, Funkhouser recently told an audience, that he has practically bet his political career on moving the region toward light rail.
Mariner Kemper, chairman of UMB Financial Corp., has seen how light rail works and can grow in Denver, where he is based.
"It's an important infrastructure item for the region as it continues to grow," Kemper said. "Having light rail will become very, very important."
For sure, there will be difficulties, and even optimists think it will be at least 20 years before the region sees a built-out light-rail system.
For example, there are a number of ways rail could branch out from a Kansas City starter line, but many of them pose challenges, including a spread-out employment base that's not easy to reach with one route.
"I don't think we have any corridors that are no-brainers," said Mell Henderson, director of transportation for the Mid-America Regional Council, which is now updating the region's official transit plan to account for rail and other ongoing projects.
"Any corridor we consider, there is work to be done," Henderson said. In fact, low density — the number of residents concentrated in one area — is the single biggest reason transit planners and elected leaders say rail won't work in the region right now.
They say there's just not enough of the type of development that mixes residential living with retail and offices that will create riders for a suburban rail system.
"We just don't have that type of housing out here," said Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland. "People pay a lot of money to own ground. They like their yards."
But cities are starting to move toward the kind of plans that can support light rail.
Mission has approved new laws for encouraging higher-density development and it's working to redevelop the old Mission Center Mall site into something geared for serving transit.
Overland Park is working on a plan to encourage higher population densities on Metcalf Avenue that would be coupled with a rapid bus route similar to the MAX line in Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Blue Springs has developed a downtown master plan that includes a transit village for residents who walk or frequently use public transit.
Charlotte, N.C., is cited as an example of how this area might increase density and expand rail into the future.
There, planners identified five highway corridors radiating from the central city. Along those routes, the city required developers to pack more residences, offices and retail onto land near proposed rail stations. Between those corridors, in the wedges, there was room for your more typical suburban development.
In Dallas, light rail actually created density, said Doug Allen, the chief planner for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Dallas started with a 20-mile line in the mid-1990s. By 2013, it will cover 90 miles.
"I wouldn't get up hung on, 'Boy, this is what our urban form is now,' " Allen said. "One of the reasons you do a rail system … is to increase density."
Building a regional system will require leaders on both sides of the state line to decide that light rail is important. So far, Missouri leaders seem far more receptive.
"I think it is an idea whose time is coming," said Independence Mayor Don Reimal. "People are thinking about it and are trying to make it work."
It helps that they already have one head start. The Missouri General Assembly has given Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass, Ray and Buchanan counties the ability to raise up to a half-cent sales tax to pay for transit with a public vote.
A similar measure was killed in the Kansas Legislature in 2006, partly out of fear the Kansas tax money would fund Missouri transit.
For Missouri, it might pay off to move ahead as it tries to gain a competitive edge on its Kansas counterparts.
"Absolutely," said Mark Huffer, general manger of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the lead planning agency on light rail.
"We have two states competing against each other for jobs, even offering incentives to move jobs a matter of blocks. Light rail is going to be part of that."
Johnson County leaders don't flatly dismiss rail but talk more in terms of improving transit in general and building what's the most cost-effective.
They say that polling shows that residents want rail on I-35, but say that same data show a reluctance to support something so costly.
Johnson County Commission Chairwoman Annabeth Surbaugh says she supports light rail if Johnson County residents want to pay for it.
"I want a public transportation system," she said. "It doesn't have to be light rail."
That's the view of some other Johnson County leaders as well, especially if they can build a jazzed-up bus line that looks like light rail but runs at a fraction of the cost.
"Cost-effective isn't saying no transit," said Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach. "But it's not jumping onto something that's popular."
David Warm, the executive director at MARC, said he just doesn't sense that rail is a priority for Johnson County right now as county officials grapple with several needs, including new jail facilities.
"I just think that a decision to invest a lot of tax capacity in rail in Johnson County is an idea that's just not yet ripe," he said.
