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Hybrid0920
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  • 4 weeks later...

The federal budget that comes down on Monday is going to be an interesting one to watch.

It's been widely reported that Doug Ford suddenly wants to build the Hamilton LRT after scrapping it but only if someone else picks up part of the cost and LIUNA has looked into that.  LIUNA got a pretty severe object lesson in why trade unions don't typically endorse conservative politicians after Doug Ford yoinked that huge project out from under their members who would've been building it.  What will be interesting to see in the budget is if the federal government comes to the table with a funding commitment for it.

Catharine McKenna who's the minister of Infrastructure and Communities has come out in support of the project in the past but Bob Bratina who's the only Liberal member of parliament in Hamilton that I know of, whose riding the line would go through has either made mealy mouthed remarks against it or, contrary to what one would expect out of a politician and former radio host where the main job description for both is running your blab, been completely silent.

We will see on Monday.

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On 2/16/2021 at 9:53 AM, Seashore_518203 said:

HSR 932 is shown in the Trapeze OPS maintenance system as being "In Heavy Repair". The status has not been changed to INACTIVE at this point, so you have to assume it is still active. The $1.2 million estimate is questionable as they did not even cost that when brand new.

Sometimes, transit systems cannot officially retire a vehicle on paper until the cheque comes in from the Insurance company which can be up to 1-2 years later or more. When a bus is acquired using taxpayer funding, you have to keep it active for a set amount of time which is why you see accident buses kept on site, even though they will never see service again.

As Chris W states, please leave the Wiki updates to local people and do not rely on driver's sending you a picture. Wait until you have official confirmation from the Maintenance Departmenr

On 2/17/2021 at 8:51 AM, smallspy said:

The problem is not that "people might not like that".

 

The problem is that the photos may not have been cleared to be released publicly. They may show things that shouldn't be shown to the public. They may have been sent to you by someone who is not supposed to be sending them, and so spreading them around may put them into an awkward - or worse, compromised - position. People have been fired for this kind of thing.

 

Unless you have been given explicit permission to share them, the best thing to do is not to.

 

Dan

 

913 and 932 are both back in service I seen it back in February of this year 

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22 hours ago, HamiltonTransit1710 said:

913 and 932 are both back in service I seen it back in February of this year 

True.
Transit 55 shows 913 in service in Jan/Feb, and pics are floating around on Facebook.
I have witnessed 932 in service, and it was active as recently as yesterday.
 

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On 4/17/2021 at 1:09 PM, Mishap said:

True.
Transit 55 shows 913 in service in Jan/Feb, and pics are floating around on Facebook.
I have witnessed 932 in service, and it was active as recently as yesterday.
 

i just checked Transsee and it last shows 0913 on the 44 back on Feb 2nd 2020

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On 4/17/2021 at 1:09 PM, Mishap said:

True.
Transit 55 shows 913 in service in Jan/Feb, and pics are floating around on Facebook.
I have witnessed 932 in service, and it was active as recently as yesterday.
 

0913 is retired 100%. the farebox, ranger system, and presto system went to 0520 which was brought back to replace 0913 after it caught fire

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7 hours ago, hamilton.area.transit said:

0913 is retired 100%. the farebox, ranger system, and presto system went to 0520 which was brought back to replace 0913 after it caught fire

 Um no it's not!  There is a photo on Facebook showing a new paint job on the rear of the bus.   

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I've been working my way through the budget document while dinner's in the oven.

Hamilton shows up once in the budget and it's in a table of child care costs in various cities, so there's no specific funding commitment in there for LRT.

There's mention on page 23 that's reiterated a few times later in the document that the federal government announced $14.9 billion in public transportation funding over eight years back in February and page 211 states that the Permanent Public Transit Fund will:

"This funding will support new subway lines, light-rail transit and streetcars, electric buses, active transportation infrastructure, and improved rural transit, which will create affordable commuting options in communities and reduce Canada’s emissions. It will also provide local governments with the predictable transit funding they need to plan ahead so Canada can keep building more sustainable and livable communities."

Page 222 gives a breakdown of the numbers with funding appearing in fiscal 2021-2 through 2025-6 that adds up to $5.941 billion.  It's heavily back end loaded like these things usually are and leaves about $9 billion of that funding announcement back in February unaccounted for as far as I can see at first glance although the 8 year span would extend past the back end of the date range in the budget document and probably also includes committed funding to projects outside the scope of this fund.

Where does this leave HSR?  Probably lobbying for funding under the LRT, electric bus*, and rural transit parts of the package.  I'm not sure exactly what the feds mean by active transportation infrastructure but I don't think it lines up with what a mainstream public transportation system like HSR does.  So, it's too early to know if HSR is going to remain a street railway in name only.

* Ok, I'm not even going to go there.  Even back in the 1990s when the TTC and HSR switched the power off and junked the coaches we knew that any fuel burning replacement was going to have an adverse impact on the environment over running electric.  The fact that we're taking incremental steps on battery buses now doesn't mitigate the fact that there was a big step backwards for about 30 years there compared to keeping whole fleets of vehicles electric.

