July 5, 2017 7:45 am

COMMENTARY: 2 steps forward, 1 step back for LRT

Hamilton city councillors may be doing more harm than good by debating whether HSR should operate LRT

City of Hamilton

Just when we thought we could put the LRT issue  on pause over the summer, Coun. Matthew Green announced that he will bring a motion to next week’s council meeting to ensure that Hamilton’s transit operator, the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR), take over the operation of LRT when it’s completed.

READ MORE: Hamilton Coun. Green motions for HSR to take control of LRT

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It’s not a new idea; other councillors have  raised the issue before and Eric Tuck, the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local in Hamilton has been a guest on the Bill Kelly Show numerous times  to present the case for the HSR.

I agree that having the HSR operate LRT makes sense, but bringing up the issue at this time may cause more harm than good.

READ MORE: Bus drivers’ union wants the HSR to operate Hamilton LRT

Some councillors, who still have reservations about LRT, may insist on revisiting other contentious aspects of the agreement between the city and Metrolinx, and given council’s propensity for dragging out debate, who knows what kind of delay that will cause?

But, it may be a moot point anyway.

Sources who work closely with Metrolinx tell me — off the record — that since the city has steadfastly refused to kick in any money for the capital cost of LRT, it’s highly unlikely that Metrolinx will turn over the keys to the city once it’s built.

Here’s an idea; why doesn’t Metrolinx just drop the pretense and come clean about what they intend to do in Hamilton.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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