Over in Wyandotte County, however, rail is gaining prominence, said Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon.
The Unified Government is already looking at a rapid bus line similar to the MAX on State Avenue, and some residents have suggested light rail on State.
Wyandotte County needs to be open to light rail, Reardon said. "Ultimately, light rail can fit into the transit plan for our community," he said.
Many suburban leaders think that if light rail is to grow, it will have to succeed in Kansas City. Get people excited about rail, and it's bound to spread.
Said Tedrick Housh, a Johnson County civic leader and a member of the Regional Transit Alliance: "I think a key to this in a nutshell is building small successes one at a time."
Nov 6, 2007, 12:39 AM
Another thing about Dublin's Luas. Its ridership far exceeds expectations. And it is a profitable system. It made nearly 1 million Euro last year (planners projected it to run a 2.5mil deficit for that year).
Yet another example of how the demand for LRT is grossly underestimated.
Nov 6, 2007, 1:48 AM
Well personally, when I make a visit to Toronto, I always prefer to trundle along downtown in a steetcar instead of a bus. It's quieter, more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing. As well, nearly EVERY neighbourhood any of the streetcar lines passes through is well developed and bustling with activity.
Nov 6, 2007, 2:52 AM
re: Toronto streetcars: Oh man, I am so looking forward to the St. Clair LRT when it's completed. I'll be taking it instead of the Bloor subway and saving time by using LRT plus a short walk vs. the subway plus one bus (and a long wait). Riding the streetcar I'll see the shops along the way and stop for food if need be. Some business owners along St. Clair are angry about this project, in fact I think the BIA was against it, but lets see what happens in the long run. Probably, much like the Spadina ROW, it will brighten up the whole stretch. This could be yet another example for Hamilton.
Nov 6, 2007, 4:29 PM
New law requires DARTS to match HSR hours, fares
The Hamilton Spectator
Users of Hamilton’s Disabled and Aged Regional Transit System (DARTS) can look forward to the same service hours and unlimited-ride passes as Hamilton Street Railway bus passengers enjoy, starting in 2009.
DARTS service now ends at 11:30 p.m., but buses run until 2:30 a.m., and DARTS doesn’t sell passes, so users must pay per ride.
Transit director Don Hull told city council’s public works committee this week he agrees with the changes required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, but thinks the province should pay the estimated $1.1 million a year in extra costs resulting from the law.
“Regulations are being forced on the municipality without associated funding,” he complained, predicting that with the advent of DARTS passes, “demand would escalate quite dramatically.”
Fare parity is forecast to add $200,000 a year, and extending DARTS hours $600,000.
The committee voted to ask the province to take over DARTS or pay more of the costs.
Nov 9, 2007, 9:04 PM
hoping to get some of these shirts printed up this weekend:
Nov 13, 2007, 5:16 PM
Some photos of Dublin's Luas LRT system. Sorry if I seem obsessive, but I fell in love with this tramway, and was even more impressed when I looked it up after coming back home and saw how successful it has been.
OK, and a couple of Manchester's tram. It ran well too but Dublin's is sexier ;)
Nov 13, 2007, 5:18 PM
I think we all have the same obession with LRT, trams, trolley, etc.
Indeedy Dublin's LRT is sexy. Thanks for sharing.
Nov 13, 2007, 5:28 PM
Wow, Dublins style of tram is exactly what the HSR needs to attract riders when it builds the LRT line. It is DEFINATELY sexy!!
Nov 13, 2007, 6:17 PM
no need to apologize for being 'obsessed' with LRT.
We need to be the balance in a city obsessed with cars.
Nov 13, 2007, 6:47 PM
i want to see a connecting link up the mtn via gondola with a lookout tower at the top. can be a key part of the transit system and also an "image" thing. would be way cooler than a fountain in the bay or a decorative tootbridge on the qew in my opinion.. and more functional too!
