Somewhat overlooked during the 2017 budget process among all of the hoopla with the endless LRT debate in Hamilton, as well as the deferral of the 10-year transit plan by council, are the other transit related notes hidden within the budget.
Many of the items that are listed in the budget are items that are partially being funded through the federal government’s PTIF, which stands for Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The fund pays for 50% of the capital costs of approved projects as long as the municipality picks up the remaining cost.
Projects included in this funding, which are approved in the 2017 capital budget, include “226 automated passenger counters” to accurately count actual transit usage and the “Design and planning of New Maintenance & Storage Facility in lower Hamilton.”
One of the notes in the transit budget which was unexpected comes with a single line entry – $2.5 million towards Limeridge Mall Terminal Redevelopment.
Aside from this single line, repeated multiple times in the budget, there is no other information anywhere on the City of Hamilton website.
The existing Limeridge Transit Terminal was funded by the Ministry of Transportation at a cost of $450,000 back in 1997. Cadillac Fairview granted HSR a 10 year lease, for a fee of $1 per year, starting in 1997. Cadillac Fairview has since renewed the lease, which has an expiry date of 2017.
Upon reaching out to the Public Works department there isn’t very much information about the project yet.
“There is $2.5 million set aside for reconstruction up at the Limeridge terminal this year,” confirmed Jasmine Graham from the City Manager’s office. “The budget will be used to make improvements to bus operations and passenger safety and we will be working with Cadillac Fairview on the project.”
Back in 2013 I submitted a proposal to the City of Hamilton with ideas for a redesign of the Limeridge Mall Transit Terminal, which is a challenge for both motorists and pedestrians. That proposal has also been shared with current transit director Debbie Dalle Vedove for consideration during the design process.