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Buses are for the best

Re: How’s that bus lane working?, Nov. 28

It’s good to see the city is making HSR real-time schedules more easily available. However, another piece in that long overdue effort is the pilot bus-only-lane that has one of your letter writers upset. She wants to know “how much did the bus lanes cost the average taxpayer”, “how many use local transit”, and “is it worth the headache.” Perhaps I can help.

The costs for the one-year pilot bus-only lane are being paid by the provincial government which understands that too many cars on the road is costing Ontario billions in congestion. If the cost was being paid by Hamilton taxpayers, it would work out to less than 50 cents per person.

About 70,000 Hamiltonians use the HSR each day. Many don’t own a car yet have to pay taxes to a city that spends nearly $100 million a year on roads. However, we have by far the slowest growing transit ridership of any large city in Ontario because the city has invested so little in improving the bus system.

One major reason is that too often councillors listen to those who still believe they should have the privilege of taking their own private metal box with them wherever they go and should be provided free roads and free parking.

And God help anything that gets in their way, especially a bus that carries up to 50 times as many people with far less pollution. If each of those bus riders followed the logic of the car driver, we’d have another 70,000 vehicles on the streets and there’s no doubt that none of them would get anywhere fast.

Now that would be a real headache.

Don McLean
Stoney Creek

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