The provincial government has announced the consortia that will be competing to land Hamilton’s LRT contract.
CityLine Transit Group, Ei8ht Transit and Mobilinx have been identified as what Phil Verster, president and CEO of Metrolinx, referred to as the “heavy hitters.”
Each team is made up of a variety of partners, including names like IBM and Bombardier, as well as a number of local firms. Together, they will be vying to design, build, maintain and operate the 17-stop line running from McMaster University to Eastgate Square.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the announcement further signals that the project is moving full-steam ahead. “We could virtually fulfill the entire rapid ready 10-year plan with the current funding envelope that’s on the table,” he said. “I would encourage everyone to stay with the plan.”
Eisenberger says there will be active efforts to communicate the benefits of the project to candidates in the upcoming municipal election. He says he has also reached out to Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford on the issue, noting that by October, approximately $100 million in provincial funds will have already been used to push LRT ahead.
Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx expect to select the team that will carry out the project in 2019 with an estimated completion date of 2024.
Funding for affordable housing along LRT corridor
MPP Ted McMeekin has announced $5.9 million for the construction and refurbishment of affordable housing along the LRT line. This is in addition to the $1 billion already committed to LRT construction.
“We would likely add it to our community benefits program,” Eisenberger said.”Some people are going to be displaced in some areas. I imagine we would be using that to help provide that level of affordable housing somewhere in the core.”
According to Metrolinx, around 40 properties along the line have already been acquired in preparation for construction.