6 thoughts on “Hamilton City Manager Say “Higher Order Transit” Important to Hamilton’s Growth

  1. how about the city fix our road conditions nobody ever talks about that !!
    if you don’t mind get in your car drive on Beach road Barton Street strathern and parts of Burlington Street.
    I hope you have an expensive car… I’m being sarcastic but nevertheless..
    t.y.

    • Thanks for the comment.
      Hamilton’s infrastructure deficit is a terrible problem. Many of our roadways are overbuilt for demand, reflecting a time when Hamilton was an industrial powerhouse.
      We have to address our roads for sure, both by getting better quality work when they are repaved, but also by decreasing the amount of roadway we are maintaining in places.
      In terms of higher order transit, it is much more cost-efficient, especially overtime than roadways. A healthy city has both good roads where needed, and great transit in higher density areas.
      Hamilton needs to do both, and we need to do better now.

  2. I would suggest to maximize the connection from the airport/downtown to the neighboring cities, such as Burlington, Oakville and St. Catherine by increased train service according to the needs during the day. Alternatively, if the volume does not justify running trains during the day, regular shuttle bus service, say every 30 minutes, would encourage people to use public transport instead of driving. Within the downtown area, the city can study the experience of LRT vehicles overseas, without fixed overhead line infrastructures and rail installation. With the advance in battery capability, a fully charged light rail vehicle can travel a 60 km route without any charging station in between the terminus. This should mean reduced capital investment.

    • Thank you for joining the discussion, these are good points, and I hope to add a bit to them in response.

      We need better transit connections across the Greater Toronto Area.
      Much of this is chicken/egg.
      One of the challenges is that we don’t have many areas of concentrated destinations which support high frequency transit.
      Anything longer than 15 minute frequency is not convenient enough; as you have to plan your trips around transit times.
      I enjoyed taking transportation engineering this past year at UofT exactly because of how challenging determining how to achieve good transportation is.
      The overseas automated buses, (LRT involves rails, rails provide significant operational costs services and improved reliability) looked good in controlled environments of testing. However, once put into real-world trials, they’ve suffered breakdowns, collisions, and other challenges which will take time to address.
      Battery technology will need to advance significantly to be able to replace overhead lines. Batteries take up space, and to be able to operate a train on battery for sixteen hours is not possible with any foreseeable battery technology due to space and weight constraints. (As batteries take up more space, available seating for passengers decreases. Increasing the height of a LRT vehicle means a larger tunnel and increased height for maintenance facilities). Charging or switching batteries increases operating costs, if trains need to be temporarily out of service for battery charging / switching, then the number of transit units needed to operate the line increases, thus an increase to capital costs.
      I remember when I first opened the engineering textbook and looked at all the (seemingly ridiculous) complex formulas – I thought, heck I take transit all the time and I don’t need an engineering degree to figure out how to schedule buses, and calculate run times. Once I started to learn the formulas and their purposes, I began to realize this all is way much more complex than it appears.

  3. Perhaps investing in electric technology(instead of gas busses). Providing the large amount of provincial money hasn’t been wasted on LRT(the b-line runs fine) electric vehicles produce far less(if any)carbon emissions and the money saved on gas could be put to the electricity expense. And maybe save money for transit in the long run

    • The City is looking into electric buses. The technology is not yet at the stage where electric buses are cost-effective. Hybrids have worked okay in Hamilton, but at a higher operating expense than the natural gas bus fleet. Hamilton Street Railway buses can be on the road for up to 20 hours in a day.
      As for saving money in the long-run, LRT offers the lowest operating cost; it does carry a higher capital cost to build.
      LRT works best where there is high demand, pre-COVID projections showed that demand exists. (One can reasonably question what is next for public transit, as we can question what is next for everything).
      As for the B-Line running fine, there are serious issues of delay, capacity, and the resulting unreliability problems from those issues.
      Higher order transit is needed to meet demand, significantly decrease delays, and to improve capacity to prevent bypassing of passengers.