Nov 13, 2007, 9:53 PM
wasn't there talk of an incline railway linking the lower city with concession? thought i'd heard something about that. a gondola would be cool too. there are some cool photos circulating showing portland's gondola system.
Nov 13, 2007, 11:49 PM
^^there was talk about that, it's a great idea. Kinda slipped off the radar I guess. The Wentworth steps are built on the foundation of the old incline railway. They should definitely bring it back.
Nov 14, 2007, 2:19 AM
I'd like to see a funicular connecting Gage and Upper Gage:
This would link Gage Park and Mountain Brow Park. The upper terminus would connect to east mountain bus routes (22, 23 - even 41 if slightly redirected), and the lower terminus connects with Delaware serving downtown and the east end. Plus, it would act as an additional attraction and draw to the park.
Nov 14, 2007, 3:08 AM
Would also look cool going over the rail yard at the bottom :)
Nov 15, 2007, 12:05 AM
I like the idea of seeing Hamilton using a rapid transit system raised like the Chicago 'L'. It would allow for higher density development than streetcar. I understand cost would be a major issue. To be progressive real rapid transit is the way to go. Heavy rapid transit attracts major global developments. Allow some major global transit conglomerate build and operate the system.
I can imagine the system raised on large steel girders signaling the city's steel manufactruing history. Heavy Rapid transit would realy put the city ahead of the game in terms of development. Extend the system into Burlington and Oakville to draw in commuters and skilled workers from the western GTA and connect it to the Hamilton airport through a major downtown rail and transit terminal.
This is the type of infrastructure development that made New York and Chicago the successes they are. Hamilton could so easily tap into the major development that Toronto is experiencing.
Nov 15, 2007, 12:28 AM
But NYC & Chitown didn't have the technology for LIGHT RAIL back then that we now have.
An Elevated rapid transit line such as the "L" in Chicago would be perceived by most Hamiltonians as ugly, and will not help raise ridership. Also using "heavy metal" to showcase our history in the Steel Industry is (IMO) moving backwards.
This city is trying to rebrand itself as a clean, new, "green" city... building huge elevated metal tracks for heavy rail would only ruin our hopes at rebranding ourselves. THIS is why Light Rail, esp one similar to Dublin's above, would be the best option for the city. Something that will take us into the furure rather than holding us back in the past.
Nov 15, 2007, 1:18 AM
I agree. The "L" and all the other cities with those raised steel tracks are eyesoars and is perceived as old-school.
Hamilton needs a set-up like Portland, Dublin or Vancouver (if elevated). We need to look more modern and environment friendly. Those big metal tracks in the air don't scream "green" even if they do have environment friendly rail. Perception and image is something Hamilton really needs to work on, and they can use all the help possible.
Nov 15, 2007, 2:06 AM
I perceive the elevate rail in Chicago and most people perceive it as a defining feature of the city. Chicago is third in the US for transit ridership so obviously it easily is attracting substantial transit ridership. The heavy metal infrastructure is beautiful in my opinion. To call these "eye sores" is to lack urban sensibility and exhibit bad taste.
As a Hamilton outsider the only thing that interests me about the city is its past and not these schemes to rebrand itself. The city is dense, red brick, rusted metal, and gritty with a natural green backdrop (escarpment and cootes). The parts of the city south of the escarpment are not interesting. A raised transit system along Upper James would enitrely change the street and density of mountain urbanization.
I personally don't care for transit systems that attempt to look futuristic like Vancouver's Skytrain or Detroit's crappy people mover. My experience with street car systems is that they operate quite slow especially many of the routes here in Toronto. I always attemp to locate within walking distance of the subway in any city I live in over streetcar and you will notice this is where the highest density always is.
Nov 15, 2007, 2:20 AM
The Chicago 'L'
Nov 15, 2007, 3:11 AM
not a fan of the "L".
i realize its cheaper than a subway, but Hamilton doesn't really need either.
a modern LRT line (or a few of them) would be suffice for us.
