Hamilton LRT can again move forward as city agrees to provincial operation of corridor

Hamilton's billion-dollar proposed LRT is expected to feature 17 stops across 14 km.
Hamilton's billion-dollar proposed LRT is expected to feature 17 stops across 14 km. City of Hamilton

Hamilton’s LRT planning can once again move forward.

After several hours of debate on Monday, city politicians have voted to ask Metrolinx to continue with its search for a private third-party to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the system.

READ MORE: Metrolinx recommends against Hamilton running its LRT

Councillors also voted to request that Metrolinx allow ATU Local 107 to represent LRT workers. That’s the same union local that represents HSR employees.

Metrolinx is now expected to issue a request for proposals, but Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger notes that this debate over operations “has cost us four months of delay that will cause this whole project to go through another election process.”

READ MORE: Hamilton’s LRT debate to be rescheduled, likely in mid-December

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Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson warns that “if we keep dithering with this darn thing, we’re gonna blow it, we’re going to lose a $1 billion investment in our city.”

Several delegates spoke against the city operating its LRT line during Monday’s meeting, citing the current driver shortages and route cancellations that have plagued the HSR in making their case.

READ MORE: No decision yet from Queen’s Park on whether Hamilton will operate its own LRT

Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson added that the province of Ontario, through its transportation arm Metrolinx, is a “trustworthy partner” and we “dilute ourselves when we think we can have control over all the things we want to have control over.”

Hamilton’s LRT line will run alternately down King and Main streets from McMaster University to the Queenston Traffic Circle and is due to open in 2024.

LISTEN: Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger on the LRT decision


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