A new survey suggests Hamiltonians are the most aware — and least supportive — of major LRT projects planned by Metrolinx.
Top LRT spokesperson Jamie Robinson suggested the “unique and ongoing debate” in Hamilton is partly to blame, but also expressed hope a new outreach campaign is slowly getting through to skeptical residents.
Regardless, the results underline the political challenges facing a $1-billion project that is once again destined to be an election issue — despite full provincial funding for the build and tens of millions already spent.
The survey by GQR Canada, previewed at this week’s Metrolinx board meeting, was designed to gauge support for the agency and its new LRT lines underway in Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton.
The “mixed mode” survey used phone calls as well as web surveys to reach 800 Hamiltonians — half from a broad LRT corridor, the other half city-wide.
A survey synopsis shows at least 80 per cent of surveyed residents in Toronto and Mississauga were generally supportive of LRT projects like Eglinton, Finch West and Hurontario. In each area, the level of support also grew after an explanation of expected benefits.
But not so in Hamilton, where support “dips substantially” to 59 per cent — with or without the explanation. At the same time, 85 per cent of Hamilton respondents were aware of the project — the highest percentage among LRT project areas.