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Hamilton LRT (Metrolinx/City of Hamilton, Revived)

afransen

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It's a bit like putting in a $400k bid for a house then adding 30 years interest, property taxes, heating bills, maintenance, etc. and telling your parents you got a $1M house. Business does this all the time (compares full life-cycle cost of various options, with various cash-flow smoothing options), but for individuals who typically think in the present only, the values seem dramatically inflated.

It's like saying you want to buy a car, like a base model Corolla, and saying you're going to pay $80k for it. Maybe it only cost $23k or whatever upfront, but there is $2k per year for insurance over 15 years, and again for gas, plus maintenance, tires, accessories, etc.
 

Amare

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BTW, this proposal reminds me exactly of the Sheppard subway, which is why I brought it up: take a plan that nominally makes sense, chop it down to something that doesn't, point to the reduced ridership numbers and say "This is why <X> doesn't work". I've no confidence that the reduced plan is worth it (and I do believe Hamilton should have an LRT along the full route).
This "proposal" is far worse than the Sheppard line. It literally takes people from random 1 dead end which is not even an destination in and of itself (Dundurn) and dumps them at McMaster. The ridership would literally consist only of university students, and ridership would be woefully pathetic.

For comparisons sake, it would be akin to having the Eglinton Crosstown run from Kennedy to Bermondsey. Dont know want to go to Bermondsey? Perfect because no one wants to go to Dundurn, nothing is there.

On second thought that's actually far more useful of a transit line; it's more akin to having a Finch West LRT run from Finch West station to Highway 400.
 

ericmacm

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The McMaster-Dundurn LRT "plan" is 100% intentionally awful to pressure the federal government into funding the line the full way to Gage/Tim Horton's Field. The BRT options are intentionally unpalatable from a "shovel ready" standpoint to try and force their hand. If the province was serious about creating a small line with only the $1B, they would have likely run it through the actual downtown. If the feds don't budge, this project will likely not get built until a new government comes in that wants to fund it, since the McMaster-Dundurn LRT wouldn't be practical or useful in any way, shape, or form. Here's a quick mockup with my development model to show how much the "Downtown Terminus" misses the actual Hamilton downtown:

HamiltonLRTDevelopmentContext-1.jpg
 

north-of-anything

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To be honest, the McMaster-to-Gage Park routing is pretty much exactly what I would propose in this scenario to ensure something gets built. We may end up getting a Hurontario-like scenario where the business case for the extension to Eastgate Square is pretty much immediate, or if another party wins the next provincial election the Eastgate leg could be reinstated.

I think it's much more likely that the "alternative scenarios" is a ploy to get Ottawa to pony up a couple billion for the project, which is exactly what I would do if I was in their shoes.
 

EnviroTO

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OMG. They can't be serious. Who in their right mind would build that section independently? They need to get the funding to James street at a minimum or really hope McMaster students like taking transit to Fortino's.
 

SaugeenJunction

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This whole thing is a giant ploy to shift costs off of the province onto the feds. What a way to save literally billions of dollars - get the Feds to pay for it!
Yes it is, but the feds did get off from paying a cent for the Hurontario LRT, and only contributed a measly $300 million to the Finch West LRT. Different politics at the time, yes, but still.
 

jeicow

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The McMaster-Dundurn LRT "plan" is 100% intentionally awful to pressure the federal government into funding the line the full way to Gage/Tim Horton's Field. The BRT options are intentionally unpalatable from a "shovel ready" standpoint to try and force their hand. If the province was serious about creating a small line with only the $1B, they would have likely run it through the actual downtown. If the feds don't budge, this project will likely not get built until a new government comes in that wants to fund it, since the McMaster-Dundurn LRT wouldn't be practical or useful in any way, shape, or form. Here's a quick mockup with my development model to show how much the "Downtown Terminus" misses the actual Hamilton downtown:

At a minimum the line needs to get to Longwood in order to connect the maintenance facility. Once you get towards Queen, you’re dealing with the older subsurface utilities that haven’t been significantly touched since the 50s. I’d be shocked if you could even afford a Longwood to Queen line within the $1 billion envelope. It reflects how the Auditor Generals review shows that the initial cost estimates assumed they were dealing with newer infrastructure like you’d find with Hurontario and Finch West as opposed to an older city like Hamilton.
 

rbt

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Yes it is, but the feds did get off from paying a cent for the Hurontario LRT, and only contributed a measly $300 million to the Finch West LRT. Different politics at the time, yes, but still.

Federal money is almost always a fixed allocation based on the population of the province. That is, every province gets opportunity to take an equal* section of a program. From there, provinces select projects which fit the program and attempt to take their full share of it without doing anything extra (that is, they don't add to their own budget to receive the funds).

It's extremely rare that a province simply asks for money for a project and the federal government creates a new budget entry for the project separate from any existing program.

All of that is to say, Hurontario LRT didn't get federal money because the province didn't 1) ask for it, or 2) already allocated all available funding to other projects.

* Equal by head-count, not regional federal tax revenue. There is still some element of redistribution of wealth. It's beneficial to Ontario to run it's own programs though it's own taxes, and instead request federal government reduce their taxes; we would get more program per tax dollar paid that way.
 
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junctionist

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It's like saying you want to buy a car, like a base model Corolla, and saying you're going to pay $80k for it. Maybe it only cost $23k or whatever upfront, but there is $2k per year for insurance over 15 years, and again for gas, plus maintenance, tires, accessories, etc.

Most people don't seem to realize how much their cars actually cost them over the long run. With financing, you're also paying interest while the car depreciates.
 

W. K. Lis

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The current transit funding from the feds has an end date. However, it was just announced a PERMANENT transit funding from the FEDS will start in 2026. That means that Hamilton's LRT may happen, but starting in 2026 (maybe).

Ottawa announces permanent $3-billion-a-year transit transfer to cities, starting in 2026

From link.

The federal government is making annual transit transfers to cities a permanent program, a move municipalities say will help them make longer-term spending decisions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Wednesday along with the federal infrastructure and environment ministers, Canada Infrastructure Bank chair Tamara Vrooman and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson.

Cities have been calling for such a move because the federal government’s main infrastructure transfer plan, worth $188-billion over 12 years, is currently only budgeted through to the 2027-28 fiscal year. Wednesday’s announcement means the transit portion of that program will continue indefinitely.

The permanent transit transfer will be worth $3-billion per year beginning in 2026-27. The government also said in a news release that it was announcing $14.9-billion in public transit projects over the next eight years, but details were not immediately provided.

Such long-term spending promises come with the caveat that they extend beyond the life of the current Parliament, meaning the current Liberal government can’t guarantee what Ottawa’s spending priorities will be over the long term.

“We need efficient and modern public transit systems that make our communities more connected,” Mr. Trudeau said. “These investments will support major public transit projects like subway extensions, and help electrify fleets with zero-emission vehicles. They will also be used to meet the growing demand for walkways and paths for cycling, and help rural and remote communities deliver projects to meet their mobility challenges.”

Maybe the current provincial funding can be used until 2026 on the Hamilton LRT and continued afterwards with the federal funding.
 

Allandale25

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The actual news news here is that the Province has signed a confidentiality agreement with the federal infrastructure Canada entity to share information. Good review of the money already spent. I think this was broadcast yesterday but I missed it.

 

allengeorge

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I feel like the Federal government has been waiting for more details from Ontario on their priority projects for over a year now. What gives?
 

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