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On 4/23/2021 at 11:15 AM, CLRV4094 said:

https://www.thespec.com/news/hamilton-region/2021/04/23/hsr-covid-protections.html

An article out this morning in the Spec about the union wanting a return to the first wave rear door boarding, and a no mask no ride rule. 

The problem with the no mask, no ride rule is that it leads to confrontation. Especially since some people will argue that they can't wear one due to a medical exemption.

Rear door boarding on the other hand would be nice, but the transit agency cannot afford to lose revenue. Even when it is meant to protect close contact with the operator (barriers were installed to prevent close contact), it did keep agencies on-hand regarding funding for lost revenue or service cuts to make up that lost revenue. Having to run the business without any cash flow to run those operations. 

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The masks are an even bigger issue with the covid19 shots.

Even after the first shot, they are told to still wear marks and its about 2 weeks before it becomes effective.

Some believe that they are now immune to covid19 (nope) and no longer need a mask.

Even more will believe this immunity after the 2nd shot (whenever that occurs) andvthey don't  need a mask.  These shots are not like the polio vaccine.

ETS driver shields are top of the line for covid19 and thugs.  Haven't heard any covid issues except some drivers are not masked, which is a pretty bad visual...

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Masks are to be worn until the health department says not to wear them! The first shot does not bring you near 100% protection depending on the maker of the vaccine. The second shot only brings you to 98%. You can still be a carrier or worst get it and be asymptomatic and carry it for weeks without knowing it is infecting a lot of people. When vaccinated, if you get Covid, the vaccine will lessen the chance of being seriously sick, ending up in the hospital, on a ventilator or dying. Everyone still needs to wear them!

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, CLRV4094 said:

 

https://www.chch.com/federal-government-to-provide-1-7b-for-hamilton-lrt/

Federal government will be funding the LRT. 

I'm kind of waiting for Thursday for the official announcement on that.  This CBC article mentions that the specific mode of transportation but Trudeau made a big deal about how it has to reduce emissions.  This could very well mean electric buses but even a fleet of battery buses plus garage plus a busway, it would get up there being expensive all together, but I don't think it would take the grand total to $1.7 billion federal + $1.7 billion provincial that has been bounced around.

Fingers crossed it is an LRT.  We will see what gets announced on Thursday.  We will see what the clowns at Hamilton city hall do with it.

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5 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

I'm kind of waiting for Thursday for the official announcement on that.  This CBC article mentions that the specific mode of transportation but Trudeau made a big deal about how it has to reduce emissions.  This could very well mean electric buses but even a fleet of battery buses plus garage plus a busway, it would get up there being expensive all together, but I don't think it would take the grand total to $1.7 billion federal + $1.7 billion provincial that has been bounced around.

Fingers crossed it is an LRT.  We will see what gets announced on Thursday.  We will see what the clowns at Hamilton city hall do with it.

It will definitely be interesting to see what is announced, if it’s an LRT, electric buses, I only said LRT cause I believed it to be most likely to be that, but your right it could very well be a electric bus expansion too. Who knows. We will see on Thursday. As for city hall, hopefully they don’t do anything, this is a long time coming, but with the way they are, I wouldn’t hold my breath...

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It's the LRT that's being announced.

Sure there could be some additional funds set aside for electric buses, but the main purpose of the presser is for the LRT itself. Whether or not it will be built is anyone's guess; there's most likely going to be a federal election this year, and both a municipal and provincial election next year.

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8 hours ago, lip said:

It's the LRT that's being announced.

Sure there could be some additional funds set aside for electric buses, but the main purpose of the presser is for the LRT itself. Whether or not it will be built is anyone's guess; there's most likely going to be a federal election this year, and both a municipal and provincial election next year.

I was thinking about that earlier.  Even if it's LRT and not BRT with battery electric buses, and Hamilton says yes to the federal and provincial funding for it, and agrees to pay the operating costs, it throws the issue back to Metrolinx.  For all we know, Metrolinx could go back to their old routine of alternating six month delays with the "award the contract in the fall, begin construction in the spring" then tack six months on and it's "award the contract in the spring, begin construction in the fall", then tack on another six months and "award the contract in the spring of next year, then begin construction in the fall" and keep doing that until someone, somewhere gets voted into office in some election and kills it, just like what happened the last time.  If I had to judge a contest for most incompetent, incapable, malevolent outfit with Metrolinx and the city of Hamilton among the candidates, I'd be handing out two first prizes.

This is assuming it gets past Hamilton's city council on the operating costs because they're probably going to scream about paying the operating on the LRT despite paying not just the operating but also capital lifecycle costs on the buses, the garages, the roads, and all of that associated with 1 King and 10 B Line, and object to what would be a net discount on the city's public transit costs.  This goes double for the rural Hamilton city councillors who have no horse in that race that like to object for the sake of objecting.  Has anybody tried explaining to the bumpkins in Hamilton city hall that the movie "Deliverance" wasn't intended to be a documentary?

