Hey Hamilton: Let’s Talk Transit – A Discussion Event on Thursday, February 5, 2015

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Join us Thursday 7:30pm at Mill’s Hardware for ThePublicRecord.ca’s panel discussion on the future of Hamilton’s public transit system, the HSR.

The event is free, thanks to the generous hospitality of Mill’s Hardware.

On Friday, February 6, 2015, Hamilton’s new Transit Director is presenting a vision for improving Hamilton’s public transportation department, the Hamilton Street Railway.

On Thursday, February 5th, The Public Record will bring together a panel to discuss this vision and offer their expert input into how Council should respond to and improve the vision. This will be the third The Public Record discussion event following our November panel on voter turnout, and our January event with CANADALAND.

What We’re Doing, and What We’re Not Doing

Our discussion starts with a belief that efficient high-quality public transit is essential for Hamilton’s economic future and quality of life. We believe this means HSR improvements are necessary and needed.

We’re bringing together a group of Hamiltonians with strong knowledge of, and experience with public transit in our City.

The Panel

Nicholas Kevlahan is a leader in Hamilton’s transit advocacy movement and serves as spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail. He is a regular user of public transportation.

Sara Mayo is a Social Planner with a concentration in Geographic Information Systems. Her knowledge of Hamilton’s socio-economic demographics will assist our discussion on the social good and need for public transit to provide access to services and opportunities for Hamiltonians.

Terri Wallis is a member of the Hamilton Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities who is a strong advocate and champion for a better fully equitable accessible HSR. She is a regular rider of the HSR and has presented to Council numerous times regarding barriers to HSR usage by persons with disabilities. Wallis ran for City Council in 2014 in Ward 2.

Jason Nason helps lead Hamilton’s discussion of public transit with his twitter account @HSRTransit. He rides the overcrowded Barton bus daily to work and as his primary method of travel across the City. His first-hand knowledge of our transit system is second to none

The Conversation

City staff are withholding the HSR budget and improvement plan from the public. When the panel was originally planned, the goal was to discuss this plan.

Unfortunately, since the election, City Hall has become even less transparent than it was before the election and is refusing to make public the HSR transit plan and budget.

While all other departmental budgets are now public information, this is the first time I’m aware of in which a department has hidden their budget proposal from the public budget books.

Despite City Hall’s secrecy, we’re going to move forward with the panel on Thursday and ask the question: What can we do to improve the HSR, what steps do we need to take as a community to make the HSR better, and how do we engage in doing so.

The Venue

The event will happen at Hamilton’s newest downtown venue, Mill’s Hardware at 95 King Street East (Across from the Royal Connaught) starting at 7:30pm.

Mill’s Hardware is fully accessible, and is a licensed establishment. There will be a cash bar.

Hope to see you on Thursday.

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