Hamilton gets $12 million from province to upgrade transit


Published February 23, 2023 at 1:37 pm

hamilton transit hsr buses lrt blast ontario province ford wynne
Hamilton will get $12 million from the provincial government to upgrade transit. The money is being delivered through the gas tax program.

The City of Hamilton will get $12 million from the province as part of a $379.5 million transit funding announcement made on Thursday.

The money is being delivered through the gas tax program, and the province says it can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility, or upgrade infrastructure.

“Public transit is a key driver of economic growth in Ontario, helping people get to where they need to go, whether it is to work, school, or run errands,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “As more people return to public transit, our government is providing municipalities with the funding they need to accommodate growing ridership while ensuring they can continue to deliver safe and reliable transit service for people in their communities.”

Funding for the gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities that support public transit services in their community receive two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenue collected.

To make up for reduced gas sales due to ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gas tax program includes one-time additional funding of $80 million.

Hamilton is in the ninth year of its 10-year transit plan, focused on increasing service, making transit more reliable and accessible, and boosting ridership. The city is also nearing the construction phase of the government-subsidized light rail transit project that will stretch 14 kilometres and include 17 stops, from McMaster University, through the downtown core, and to Centennial Parkway in Stoney Creek.

The project was officially greenlit in May 2021 after the federal and provincial governments confirmed matching $1.7 billion investments to go towards its construction.

The City of Hamilton will take on operating costs.

Hamilton’s LRT project is part of the “BLAST Network” — a rapid transit strategy conceived as part of the City’s 2007 Transportation Master Plan and further developed in the 2008 Rapid Transit Feasibility Study and 2011 Rapid Ready report.

The BLAST Network would include the following:

  • B-Line (LRT) from McMaster University to Eastgate Square, with future
    extension to University Plaza to the west and Fifty Road to the east.
  • A-Line: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Waterfront/West Harbour GO to Rymal, and Priority Bus from Rymal to
    Hamilton Munro International Airport
  • L-Line: Priority Bus from Downtown Hamilton to Waterdown.
  • S-Line: Priority Bus from Ancaster Business Park to Confederation GO Station.
  • T-Line: Priority Bus from Centre Mall to Meadowlands Terminal.

Former premier Kathleen Wynne had committed $1 billion to Hamilton LRT in 2015, but it was cancelled by Doug Ford’s government four years later before reversing course.

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