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Hamilton LRT (Metrolinx/City of Hamilton, Revived)

gweed123

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It's always best to start the construction and then when you run out of money you can cry for more. This didn't work on Sheppard subway but that's because subways cost significantly more than LRT. If you wait for full funding it might never happen, other plans get drawn on napkins and in that time construction prices rise.

Much harder to do when you're doing it as a DBFOM though. You need to have all your ducks in a row before you start doing anything.
 

NoahB

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I don't know, Waterloo got a 19 km system with traffic light priority, (including an MSF) for less than that...

That was 7 years ago (contract signing). A more relevant example is Mississauga's Hurontario LRT. (Total of $4.6 billion to design, build, operate and maintain the project for a 30-year term; C$2.1 billion in total capital construction costs for 18km. )
 

syn

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Except, they've politically committed to giving Hamilton the 1B.

Just not more.

I think its easy enough for them to say, if you want it for LRT, find the rest.

I also think that's pretty easy, actually.

There's a federal cabinet minister {McKenna) who is very loudly pushing the Hamilton LRT.

I expect the chance of significant federal funds in the offing is high.

It's very easy.

The question is, will the Feds be willing to fund the majority of the project? I have a hard time believing it's going to be a significant priority in the next few years.
 

mdrejhon

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^ I know it's not on the list. I'm just noting different funding allocations for various projects.
The question is, will the Feds be willing to fund the majority of the project? I have a hard time believing it's going to be a significant priority in the next few years.
The province already promised $1B for Hamilton. Ford hasn't yanked that. This commitment will unquestionably survive to the next administration if still unspent.

Throw in maybe ~$1B from Feds that seem enthusaic to pitch-in.

That's like $2B -- right in the budget ballpark of the FOIA'd report. The ballpark of resurrecting the existing B-Line LRT plan, with some as-yet-undetermined top-offs.

Even if it's only a 60%:40% formula, a constant $1B provincial creates a ~$666M fed pitch in for a total of $1.666B or so. If you inflation-adjust the provincial ($1B was indexed to 2015 funds) to about $1.75B, and the city takes over a few elements (sidewalks) or accept a few infrastructure-deficit omissions -- then the numbers probably could be made to work, and if necessary, slightly shortened line to Queston Traffic Circle

This could be realistic by election 2022. Shovel ready, heavily studied, and encouraging signs from Feds. Both the provincial and federal NDP and Libs are pro-LRT here at the levels where it matters (the most influentials, like the policymakers / treasuries / ministries, not backbenchers). Even at the provincial level, a re-election campaign could force Ford to to resurrect the LRT, given Ford really pissed off a lot of conservative businesses and organizations (Like LiUNA who was hoping to benefit from LRT building; they are also a local developer building highrises, which /drumroll/ is depending on the LRT). To re-win the support of these businesses and the people within, would require some potential concessions from Ford (even if it's a poison chalice). I think the likelihood of resurrection is fairly high as a COVID-recovery shovel-ready project. The worst case is if both provincial and federal goes PC / Conservative Party respectively before the ink is dry, which may force this all into a ~2026 resurrection opportunity, but a 2022 resurrection opportunity is actually far more likely.

Early electioneering / influencing / strategic preemptive funding (from all the politicking) could anytime between now and 2022 given the confluence of factors (eagerness for jumpstarting economies long before transit ridership recovers after the COVID vaccine boom of 2021-2022). Seeing Catherine McKenna's twitter feed is a big strong winky-wink hint.

Now, bear in mind, this is also an infrastructure plan rather than just an LRT plan, since the cost included:
- About 30km of upgraded sidewalks (the same type now found downtown and Concession street, with the braille edges -- are planned along the entire length of the LRT on both sides of route)
- Watermain/underground infrastructure rehabilitation
- Longwood bridge rebuild
- Cycle infrastructure upgrades (as quid-pro-quo for loss of other cycling routes caused by LRT taking sections of cycle routes away). The York cycle route was supposed to become a Cannon Cycle Track extension all the way to Dundurn Castle as part of the package
- Automobile bypass infrastructure (Frid street extension, intersection upgrades, and the extra York car lane when the two unprotected painted bike lanes are merged into one protected Cannon cycle track style with barriers)
- Upgraded bus connections
- Upgraded pedestrianized street infrastructure (connection between Gore Park and Hughson GO station) -- basically the Gore Park pedestrianized street desgin is essentially copied to the 3-block Hughson street

Hamilton LRT included a number of elements that addresses Hamilton's infrastructure defect.