Nov 15, 2007, 3:13 AM
ya but compare those pictures to these:
These trains are part of the urban streetscape. they are of a human friendly scale. they are inegrated into their neighbourhoods not hovering above them. i see no attractive development along the rail lines in those L shots... there is no incentive for businesses to locate facing the street unless the train is ON the street...
street level rail does not have to be slow, the way old school streetcars are. think of it more like a subway line that runs on the street... with dedicated transit signals and its own lane instead of a tunnel. the closest street level approximation in toronto is spadina... and spadina streetcars run much faster than say queen west where they mingle with traffic and continually get cut off by cabbies.
Nov 15, 2007, 4:38 AM
I live on the St. Clair LRT line trust me it is no great shakes even after the adding the independent median. Before that I lived on the College Street line it was jammed and incredibly slow every morning. I would take a rapid line like the 'L' over the street car any day.
I personally prefer the infrastructure of the 'L' over those low/mid density streetcar streets they are a bit 'ma and pa' for my taste. I tend to prefer more severe urban conditions and higher density then that.
I think Main Street in Hamilton is kind of a lost cause for creating a beautified street front. It could serve as the main artery of an elevated rapid rail line. It would still be wide enough to allow light to the sidewalks for a decent street. The streets walkable from this main artery like King Street would benefit in a major way from this system.
Perhaps build one rapid line elevated along Main from McMaster to Centennial Parkway and build streetcar capillaries that feed off of it along James Street/Upper James to the Airport, Ottawa Street, and Centennial.
Nov 15, 2007, 2:54 PM
I think you are stuck in the old fashioned streetcar mentality. "modern streetcars" or LRT are completely different animals.
I don't think we'll ever see enough interest in rail here to justify the budget of an elevated line. Imagine the capital cost difference. The LRT project needs to be feasible using mostly provincial money. Street level rail offers so many capital price benefits I don't think we'll have an option for elevated anyway:
"Alberta C-Train used many common light rail techniques to keep costs low, including minimizing underground and elevated trackage, sharing transit malls with buses, leasing rights-of-way from freight railroads, and combining LRT construction with freeway expansion. As a result, Calgary ranks toward the less expensive end of the scale with capital costs of around $24 million per mile"
I also disagree with your point about main being a lost cause. People will build and rebuild if there is an incentive, and street level LRT would be the key. Where is the incentive for a shopowner to open on main beside an elevated line where riders wont even see his sign let alone the storefront? with elevated, the only devcelopment will be right next to the stations
and thats another point.. the stations are going to require a lot more money to build, and accessibility wil lbe a pain in the ass requiring elevators etc... with street level, you ramp the stop up to train level and its accesible. low tech, high usability.
raised driving/rail surfaces make for an ugly streetscape. look underneath burlington st or the gardiner...
Nov 15, 2007, 4:37 PM
Main St could be beautiful...look at the streetscape along Main West from Dundurn to Queen...most of it is beautiful and pedestrian-scaled. Same with downtown by the courthouse.
Nov 15, 2007, 6:29 PM
yep there are tonnes of great buildings along the entire stretch that simply go undeveloped because there are NO PEOPLE to patronize them... because people dont like to walk 4 inches form a f'n highway.
Nov 15, 2007, 6:47 PM
I think Main Street in Hamilton is kind of a lost cause for creating a beautified street front.
Ummm... do u even come to Hamilton??
ANY street can be beautified (even Industrial ones like Ferguson North) with the proper planning, landscape architects, so on...
Main St IS beautiful as-is... however if can be even MORE beautiful once they either convert to Two-Way and/or add the LRT!
When you're riding on the L, what does one see? Into the 3rd/4th floors of offices??
If you're riding on the "Main St LRT", you would see that cute lil shop you've never noticed b4 b/c you were zooming by in your SUV, or that nice restaurant you never noticed b/c you were too busy yelling at the lights b/c they weren't timed to you exact preference...
Get the Point, Retro??
