Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The 1 Billion $ Dazzle?

Mayor Fred Eisenberger
Enjoy this Q/A with Mayor Fred Eisenberger:

With the 1 Billion dollar influx of committed cash from the province for LRT, the allure of the money to construct a new public transit system in the form of LRT is understandably attractive. However, some may wonder whether Hamilton has been “dazzled” by the money, to the extent that certain necessary conversations have not been adequately pursued.

For example, is there a concern that the future driven implementation of LRT may result in a system that becomes largely outdated, before it is active? More specifically, have there been adequate conversations about technology trends as they apply to the future alternatives people will have such as self driving cars, electric cars and “car to go” systems for example? In essence, is there a danger that the 1 Billion dollar investment is leading down an entrenched path that is somewhat blind to future trends and innovations in transportation, possibly creating a burden to the taxpayers of Hamilton and frustrating the pursuit of better transportation technologies? 

Mayor Eisenberger responded: 

It was determined that LRT was the preferred technology for the B-line corridor for many reasons including the fact it would move high volumes of people in a rapid, reliable and safe way. LRT will also operate along a corridor with a higher density of population and jobs.

Self-driving vehicles, although an exciting prospect, would not serve the same functions as an LRT along the B-line corridor because these vehicles continue to be single occupant vehicles with dispersed origins and destinations.

Implementing LRT does not preclude the City from exploring other transportation innovations as a complement to our overall transit and transportation plans.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Perspectives Virtual Panel- On LRT

As efforts related to LRT implementation continue, short of a final approval, The Hamiltonian thought it timely to check in with our Perspectives Virtual Panel on LRT. Enjoy our Q/A with the panel:

As Hamilton continues on the path of developing and implementing LRT, short of a final approval, more and more information is coming to light in terms of the associated risks and benefits.

On the risk side however, the requirement for a healthy critical mass of people who use transit, is signaling trouble ahead. Combined with HSR rates and the challenges associated with ridership, some

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mayor Eisenberger- on Hydro Costs

With all the angst concerning hydro bills and questions about what the city is doing to advocate on behalf of Hamiltonians, we checked in with Mayor Eisenberger.

Mr. Mayor:

As you know, Hamiltonians continue to be concerned about the increases in the cost of hydro. We’ve been recently advised that Hamiltonians Against High Hydro group are planning a protest rally for March 8th on a related matter.

We respect the fact that you nor city council has ultimate control over the setting of hydro rates in the city or in Ontario. However, given the sustained angst that hydro rates are causing and the ongoing concerns of Hamiltonians, what measures has the city taken to advocate for Hamiltonians in this regard? Will any further measures be taken beyond what may have been done to date? If so, what is the nature of those measures.

The Mayor responded as follows:

"We continue to communicate with our Provincial partners, reiterating our concern over the rising costs of hydro and the impact it has on our residents, businesses and city operations.

The goal of municipally owned Local Distribution Companies such as the newly merged Alectra is to keep the cost of electricity distribution as low as possible.

On March 2nd the Ontario Government announced measures to reduce electricity rates by 25%.

Additionally, lower income residential customers enrolled in the Ontario Electricity Support Program could see an approximate 48% reduction in their bill. This announcement is a welcomed step for our community.”

What are your thoughts?  Is the Mayor and the city doing enough? What, if anything, should be done additionally? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Upcoming Protest Rally

The Hamiltonian has received the following notice of a protest rally to be held March 8th.

On Wednesday, March 8 at 6 pm the Hamiltonians Against High Hydro group will be holding a rally outside City Hall to "protest" the pay of the Mayor and Councilor Pearson.

We are asking that the money the Mayor and Councilor receive (from rate payers who are already struggling) be put in to a designated fund so that Hamilton residents can apply for help and receive a certain amount of money to put towards their hydro bill if they meet criteria that would be set by the city.

Thank you,
Sarah Warry Poljanski