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There should be no problem in getting electric buses other than council! There is already a fund (I think $1.5 Billion) for electric buses.  It's not to buy electric buses out right but to pay the difference between gas/diesel bus you would have bought vs the extra cost of electric buses. There are other cities that have already applied and are being delivered.

I hate this issue of operating cost. No matter what you buy, BRT or LRT, you will have an operating cost. We already know some of the largest cost are are cheaper with LRT like replacement cost are every 40 to 50 years vs buses every 12 years. One LRT operator will transport up to three time the amount of passengers as a bus etc. I don't see other cities with LRT (i.e. KW) complaining about LRT operating costs. KW is even started the process of extending their ION LRT into Cambridge.

The most expensive part of a LRT system is the first part and we are getting someone else to pay for it.

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it looks like 937 is back into service. it was tracking on the Barton yesterday. theres a small chance that it wasnt 937. it could be a thing kinda like what happened with 0520 when it replaced 0913 where 0520 was tracking as 0913. next time its in my area ill go look for myself to see if its 937 or a different bus tracking as 937

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12 hours ago, CLRV4094 said:

https://youtu.be/0z4LUdpIhXw

Catherine McKenna confirmed in this YouTube video that the funding is for the LRT 

Thanks for that.  I watched the whole video and Hamilton's city councillors are living down to expectations as usual.  How many times has city hall signed off on the LRT now?  And it has to happen again?  We're not talking about a scope change from the previous routing that was approved either, it's the same McMaster to Eastgate but no West Harbour / beginnings of the A line spur that they approved and had gone to construction preparation when the Ford clowns cancelled it in 2019.

I took a look at the Hamilton Spectator website this morning and there was an article covering the same municipal LRT hesitancy and it mentioned that if the city approves it, shovels could be in the ground by 2023.  2023?  Holy cow.  It's not like there isn't a big head start on building the damn thing.  All those properties that Metrolinx acquired don't have to be bought again.  The ones that have been demolished already don't need to be torn down again.  The Queenston Rd. bridge over the Redhill Parkway doesn't need to be inspected to see if it can carry LRT trains again.  The oil pipeline that cuts through the Queenston/Main traffic circle doesn't need to be reinforced again.  Hell, I drove out there and took pictures of that work going on with actual shovels in actual ground with actual work taking place about a week before it got kiboshed because I was in disbelief it was actually happening.  Two years to get started with this big head start and all that plus other stuff I've forgotten about done and out of the way?  Shovels should be getting into the ground a hell of a lot faster than that especially since the companies preparing bids should be able to more or less pick up where they left off with their bid packages in 2019 rather than a cold start from zero there too.  If it hadn't been cancelled in 2019, by 2023 it should've been well underway and closer to being finished than getting started even with Metrolinx stalling and digging their heels in to drag it out as long as possible.

Two years to get started sounds like a Metrolinx estimate to me.  Two years to get started sounds like Metrolinx is going to go back to stalling and dragging it out and wait for a bunch of election cycles to play out in the hopes another politican gets voted in and revokes their level of government's side of the funding agreement so the whole thing unravels and it gets cancelled again.

All of which leaves me two questions:

Is Metrolinx good for anything?

Is Hamilton's city council good for anything?

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We have our answer.  According to the CBC it's LRT or no deal, say ministers, in other words, the people who are actually stumping up the big bucks to pay for it.  This means the city of Hamilton finagaling for a BRT (it would have to be with electric buses to hit the emissions reduction requirement of the federal money) instead is off the table.

I talked to someone in Hamilton and they added another thing that got done and out of the way before the LRT was cancelled in 2019 and should contribute to a head start on construction for real and that was a pretty extensive geotechnical survey of the underground utilities etc. along most of the line, if not all of it.  That would only need to be redone on a spot check basis where underground utility work's been performed in the last two years, and even then, may not be needed in all cases.  All in all, I actually agree with the federal government's assessment that it's a shovel ready project.  A lot of the enabling work and property acquisition and emolition has already been done so two years between Hamilton city hall agreeing to it and starting construction has got to be Metrolinx.  And as of 1:00 PM today, Metrolinx is distracted.  Metrolinx's attention's been diverted to eyeing Grehound and horsing in on their territory once they fold tomorrow night which clears the way for a little empire building expansion into Greyhound's bus routes.  Metrolinx is going to be a little bit preoccupied with this sudden, unexpected windfall of good fortune with Greyhound going bust to worry themselves with doing actual work on getting the Hamilton LRT done.

Now that federal and provincial governments have firmed up the big money and gone on record stating it's for LRT only, that leaves only one last big question unanswered at the municipal level:  What is Hamilton city hall going to do with it?  We might get an answer once the debates about whether four or five string banjos sound better, if all cars owned or operated within Hamilton city limits should be mandated to have tail fins, and if beer cans should be whipped overhand or underhand at the rabbit ears on top of the TV set when the picture gets fuzzy are all settled.

 

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