The plan could be scaled back (many of these elements removed) to reduce the cost of the LRT. It could also be re-shortened to Queston Traffic Circle (the previous B-Line plan, except without resurrecting the A-Line LRT), to fit a 60%:40% province:fed budget. However, scaling back would be a mistake given the infrastructure deficit. Those aren't porkbarrel costs, but actual infrastructure deficit catch-up bundled in with LRT -- like the bridge replacement, sewer upgrades, watermain, more accessible wider sidewalks replacing narrow dilapidated sidewalks, etc. Many residents forget that this isn't a billion dollar LRT project, but a billion dollar infrastructure project.

TL;DR: The LRT numbers appears to work with a 40% fed pitch in + possible shorten to Queston Traffic Circle. Anything better than that, would probably be a full resurrect of B-Line LRT as-is.
 
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Amare

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The fact that the Hamilton LRT has been an election issue more than 8 times (combined federally, provincially, and municipally) shows how much of a joke this saga has been. Why not make it yet another election issue...

It's 2nd only to the Scarborough RT saga for biggest laughing stalk of a transit infrastructure project.
 

mdrejhon

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The fact that the Hamilton LRT has been an election issue more than 8 times (combined federally, provincially, and municipally) shows how much of a joke this saga has been. Why not make it yet another election issue...

It's 2nd only to the Scarborough RT saga for biggest laughing stalk of a transit infrastructure project.
Unlike the Scarborough one, the B-Line LRT plan has been remarkably consistent, (to a Scarberian that actually pays attention to the Hamilton developments) virtually unchanged from the 2011 plan to today. There's been minor tweaks but plan is darn near exactly the same route with the majority of the same stations for the last ten years!

This planning consistency alone, makes Hamilton LRT far more likely to resurrect than whatever Scarborough is getting. The majority of the tweaks that goes on tended to have been relatively sensible, common sense, and very good -- the planning quality of the Hamilton LRT is quite impressive with extremely high amounts of planning-reuse in further improving & refining the plan when you look at the 2011 through 2019 planning documents. Some mixed bags like the trade of a less-useful A-Line stub to a greatly-preferred B-Line lengthening, to some reductions of farside technique but that was to save amount of land for property expropriations and did not reduce the number of stations (the number of stations actually maintained or increased)

Politics Laughingstock Factor: High
No contest. Plead no contest. Laughingstock for the political football factor, and politics-induced delays, yep.

Plan Laughingstock Factor: Low
The underlying blueprint is far more solid and consistently optimized people-benefitting plan than the stations-reducing Scarborough dice rolls.
 
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anb

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The fact that the Hamilton LRT has been an election issue more than 8 times (combined federally, provincially, and municipally) shows how much of a joke this saga has been. Why not make it yet another election issue...

It's 2nd only to the Scarborough RT saga for biggest laughing stalk of a transit infrastructure project.
At this point we would probably see the whole routing of the 40 go bus be a LRT from hamilton-richmond or a subway to niagara before we see this project ever happen
 

jje1000

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The fact that the Hamilton LRT has been an election issue more than 8 times (combined federally, provincially, and municipally) shows how much of a joke this saga has been. Why not make it yet another election issue...

It's 2nd only to the Scarborough RT saga for biggest laughing stalk of a transit infrastructure project.
The primary cause of that is because Hamilton City Hall dilly-dallies on the file and allows LRT's enemies to effectively organize.

No doubt Hamilton's worst enemy is its own government.
 

Amare

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Well I think we all know where this is going, but i'll say it for this fraud government:

"BRT will offer the same benefits as LRT but at a fraction of the cost, however if more funding comes on the table from other level of governments we will reassess the situation and select the best option based on updated cost figures"

Ford and Mulroney may be fooling the majority of people around Ontario, but they ain't fooling with me.

*I dont know the official results of the study, but it's where I strongly believe this is going
 

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