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Hamilton Street Railway union boss ‘not surprised’ city’s LRT project was scrapped

A HSR bus in downtown Hamilton.
A HSR bus in downtown Hamilton. Global News

The union that represents Hamilton Street Railway employees is now weighing in on the cancellation of the city’s LRT project.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 President Eric Tuck says he “wasn’t all that surprised” by the announcement from the Ford government, given the expected cost overruns.

Tuck calls the provincial government’s figures “outlandish” but also accuses the former Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne of presenting “falsified” cost projections when $1 billion in funding was originally awarded to the city.

READ MORE: Councillor frustrated by events leading to Hamilton LRT cancellation

He is calling on the province to dedicate the money to a Rapid Electric Bus Transit system.

“It is time for responsible long-term investment in transit that will grow ridership and reduce auto dependency,” Tuck adds.

Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney announced the cancellation of the city’s light rail transit line on Monday, claiming the price tag had ballooned far beyond the original $1-billion estimate.

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Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding
Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding

Mulroney said the total cost of an LRT line, from Eastgate Square to McMaster University, would have exceeded $3 billion and blamed the previous Liberal government for misleading the people of Hamilton.

A provincial task force is being created to work with the city in coming up with transit priorities.

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President Keanan Loomis has said the city needs to come together quickly to let the task force know what Hamiltonians needs.