Let City Council hear your support for the Bus Lane

Content-tab Support Hamilton Transit

Support Hamilton Transit is a local movement, gathering Hamilton citizens to petition City Council to come to the decision to keep and improve the bus lane using the existing dedicated provincial funds as a positive first step in their promise to double transit ridership by 2020.

The mission: Ensure the remaining Metrolinx Quick Wins capital budget is used for its original purpose: to implement and improve a downtown dedicated bus lane.

In order to achieve this vision, we need to send a loud, clear signal to Hamilton City Council.  We need the support of thousands within our community to let Council know our position when they vote on our behalf next week.
Sign the Petition!
Our city is poised to make a move that will improve public transit through the downtown core with an existing provincial budget.  City Council is racked with indecision and misinformation, has already voted themselves into a deadlock and a new vote is occurring next week that will decide the fate of the year long pilot bus lane project moving forward.

The bus lane staff report, which came out in January, recommends keeping the bus lane and making improvements.  The report showed the following benefits:

  • Even though the bus lane is only two kilometres long, it had a significant positive impact on bus schedule adherence. "If the [bus lane] were expanded along the Main-King-Queenston corridor these positive effects would be expected to increase, resulting in greater overall reliability."
  • Ridership along the B-Line corridor has increased by an amazing 20 percent over the past five years, compared to just 4 percent ridership growth over the entire system. The Main-King-Queenston corridor now accounts for 42 percent of total ridership on the HSR. "There is evidence that, from a transit ridership perspective, greater investment in this corridor is warranted.
  • The City counted the number of vehicles and bus passengers at King and Bay during morning rush hour, and found that the bus was carrying as many people as the three vehicle lanes combined (1,104 passengers and 1,190 vehicles).
  • 72 percent of surveyed bus operators said the bus lane made their transit operations easier, and only 17 percent said the bus lane made it more difficult.
  • 61 percent of bus operators reported that their passengers liked the bus lane, while 13 percent reported that their passengers disliked it and 26 percent reported that the feedback they received from passengers was mixed.
benefits courtesy of this RTH article
 
Tweets from Matthew Green, Councillor of Ward Three indicate that City Council has not heard much ridership advocacy.  Without our voices, this bus lane, which clearly improves public transit in the downtown core, could die before it has a chance to improve and make an even bigger impact, informing future public transit decisions throughout the city.
 
With so many clear benefits and recommendations to keep the bus lane, we cannot afford to let City Council strip us of this opportunity to improve transit in our city right now and to learn from future data for transit planning.  To use the leftover funds to kill the bus lane project is a big missed opportunity to learn more about how public transit can help Hamilton reach its 2020 transit goals.  Please lend your support! Sign the campaign, share, like, tweet and do what you can to ensure that Hamilton continues to improve its existing transit infrastructure.

The Petition

Whereas, the official recommendation from the report at the end of the 1 year pilot term of the bus lane was to keep it and address concerns outlined in the report to gain more data for improving transit in Hamilton
 
Whereas, the City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020 and the Main-King-Queenstown B-Line corridor where the bus lane currently exists accounts for 42 percent of total ridership of the HSR and clearly could benefit from improvements funded by the leftover provincial budget from the Quick Wins capital budget
 
Whereas, the bus lane allows for firmer bus stop times, making public transit a more viable option for more people in the city, thus increasing ridership
 
Whereas, passengers taking the bus on the B-Line bus lane corridor match the amount of commuters in the 3 traffic lanes combined during morning rush hour and should be considered just as equally as cars in infrastructure planning
 
Whereas, more people using public transit lessens the amount of cars on the road, increasing air quality, decreasing road maintenance costs

Therefore:

The undersigned urge Hamilton City Council to vote in favour of keeping the bus lane and making improvements using the leftover funds from the Metrolinx Quick Wins capital budget to explore how public transit can be improved in Hamilton.

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