July 28, 2017

Questions/Answers

Who is supporting light rail

There are several groups and elected officials that support the light rail proposal well as a number of powerful business interests behind our opposition. The first group consists of the Mayor along with a number of the city councillors, along with several city BIA groups, The Chamber of Commerce, Large real estate developers to name a few.

Won’t light rail reduce traffic?

The trains themselves will travel on the same roadway as the vehicular traffic which will force a reduction of traffic along the main thoroughfare of King & Main St. Traffic will need to be diverted onto secondary roadways due to the limited traffic lanes that run in tandom with the LRT tracks.
Light Rail also won’t help at many of our critical traffic choke-points today and will cause congestion where we currently have no congestion

But the Government is giving us the money, right?

The Ontario Liberal Government has offered $ 1 billion for this project, but according to Metrolinx and City Hall , the actual operating and maintenance costs are to be determined however taxpayers “could be responsible for any cost overruns” as well as operating and maintenance cost.
Based on the Current Toronto and Kitchener LRT projects they have incurred cost overruns which will now cost taxpayers 80 million per year .

Won’t Light Rail help people get around faster?

Only if your destination happens to be somewhere along the Light Rail line. There are no Park-and-Ride stations, so Hamiltonians will have to take an HSR bus or car to connect to the LRT. It is proven that while there will be 17 LRT stops , it will not be any faster than the current HSR B Line bus and therefore less convenient.

Isn’t Light Rail going to increase development?

That’s an excellent point but there is little verifiable evidence that this actually occurs.
Even if Light Rail does spur economic development along the line, by creating more urbanization and density, you also create more traffic and more demands on public services like police, fire, EMS and schools. There is no written guarantee that Light Rail or the increased development could support higher population density or boost tax revenue.

I’ve heard Light Rail will help people who can’t afford a car

Not necessarily. Just as it is contended that Light Rail would spur economic growth and development, that might also make the land nearby more valuable. This would lead to increased tax assessments and more paid to the city in real estate taxes, but those costs would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher rents and higher taxes on their homes. This has been shown to push out people of more modest means, actually driving them farther away from public transportation resources and replacing them with residents that can afford the higher rents and fees.

If I never ride Light Rail, it won’t cost me anything, right?

WRONG, it is a proven fact that with every LRT project , taxpayers have seen an increase in taxes. Recently we have learned that Toronto taxpayers are now responsible for the operating and maintenance costs of their LRT lines which will see a tax increase of 3 % along with additional taxes in order to pay and sustain the system. As the systems age the costs will increase as will the taxes to support those costs. This is also realized with the “UP train” whereby the costs are being subsidized by taxpayers dollars. As this added money is directed to sustaining the LRT other capital projects will fail and our roads will deteriorate, jobs will be lost, our infrastructure will decline further . The current ridership is too low to sustain a profitable system and would have to increase by approx 900 %.Ridership across North America is decreasing.