Some years ago, a private sector company approached the City of Hamilton about building a type of light rail transit line downtown.
The City Council of the day said ‘no thanks’, and the company took their plan to Vancouver, where they built the light rail system that still serves Vancouver today .
Have we learned from that short-sighted decision ?
Despite the fact that the Provincial government has committed a billion dollars to build an LRT system in Hamilton, it appears that this Hamilton City Council may duplicate that myopic move.
To be fair, LRT is a complicated issue and I doubt that very many citizens have taken time out of their busy lives to read the many reports on rapid transit and LRT systems.
But the 16 members of City Council can and should educate themselves about the LRT file and I’m not sure that’s happening.
Case in point, some Councilors are suggesting that the billion dollars could be used for other projects in the City, which is more whimsical than factual.
The Province isn’t giving the City a billion dollars; they said they would fund the cost of LRT, but if the City rejects LRT, we don’t see one penny of the billion dollars.
This may well be the most important decision this Council will make, and they only get one chance to get it right.