Nov 15, 2007, 6:58 PM
Main St might not be a lost cause, but it doesn't have a cohesive streetscape. It's really a hodgepodge of various types of buildings. I can't think of any part of Main where both sides of the street match. And there are empty lots all over.
This is the best streetscape on Main, but mostly on the North side. The south is plazas,parking lots and gas stations, and further down, the north side is too.
Nov 15, 2007, 7:54 PM
Flar, I respectfully disagree.
I really like the streetscape on Main in the Locke-Queen area. Also, once you head east past Victoria there is more cohesiveness with beautiful old homes that have been converted to mixed-use. Then, once you get over by the Delta until roughly Queenston Traffic Circle it is quite balanced with mixed-use buildings, schools, churches. Very few lots or parking.
You're right - downtown from John to Wellington is horrendous. Might have the worst streetscape in all of Hamilton.
In the future, it could be developed with highrise, high density buildings fronting the street.
Nov 18, 2007, 1:36 PM
The 2nd Phase of the Eastgate Terminal is getting closer to being done!! :)
They've got the REAL walkway from Phase 1 to the mall open now, and the foundations for the pillars to hold up the over-head "cover" are installed.
I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done.
Did we figure the over-head cover was going to be some sort of material? I forget.
I'm sad they didn't add heaters to the shelters or anything. It's frigging cold right there. And now that it's more open than the old terminal, there's nothing to block the wind :s
Nov 18, 2007, 8:32 PM
And where's a photo or photos of the terminal monsieur DC?!?!!?
Nov 18, 2007, 9:41 PM
it's supposed to be a covered fabric walkway. can't wait to see it.
if it turns out nice, it could be a pre-cursor to an idea to have a covering on Hughson St from GO Station to Gore Park if they put the transit terminal on Hunter.
Nov 18, 2007, 10:43 PM
Whoa a covered Hughson St? Nice! Guess auto traffic will be eliminated on Hughson?
Nov 18, 2007, 11:54 PM
It would be great if a VIA station is built at James St North. Could link the new VIA station, Gore Park and GO station by Hughson St, perhaps a trolley bus only and a covered street.
Nov 19, 2007, 1:44 AM
sorry..I meant covered sidewalk, not street.
Nov 19, 2007, 6:27 PM
Sorry Steeltown... I've been slacking in the phot-taking lately.
I'm going down to Copps to buy some concert tix (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), so maybe I'll take my cam.
However, when I leave for work at 5:45am (and it's still dark) it's hard enough for me to remember my pants nevermind a camera!! hahahaha
I'll do my best this week to remember. I'll put a post-it on my front door or something.
Nov 20, 2007, 1:14 AM
I hope when the city names the future East/West rapid transit line as the Tiger Line.
Nov 20, 2007, 1:55 AM
I hope when the city names the future East/West rapid transit line as the Tiger Line.
That would working nicely when we get our Hamilton Tigers NHL team.
Nov 20, 2007, 2:09 PM
I like Bee-Line! It's classic HSR.
Nov 21, 2007, 3:52 PM
check out this great presentation on LRT:
Nov 21, 2007, 4:19 PM
Wow... awesome report!
I like that it's full of pictures! I know most people tend to read reports if there's LOTS of visual aid, and people in this city are generally ingorant towards LRT (from my experiences anyway), so this will definately help them better understand.
Nov 21, 2007, 4:44 PM
Indeed that was an awesome report.
Nov 23, 2007, 3:52 PM
STRATEGY C.2 – DEVELOP BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
Finalize corridor selection (under TMP)
Introduce articulated buses on Beeline
Develop off-board payment systems
Develop image and marketing program for BRT
Establish staff responsibility for planning, design and implementation
Initiate Individual Environmental Assessment for E-W and N-S corridors
Construct BRT system components (physical improvements to accommodate stops, terminals)
Increase service levels in BRT corridors
Initiate marketing and promotion
Design and implement feeder services
Increase degree of segregation between cars and buses, while ensuring
Continued increase in frequencies
Investigate conversion of BRT to electric power trolley bus or LRT
Nov 23, 2007, 3:54 PM
You can read the Transit Service Enhancements Implementation Plan now. It's under COW and also under there is the proposal o raise bus fares to $2.40.
