Officials trying to read between the lines of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement on May 11 appear to be all on one side, and that side is light rail.
Trudeau said the government would provide $12 billion to transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. After the announcement, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna believed most of the money would be invested in light-rail projects over bus rapid transit, even though Trudeau was not specific. McKenna added that $10.7 billion would go toward four priority subway projects in the Greater Toronto area, and additional funding is slated for Hamilton.
Trudeau did offer some hints during his speech. The line in Hamilton that will receive “major support” will go from McMaster University in the west, through downtown, and all the way to Eastgate Centennial Park in Stoney Creek. Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said it has to be a light-rail project, because no other transit project is shovel-ready.
One LRT project that could be getting a second life was one that was first announced in 2007 and was set to run 14 kilometers alternately down King and Main from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. In 2015 it was announced that $1 billion would be provided to build the system, but cost overruns cancelled the project four years later. In February 2021 it was revealed a revised LRT project from McMaster to Gage Park was created.
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