Take a ride on Hamilton's proposed LRT route

Take a ride on the B-Line to see five key places along the route and some of their implications — good and bad, depending how you look at it.

Premier announced $1B for Hamilton rapid transit push Tuesday

International Village between Catharine and Wellington streets would be closed to car traffic under the city's plan for LRT. (Steer Davies Gleave)

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced $1B for Hamilton's light rapid transit dreams Tuesday, and now's a good time to start picturing where the system would go for those who haven't been hanging on every political detail.

Here are the basics to get you up to speed on what's been designed. The $1.4 billion B-Line LRT project is designed to run from McMaster to Eastgate Square.
The proposed design for Hamilton's B-line LRT runs from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. (Steer Davies Gleave)
Planners drew up a route that will go: 

  • Main Street: From McMaster to the 403
  • King Street: 403 through downtown to King/Main
  • Main Street: Queenston Road to Eastgate Square (At first, the line will stretch only to Queenston Road.)

Take a ride on the B-Line to see five key places along the route and some of their implications — good and bad, depending how you look at it. 

McMaster University: western terminus

McMaster University would have two stops: One near Cootes Dr. and one in front of the Children's Hospital. (Terry Asma/CBC)
Installing higher-level transit on McMaster's campus would be aimed at serving its 23,000 undergraduate students, not to mention graduate students and staff.

But it's also hoped to be a draw for Hamilton Health Sciences staff and patients and families going to the Children's Hospital.

There'd be two stops, one by the hospital entrance, one close to Cootes Drive.

18 stops from McMaster to Eastgate

In addition to the terminus stops at McMaster and (eventually) Eastgate, there'd be 16 on-street stops.

From McMaster, the line proceeds east along Main Street W. over Highway 403 on a yet-to-be-designed bridge over to King St. W. to go into downtown. 

Here's what a stop would look like, on King St. W. near Fortino's.
What an LRT stop would look like on King Street W. and Dundurn St. (Steer Davies Gleave)

King and James: Jackson Square

The province wants to see a connection to GO Transit, so a spur line may eventually be added to connect the main service to the James St. N. GO station.
The intersection of King and James streets. (Steer Davies Gleave)

King St. E.: International Village

These plans invoke memories of the dramatic arguments over the now-defunct bus lane, but take it up a level: 

The road would be closed to cars between Catharine St. and Wellington St. The plans call for redirecting traffic from westbound to eastbound between Catharine St. and Mary St. so people can drive into the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Effort Square parking structure.
International Village between Catharine and Wellington streets would be closed to car traffic under the city's plan for LRT. (Steer Davies Gleave)

King St. and Main St. 

Past downtown, the line would continue on King St. E. until the delta at Main St. E., when it would switch over and follow Main and Queenston roads out to Eastgate.

The permanence of LRT is expected to inspire development along the corridor, and could prove especially influential along the eastern portion of the line. 
The line picks up on Main Street E. after Queenston Road. (Steer Davies Gleave)

Eastgate Square

This is the eastern terminus of the existing bus B-line, and was the original end of the line for the LRT route. Tuesday's announcement indicates that at first, the LRT line will go only part of the way to Eastgate. That would leave the eastern end of the city off of the economic uplift radar, at least for now. 

Want to feel like you're actually riding the rails? Watch a video of portions of the route: 

kelly.bennett@cbc.ca | @kellyrbennett


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