Nov 23, 2007, 3:56 PM
Initial Bus Rapid Transit Implementation
East-West Lower City (14 km @$1 M/km)) Short term $14,000,000
Central North-South Corridor (6.5 km @$10 M/km) Medium term $65,000,000
East-West Mountain (14 km @ $5 M/km) Long term $70,000,000
Other Corridors Long term $10,000,000
Nov 23, 2007, 4:09 PM
great. we're raising bus fares to get new routes that will run for 6 hours a day.
why don't we close off the on-ramps to red hill for 18 hours a day and see how effective that is for people?
Nov 23, 2007, 4:26 PM
The fare increase won't affect the poor or the disabled, as they'll be part of a new system that the city will subsidize their transit fare. That's going to soften the blow. I can see this fare increase happening.
Nov 23, 2007, 9:19 PM
$160M for brt...such a waste. i really don't think we'll have the opportunity to do this again. this is a one-shot deal and we're blowing it. well done.
Nov 23, 2007, 9:52 PM
man, what strikes me about this whole brt business is the fact that not only have they not studied the benefits of lrt but they've obviously not studied brt either. i recall reading that after peaking in the mid-90s OCTranspo's [ottawa] ridership has actually declined. that after a nearly $500M investment in brt. funny, they were conducting the same studies 30 years ago that we're doing today. we're so behind the times, man.
Nov 23, 2007, 10:26 PM
man, I never thought I'd see the day where I'm ticked off at these guys for proposing to actually spend some real money on transit.
They're screwing it up!! for 160 million they could do the entire east/west corridor with modern LRT. frig's sake....Dude - it would be Hamilton if we weren't figuring out a way to 'screw everything up'.
Nov 23, 2007, 11:20 PM
i'd like to know how they're going to spend this money. it seems like such a massive outlay for buses. ottawa's huge expenditure was because they built the transitway. we're not doing anything that sexy.
so disappointed. and there will be no future investigation into lrt. i guarantee that.
Nov 24, 2007, 12:50 AM
160M on BRT is a total waste of money.
If you want to dramatically increase the use of public transit in this city, LRT is the way to go. No matter what acronym you use, BRT = buses = poor man's transit.
Nov 24, 2007, 3:23 AM
that's exactly how they view transit. That's why they're going to raise fares again but try to keep them lower for poor people.
They view transit as a welfare subsidy or something.
Nov 26, 2007, 12:47 PM
City staff recommend another bus fare hike
November 26, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator
(Nov 26, 2007)
The cost of riding a bus could increase for the second time in less than a year.
City councillors will hear a staff recommendation today to raise transit fares by 15 cents. If the hike goes through, adult riders can expect to plunk $2.40 into the fare box. Also, ticket and DARTS prices will rise by 10 cents.
Adult monthly passes would increase $8, along with changes to the prices of other passes. The only fare not affected would be the seniors' annual bus pass.
The hike would take effect Jan. 1.
"Annual transit fee increases are a key factor in the transit industry towards ensuring the sustainability of transit programs," the staff reports says.
The increase is expected to generate an additional $1.8 million for the HSR and about $40,000 for DARTS.
About 60,000 riders use the HSR on any given weekday.
The report points out that Hamilton ranks 10 per cent to 15 per cent below the average and median fares of 14 other large Canadian cities.
Ward 6 Councillor Tom Jackson said he's leaning in favour of the increase because it is tied to service enhancements.
"... If there's going to be a fare increase, then at least we can see it's tied into proposed service enhancements and how that increase money would be used."
The reports says the extra cash is also needed to help with costs such as fleet insurance and fluctuating energy prices, while keeping the transit levy increase to a maximum of 3 per cent.
