Rendering of Hamilton's Proposed LRT looking west at the intersection of King Street East and Wellington Street. Credit: Handout / City of Hamilton

Should the City of Hamilton ask to take on LRT operations, and if so, how much of the operations?

Hamilton City Council’s Light Rail Transit Sub-Committee will begin debating this question next week, with a decision vote planned for the end of November.

Ultimately, the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx will decide who operates the LRT and how operations will be financed.

The City of Hamilton is contractually bound to “to pay Operations and Maintenance Costs, save and except lifecycle [maintenance] costs, whether or not the City or HSR is the operator.”

[Section 4.1 of the LRT Memorandum of Understanding.]

City of Hamilton staff state there are four options for Hamilton’s LRT operations:

  1. “Model 1 – Third Party Performs all Operational Activities”: a third-party private corporation runs all operational aspects of the LRT.
  2. “Model 2 – City Performs Passenger Interface Provider Activities”: the City only operates “passenger interface activities” such as customer service, communications, security, and fare collection.
  3. “Model 3 – City Performs Light Rail Transit Vehicles Operations and Passenger Interface Provider Activities”: the City operates “passenger interface activities” and “vehicle operations” that being the hiring, training, and oversight of LRT drivers. A private operator will oversee the LRT operations centre, service performance, and most operational aspects.
  4. “Model 4 – City performs all aspects of Operational Activities”: the City of Hamilton runs all  operational aspects of the LRT.
City of Hamilton staff changed chart showing four potential operating models for Hamilton’s planned LRT system.

Model 2 is similar to how LRTs are operated in the Region of Waterloo and how Mississauga’s LRT will be operated.

Model 4 is the model used for the Confederation Line in Ottawa. [Ottawa’s LRT is out of service again due to more newfound mechanical defects.]

Council is not being asked to approve any motions at next week’s Wednesday, July 26, meeting.

Staff write they will provide recommendations on a preferred model in November, with a presentation of a “preliminary analysis of operational models” to be presented at the September 25 LRT Sub-Committee meeting.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting is available on the City website here.

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Published: July 20, 2023
Last edited: July 20, 2023
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