How to make the worlds best bus based transit system

I’ve had a back and forth going on Twitter with a gentleman who is very much in favour of finding 811 million dollars to build the Hamilton B Line LRT.

And I’d like to thank him for making me think, a lot on the transit issue.  I’m at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to transit in Hamilton.  The last time I was on the HSR (other than going to the Winona Peach Festival) was Grey Cup 96!  It’s been a while since I’ve been on a bus.

So I researched.  A Subway is somewhere between 125-225 million per km.  And the LRT is roughly 60 million per km.

My argument is that the money still doesn’t exist and I would expect that transit will be one of the first things the province will cut when the belt tightens.

And I thought about Uber.  Uber is an app that is gaining popularity, it’s like a ride share app and cities that get Uber see a lot more car pooling very quickly.  Now I’m not recommending that we abandon transit for Uber, that is very dangerous.

What I would like to suggest is that we develop, and copyright a transit app for the HSR and can receive licensing revenues from.  An app that will tell HSR users the status of their preferred routes, on time/delayed notices and an estimate of how far the next bus is.  Bus stops can have QR codes that will do the same thing, only with more accurate details.

LRT and Subway will at some point be vital to Hamilton.  But that time is not within any time soon I suggest.  We can build the best bus based transit system in the world and technology is a great step forward!

THE TRANSIT CONUNDRUM AND HAMILTON’S TRAVEL FUTURE.

A question from lifelong city resident Shelley.

So my question is to do with transit and the light rail! As a regular transit user the proposed lite rail annoys me. It’s like they are catering to the university kids which is not even 12 months of the year! The proposed route is already covered by the bee line bus so I see. No reason for the lite rail. I’d like to see transit improve the times it takes to go up the hill from the city. Currently for me to go to the mountain I gave a 25-30 min ride to go all the way downtown to get a mountain bus to go all the way back across the mountain. They need to utilize all mountain accesses maybe even putting buses on the red hill . If they want to spend money on public transportation they need to dig way deeper scrap the light rail and somehow build a transit system that moves you quickly around the city like Toronto’s subway . What are your views on our transit system and the proposed lite rail?

 

This is THE ISSUE that is driving this election!  Literally and metaphorically.  The Proposed cost to build one LRT line in Hamilton has been pegged at 811 million dollars (I would suggest that the final cost will probably approach 1.2-1.6 BILLION dollars!)

Does Hamilton deserve such infrastructure spending?  Yes.  Is it the right answer?  Not as it’s laid out.

The Bee Line is along the highway 8/Queenston corridor.  And one thing I notice driving along that route from east to west is that the route is completely developed.  There are no grand boulevards that can be repurposed for light rail lines or a 12 foot wide median between east and westbound lanes.  Light Rail WILL NOT WORK along the Bee Line!

If we were to look at elevated tracks we at least double the cost and if we even consider digging a subway we at least quadruple the costs!

Eight hundred and eleven million dollars will buy close to 1000 articulating buses!  That alone will solve more problems than LRT ever will.  It would provide more buses for more routes and unify Ancaster and Waterdown to Stoney Creek and from Barton to Binbrook!

But the 811 million dollars doesn’t exist.  The province has made mentions of funding at some level, but the money would be debt.  Ontario hasn’t had money in the bank for decades.

Hamiltonians deserve the worlds best transit system, there is no doubt about that.  And there is no reason why a bus based transit system can not be the best transit system in the world!  We can work with the HSR, GO, and even private enterprise to look at ways that we can cover transit in this city like no city in the world.  We should consider looking at the affordability of making  transit cab available 7 days a week.  We should have an Express that runs from Eastgate and takes Burlington St and ends at the Macnab transit centre.

If the people of Ward 5 chose me as their councilor I will work with the HSR and residents to help evolve and develop Hamilton’s transit into the best in the world!

Fluoride in our water supply

Today’s question from a local resident regarding fluoride in the water system.

Subject: WATER FLUORIDATION

I have been a dental hygienist for 40 years.  I was taught that fluoride in our drinking water is very useful in preventing tooth decay. So for many years I have been administering topical fluoride and speaking about the benefits of fluoride in our water supply.  Just recently I have come across some very upsetting literature on the manufacturing,processing and utilization and the “poisoning ” that  fluoride is causing in our water supply.  As it explains in these web sites that I have listed below ,water fluoridation is a form of mass medicating, which has some very serious side affects.

I would like to know your position on this issue prior to the elections in October.

Thank you for your time

My Response to this great question is below:

Hello

Thank you for approaching me with this question that I can tell is very important to you.

I had not seen this video before, but I have seen similar that talk about the negative side effects of water fluoridation.  As well as articles I have come across over years of reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.

The video is very accurate in saying that the powers that be were so concerned with putting fluoride in the water to protect teeth that they didn’t think of the body as a whole.  Not to mention that we’re adding fluoride to, well everything.  Our lawns, gardens etc.

In the 1940’s I could imagine that there were issues in getting appropriate dental care.  The Canada Health Act and health benefits didn’t exist yet, or at least the way they currently (for most) exist now.

I’ve always considered my fluoride treatment at the dentist as something that will be beneficial to my dental health, but it’s also for only 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a year.  I think it is an excessive venture to expose my whole body to fluoride with every glass of water I drink.

Based on that, and the belief that I should have the option to add fluoride to my daily routine as my own decision I would vote to take fluoride out of the water supply.

I hope this answers your question.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to call.

Larry Storm
Candidate ward 5

Elect Larry Storm for Ward 5 in 2014

Elect Larry Storm Ward 5 Hamilton

On Thursday September 11 at 12:00 noon I threw my hat into the ring to represent the citizens and residents of Ward 5 in Hamilton.

Hamilton is a dynamic city, a city of progress and ambition and opportunity.  And we’re tenacious and dedicated.

But the time for change is approaching.  The time for new ideas and a new messenger for the thousands of voices in Hamilton.  I want to be that messenger.

We have an inner city that desperately needs our attention. A transit system that with input from Hamilton’s best can be among the best transit systems in North America, without the complexity of Light Rail.

We need new members in council that will jump on opportunity with enthusiasm, with tact and with dedication.  We can not, for whatever good intentions let planning be taken over by very few people.  Hamilton dropped the ball on the Stadium.  I’m sure West Harbour would have worked, would have had the visibility that was hoped for, but we’ll never know.

Hamilton needs affordable housing!  Hamilton home prices are out pacing affordability at an alarming rate.  We need to keep the Canadian dream of owning a home and not worrying about a roof over your head alive and welcome more homeowners into Hamilton.

We are losing entrepreneurs to start ups around the world.  We need to open up the rules to allow for micro facilities that may be as simple as a small machine shop, or lab in a converted shipping container.  We need to recognize that some of the fastest growing ventures start in basements, dining rooms and garages.  Not in high rises.  We need to welcome back the spark of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit back to the Steel Town!

Hamilton needs a 24/7 councilor and I’m that councilor!