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Mayor’s motion seeks to move Hamilton’s LRT project forward

Artist rendering of proposed Hamilton LRT trains running along King Street West. City of Hamilton

We’re about to get a clearer picture of where city councillors stand on Hamilton’s revived light rail transit (LRT) project.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger will present a motion during a meeting of the general issues committee on Wednesday.

The motion asks councillors to provide city staff with direction to work with Metrolinx and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation to prepare a memorandum of understanding for the project.

Ward 8 Coun. John Paul Danko describes it as a “pivotal day” for the city with a recently announced $3.4-billion investment by the provincial and federal governments at stake.

Read more: Feds, province confirm $1.7 billion each for Hamilton LRT

Also on Wednesday, Metrolinx President Phil Verster and Deputy Minister of Transportation James Nowlan are scheduled to appear before councillors who will be looking for answers to what Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson has termed “lingering” questions.

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One of those questions involves the city’s future costs for maintaining and operating the 14-kilometre line from Eastgate Square to McMaster University.

The concept of the 14-kilometre LRT line dates back to 2007 when the city received a Metrolinx grant for an environmental assessment of the project.

Read more: Hamilton LRT was ‘a condition’ of a bigger transit deal between province, feds

Ontario’s previous Liberal government committed $1 billion to the project in 2015, but it was cancelled as overbudget and unaffordable by the current government in December 2019.

The project was officially restarted on May 13, when the province said that it had increased its contribution to $1.7 billion after the federal government stepped up with a matching $1.7 billion contribution.

Click to play video: 'Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding' Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding
Hamilton LRT project derailed as province claws back funding – Dec 17, 2019

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