Another twist has hit Hamilton’s controversial LRT plan.
The Hamilton Spectator reported on Jan. 13 that Metrolinx will cancel a two-kilometre rail spur on James Street North and replace it with an express bus system. This would upgrade the A-line route from the West Harbour on James Street North to the Hamilton International Airport on Upper James Street.
LRT Project Coordination Director Paul Johnson says city council discussed upgrading the A-line with Metrolinx back in October of 2016. He also says the city would benefit from replacing the James Street spur with a larger rapid transit route.
“The A-line spur, which was two kilometres of LRT, was a very short section and would only carry a relatively low number of people,” said Johnson. “[Rapid transit] brings more people in terms of ridership and it’s also going to connect a major area of employment growth over the years, which is the area around the airport.”
He also says the A-line would include a “very specific connection” close to Mohawk College.
Brandon Archer, a resident of the West Harbour area, says he supports the LRT, but prefers the idea of replacing the James Street North LRT spur with a rapid transit bus system.
“I really don’t think there should be a spur down there,” Archer said. “I board [the A-line] bus every day and it’s pretty fast anyway. Replacing that would be just a waste.”
A rapid transit plan isn’t official yet, but Johnson did say the provincial government will weigh in on the subject soon.
“The province has indicated they have an announcement,” he said. “We don’t know exactly what it will be, but if they are looking at ways to complete a larger section of the the A-line, it’s good news.”