Hamilton’s transportation task force starts to take shape

The Hamilton Transportation Task Force will meet for the first time next Tuesday.

The task force was created with much fanfare by the Ontario government, following cancellation of Hamilton’s light rail transit (LRT) project, to offer advice on how the province should otherwise spend $1 billion earmarked for transportation and transit improvements in the city.

Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, cancelled the province’s $1 billion commitment to LRT, after capital and operating cost estimates for the 14-kilometre rapid transit line from McMaster University to Eastgate Square soared as high as $5.5 billion.

A letter from Mulroney appointing City Manager Janette Smith to the task force of non-elected representatives was received by city council during its meeting on Wednesday evening.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger agrees Smith is the right person to represent council’s interests, even if he’s no fan of the process.

Eisenberger says “I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in the way the province is dealing with this,” adding that he hopes “the group of five will come to a conclusion that the province can buy into and say they’ve done right by Hamilton.”

The identifies of the other members of the task force have not yet been revealed.

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