Brad Clark Positions In Favour of More Bus Service Instead of LRT - but Will Province Change The Big Move?

Brad Clark says Hamilton needs more HSR conventional bus service and BRT because the City cannot afford light rail transit.

In his first campaign announcement, the current Stoney Creek City Councillor and former provincial cabinet minister, says Hamilton should ask the province to fund a Bus Rapid Transit system with expanded conventional HSR service.

Clark Campaign Press StatementClark Campaign Press Statement

Clark argues Hamilton cannot afford the costs of upgrading the City’s underground water and wastewater infrastructure improvements required as part of the LRT development.

Clark cites Hamilton’s growing $200-million a year infrastructure deficit, and growing combined municipal debt which will reach over $1-billion in a couple of years as the City pays for improvements to water treatment plant.

A concept rendering of a Hamilton LRT line (City of Hamilton / Handout)A concept rendering of a Hamilton LRT line (City of Hamilton / Handout)

Clark is positioning himself as a fiscal conservative candidate in the election. He joins mayoral candidate Crystal Lavigne in formally opposing LRT.

Brian McHattie is on the record supporting LRT. Fred Eisenberger supported LRT in the past, and is presently calling for more consultation on the file.

Clark’s Past Positions

Clark voted for LRT during the numerous unanimous council votes during the past six years.

Like many on Council, his support was based upon 100% provincial funding. Clark argues that because municipal costs will be incurred, the City cannot afford LRT.

The City will have to replace water and wastewater piping along King Street in the future. LRT will move this work forward, and BRT will likely require similar infrastructure road work.

Clark, with all Councillors, voted for the required water treatment plant improvements and voted in favour of the airport employment growth district.

These two items are major costs increasing the City’s municipal debt, with the water treatment plant improvements – which are required – being the largest driver of the debt increase.

Will Province Fund Clark Plan?

Clark’s position raises the question, will the province fund increased conventional bus service as part of The Big Move?

The challenge for all municipal candidates on transit platforms is that the province will not clarify what 100% funding means.

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