City politicians expect news on James Street A-line spur
Minister and Metrolinx officials set to speak at GO station Thursday
Local politicians are expecting news about the fate of the James Street A-line LRT spur when Ontario’s transportation minister comes to town Thursday.
Minister Steven Del Duca and top Metrolinx officials are slated to make an unspecified announcement about “improving public transit” at the Hunter Street GO station at 9 a.m.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger acknowledged last month the provincial transit agency was rethinking the part of Hamilton’s $1-billion LRT plan that would see light rail cars travelling up a James Street spur to the new GO station in favour of a more “bus-oriented” approach.
Other sources told The Spectator some sort of express bus or dedicated bus rapid transit (BRT) service was being contemplated for the entire James Street-Upper James corridor, perhaps as far south as Rymal Road or the airport.
Coun. Sam Merulla said he understood the announcement to be a response to his motion last year calling on Metrolinx to incorporate more transit improvements to the A-line in tandem with the light rail transit project along the east-west B-line.
“I’m encouraged that they’re responding with a project amendment that will better incorporate the Mountain and its residents, as well as improve the sustainability of our entire transit system,” he said.
It’s also possible there is other transit news on the horizon, however.
CN and Metrolinx have been working to extend another railroad track from Aldershot to the West Harbour GO station with the eventual goal of upping infrequent GO Train service to the city.
A new bridge to allow for that track was added across the Desjardins Canal in December.
Metrolinx wouldn’t provide a timeline for that construction, other than to say it is “working closely with CN to finalize construction plans” for the new track.
The agency plans to extend more frequent train service to Hamilton within 10 years.
But it remains unclear when the new West Harbour station can expect to see more than two Toronto-bound trains leaving each morning.
The Hunter Street station, which is on a CPR-owned line, sees four trains each morning.