If full is not the way to go, then Ontario must look at it as partially full.
A couple of years ago the province was ready to dig into a fully funded, 14-km light-rail line that would run between McMaster and Eastgate Square. However, the Doug Ford government blocked construction from happening.
Now Ontario wants the federal government to pay up to $1.5 billion for a 9-km route that would likely run from McMaster University to Gage Avenue. The Hamilton LRT project is one of Ontario’s five priority projects that have been submitted to the federal Liberal government for transit funding. However, if the funding gap cannot be filled with federal dollars, officials will be looking at a bus rapid transit solution.
A recent Metrolinx study revealed it could cost as much as $2.5 billion to build the shorter Hamilton line. The city council, however, is not being asked to approve the decision to use federal money. The council remains divided over light rail, and will have the opportunity to discuss the shortened line in the future.
Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna likes the idea of the Hamilton line, but nobody knows for sure how much federal funding will be available.
Ontario also is looking at a proposal from union LIUNA, which would use hundreds of millions of dollars from its pension arm to fund a private endeavor.