There are bigger issues than who operates Hamilton's LRT system

Opinion Jul 13, 2017 Stoney Creek News

Hamilton has had conflicted experiences with public-private operations of its services.

While city officials have wanted to cut costs and save money, there has been the diametrically opposite desire to preserve local jobs.

Case in point is the ultimately failed private operations of its water and wastewater treatment operations which ended in 2003 and left a bad taste in the mouth of the city.

However, the takeover of the former Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc. involving FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place and the Molson Canadian Studio in by Global Spectrum and having Carmen’s oversee the Hamilton Convention Centre have been successful so far.

So it’s no surprise that there is some angst and hand-wringing as Metrolinx seeks a company to build, finance and operate Hamilton’s $1-billion light rail transit system. Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green has introduced a motion to require that the 14-km LRT system be publicly run as a condition of the operations and management agreement between the city and Metrolinx, a dicey proposal that could raise another round of emotional and heated LRT debate within the community.

Hamilton Centre MPP and NDP party leader Andrea Horwath, along with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 have launched a public-relations campaign to have Hamilton Street Railway operate the system. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to make sure HSR jobs are protected.

But is it in the best interest of the Corporation of the City of Hamilton?

It would seem that Metrolinx, an agency of the provincial government, will continue to oversee the operations of the LRT regardless of which consortium operates the system. There are already various operational models that Metrolinx oversees, including the GO trains, which are operated by Bombardier, while a consortium of companies operates York Regional Transit.

The Hamilton Street Railway, founded in 1874 when it operated street cars, has had a blemished past along with a poor track record of providing customer service, budgeting and innovation.

Critical to of the future of the LRT is what will be incorporated into the operational and maintenance agreement between the city and Metrolinx, and how much control Hamilton will have over the system. It’s a fight that looms far more significantly than which company operates the system.

Hamilton council will get another turn at debating the merits of the LRT, which will also provide the opportunity to make sure the system is both beneficial and economically fair for the entire community.

There are bigger issues than who operates Hamilton's LRT system

Opinion Jul 13, 2017 Stoney Creek News

Hamilton has had conflicted experiences with public-private operations of its services.

While city officials have wanted to cut costs and save money, there has been the diametrically opposite desire to preserve local jobs.

Case in point is the ultimately failed private operations of its water and wastewater treatment operations which ended in 2003 and left a bad taste in the mouth of the city.

However, the takeover of the former Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc. involving FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place and the Molson Canadian Studio in by Global Spectrum and having Carmen’s oversee the Hamilton Convention Centre have been successful so far.

So it’s no surprise that there is some angst and hand-wringing as Metrolinx seeks a company to build, finance and operate Hamilton’s $1-billion light rail transit system. Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green has introduced a motion to require that the 14-km LRT system be publicly run as a condition of the operations and management agreement between the city and Metrolinx, a dicey proposal that could raise another round of emotional and heated LRT debate within the community.

Hamilton Centre MPP and NDP party leader Andrea Horwath, along with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 have launched a public-relations campaign to have Hamilton Street Railway operate the system. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to make sure HSR jobs are protected.

But is it in the best interest of the Corporation of the City of Hamilton?

It would seem that Metrolinx, an agency of the provincial government, will continue to oversee the operations of the LRT regardless of which consortium operates the system. There are already various operational models that Metrolinx oversees, including the GO trains, which are operated by Bombardier, while a consortium of companies operates York Regional Transit.

The Hamilton Street Railway, founded in 1874 when it operated street cars, has had a blemished past along with a poor track record of providing customer service, budgeting and innovation.

Critical to of the future of the LRT is what will be incorporated into the operational and maintenance agreement between the city and Metrolinx, and how much control Hamilton will have over the system. It’s a fight that looms far more significantly than which company operates the system.

Hamilton council will get another turn at debating the merits of the LRT, which will also provide the opportunity to make sure the system is both beneficial and economically fair for the entire community.

There are bigger issues than who operates Hamilton's LRT system

Opinion Jul 13, 2017 Stoney Creek News

Hamilton has had conflicted experiences with public-private operations of its services.

While city officials have wanted to cut costs and save money, there has been the diametrically opposite desire to preserve local jobs.

Case in point is the ultimately failed private operations of its water and wastewater treatment operations which ended in 2003 and left a bad taste in the mouth of the city.

However, the takeover of the former Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc. involving FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place and the Molson Canadian Studio in by Global Spectrum and having Carmen’s oversee the Hamilton Convention Centre have been successful so far.

So it’s no surprise that there is some angst and hand-wringing as Metrolinx seeks a company to build, finance and operate Hamilton’s $1-billion light rail transit system. Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green has introduced a motion to require that the 14-km LRT system be publicly run as a condition of the operations and management agreement between the city and Metrolinx, a dicey proposal that could raise another round of emotional and heated LRT debate within the community.

Hamilton Centre MPP and NDP party leader Andrea Horwath, along with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 have launched a public-relations campaign to have Hamilton Street Railway operate the system. It’s a not-so-subtle attempt to make sure HSR jobs are protected.

But is it in the best interest of the Corporation of the City of Hamilton?

It would seem that Metrolinx, an agency of the provincial government, will continue to oversee the operations of the LRT regardless of which consortium operates the system. There are already various operational models that Metrolinx oversees, including the GO trains, which are operated by Bombardier, while a consortium of companies operates York Regional Transit.

The Hamilton Street Railway, founded in 1874 when it operated street cars, has had a blemished past along with a poor track record of providing customer service, budgeting and innovation.

Critical to of the future of the LRT is what will be incorporated into the operational and maintenance agreement between the city and Metrolinx, and how much control Hamilton will have over the system. It’s a fight that looms far more significantly than which company operates the system.

Hamilton council will get another turn at debating the merits of the LRT, which will also provide the opportunity to make sure the system is both beneficial and economically fair for the entire community.