The last HSR fare hike was in June, when the cash fare went up 15 cents, ticket prices rose five cents and monthly passes increased by $6. The last DARTS fare increase was in 1996.
Nov 26, 2007, 2:23 PM
I guess if they need a fare hike, then that's what they gotta do.
Normally I don't look at these things too kindly, especially so soon after the last fare hike, but after coming close to a strike - this doesn't look too bad.
I get a monthly pass that's tied into my GO pass - which is $15 a month. I consider that a good price, but I guess it would have to be a good price since the monthly GO pass to Toronto is already $285 :stunned: I wonder if it'll increase to $20... it didn't increase the last fare hike and they didn't make any specific mention to it in the article.
Nov 26, 2007, 2:28 PM
I'm so sick of this city. I want tolls put on every highway in this city covering 65% of the total cost of operating them. Transit riders get completely screwed in this city over and over.
So frustrating to live in such a backwards hicktown.
It's starts at the political level and works its way down. Like that moron who wrote a letter to the Spec last week complaining about cyclists zipping around everyone NOT PAYING ANY TAXES for the upkeep of roads. Why is Hamilton full of people so stupid??
Sadly, the answer lies in city hall. They encourage and promote such myths and lies in order to keep stealing money from us to pay for Desantis' infrastructure for the rest of our lives.
I can't figure out why so many students graduate from Mac and then immediately bolt town. They are the smart ones.
Nov 26, 2007, 2:35 PM
Ya, I'd normally be p.o'd about a hike... but considering the (almost) strike, I'm pretty much for it.
Plus I always buy my bus passes from Shoppers, so I end up getting 8500+ Optimum Points per year... just from buying something they don't really make money off of. So w/ this increase, I'd be making 9000+ Opt Pts.
So it's not a total loss.
Nov 26, 2007, 2:40 PM
The fare increase will pass because of four things, no increase for seniors (they have the time to bitch and moan), new program to subsidize transit for low income earners, almost had a strike and new service enhancements.
Nov 26, 2007, 2:43 PM
it's just wrong to rape urban citizens of their tax dollars so the homebuilders have a way to make gobs of money and then rape those same citizens again for riding PUBLIC transit. Someone living on the poverty line in Hamilton covers 65% of the total costs of transit with their fares, and then also subidizes the wonks in Ancaster. Yet the wonks in Ancaster don't pay anything (or very little in some spots) for PUBLIC transit. This is like living in the Seinfeld bizaro-world. We subsidize private business and homebuilders to the tune of millions per year and get very little (in many case, no) public funds for public transit.
If I wasn't tied down here, I'd be gone in a heartbeat.
Nov 26, 2007, 4:54 PM
re: transit fare increase because...fluctuating energy prices. not much of an issue with lrt, eh? they wouldn't know that, though.
also, it's all well and good to subsidize public transit for the elderly, the disabled and the poor but those people aren't going anywhere. they must take public transit and will continue to do so. it's the riders who have a choice who will bugger off with increased transit fares. i don't think there's any excuse to do this again so soon after the previous increase.
i've fled from this city out of frustration in the past only to discover that most cities are the same. perhaps hamilton isn't as progressive as some others but there's no perfect city out there. montreal's great, but the culture of corruption and general laziness at the city and provincial levels are monumental. when i moved to ottawa i was shocked at how backward and conservative it was. i guess i was naive. they spend most of their time at city hall bickering and as a result do nothing. they recently elected as mayor a local businessman with no experience in politics. he couldn't even name the mayor of gatineau. also nixed the lrt plan they'd been working on for years and promised to freeze property taxes to get elected. the oldest trick in the book. anyway, i'm rambling. that's all.
Nov 27, 2007, 2:06 AM
Hamilton council OKs second bus fare hike of the year
November 26, 2007
Transit users will be doling out an extra 15 cents to ride the bus in January.
Councillors approved the fare hike 10-4 Monday, marking the second increase this year.
