It appears London isn’t the only city in Ontario having a hard time making a decision on the future of their rapid transit system.
Hamilton councillors are reconsidering a $1 billion offer from the province for a light rail transit system.
When the news was released Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke out saying she thought they had a done deal to get the project up and running.
Councillors expressed concern about businesses in the corridor, and whether they’d be able to survive the project’s five year construction period.
There was also concerns that current transit upgrades are needed.
“We’re not LRT ready,” said Hamilton Councillor Terry Whitehead.
“We are building this on a hope and a prayer that the uplift is going to be significant enough, and I think many of us looking at the numbers don’t see that uplift for 10, 15, even 20 years, and yet we’ve got needs now. We could better accommodate those needs by funding the 10 year plan versus the LRT.”
Whitehead said Hamilton currently doesn’t have the ridership needed to support a light rail system.
“Any city that is growing at some point, when your ridership is there, it’s justifiable to move to the higher order of transit called LRT. So, there was a number of studies done, and from a transit point of view it was pretty clear that our ridership was nowhere near, I think it was 7,000 to justify the higher order transit, I think we’re around 1,600.”
Hamilton’s city council won’t revisit the issue until mid-June.
Here in London, a public participation meeting will be held on Thursday, giving residents one final say on rapid transit plans for London.
London city councillors are looking to implement bus rapid transit with a price tag of $500 million.