As of January, adult riders will pay $2.40 cash or $1.85 for a ticket.
Accessible transit will also increase 10 cents, while adult passes increase $8 a month.
Lynn Aquin implored council to reject the increase, saying bus fares already cut into her grocery budget.
“Very often two or three weeks can go by when I have no money at all.”
Mayor Fred Eisenberger said he supports the fare increase because it’s coupled with service expansions in Waterdown and on the Mountain.
“We need to ensure we get extra dollars into the system to enhance it.”
Nov 27, 2007, 12:08 PM
Keith area will get a bus route at last
November 27, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator
(Nov 27, 2007)
Imagine you're a single mother on a fixed income living in Hamilton's Keith neighbourhood. On a winter day you need groceries. The bus stop is 1,000 metres away.
After your long and chilly journey, you need to take a taxi home from the store because it's too difficult to carry all your bags. A train stops traffic, so your $5 cab ride costs $7.
Brenda Johnson of Environment Hamilton asked councillors to envision that scenario yesterday as she joined Keith residents to fight for a bus route through their North End neighbourhood.
After hearing several passionate speeches about the desperate need for public transit in the low-income pocket, councillors agreed to add buses on Victoria Avenue and Wentworth Street North.
"What's best for my community is this bus," said Barb Teichmann, part of a local moms' group. "We're asking you to take a chance on us."
Environment Hamilton completed an extensive survey in the neighbourhood to demonstrate the need for the bus route that will start next year. The city aims to have transit routes within 400 metres of all homes.
Council approved the Keith enhancement in addition to two other new routes yesterday.
For the first time, Waterdown residents will have access to city buses.
A new route will travel from the village's core down to the Aldershot GO station and link riders to buses headed into Hamilton and downtown Burlington.
The city also added service to Rymal Road between Glancaster and Pritchard roads during peak weekday periods.
Transit staff expect any lost ridership because of a proposed fare increase, approved yesterday, to be offset by new users gained because of the new routes.
The city saw a slight increase in ridership this year despite an earlier fare increase.
Nov 27, 2007, 2:37 PM
Wow, I can't believe the city is actually paying attention to Keith. That neighbourhood is among the most neglected in the city. And I've seen some improvements and renovations there in the last year too (the Twilight of the Industrial Age tours went through that area).
Nov 27, 2007, 4:19 PM
HSR staff accept the latest contract
November 27, 2007
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton Street Railway drivers, mechanics and support staff overwhelmingly accepted the latest contract offer from the city this morning, ending fears of a city-wide transit strike.
Workers voted 92 percent in favour of the deal.
Voting took place over 24 hours starting at 3 a.m. yesterday to accommodate the 600 union members' shift schedules. The results were announced this morning.
Overtime pay, washroom breaks, and longer-term contracts were among the issues on the table. The tentative agreement was reached at an all-day bargaining session earlier this month after union members voted in favour of a strike mandate.
On Nov. 16, Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 president Budh Dhillon announced a tentative contract had been reached. Both union and the city bargaining teams endorsed the deal.
Nov 27, 2007, 9:01 PM
the city is paying attention to Keith only because that neighbourhood has been forced to parade their poor citizens and single mothers through city council in order to share their plight in life.
Otherwise, I don't think council would give a rip.
Nov 27, 2007, 9:23 PM
Wow, I missed that last piece of news regarding BRT plans. Is it too late to stop this madness? $160 million is a waste. They could just use the GTTA quick win cash for signal priority equipment and make the right lanes of Main and King bus lanes. Right turns would be made from the next lane over. Alternatively the second to right lane would be the bus lane and the buses could have stop lights warning cars not to pass while the bus unloads, similar to the TTC streetcars. That system would be as fast as BRT without wasting money that would otherwise be left over for implementing a real solution. I personally think dedicated guideways and median platforms for buses are a joke, a mockery of the real thing. You see bus lanes all over world class cities, but they don't pretend it's a true rapid transit solution.
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