Frequently Asked LRT Questions

The Hamilton LRT will feature new, modern light rail vehicles and offer rapid, reliable, safe and convenient transit service on the B-line from McMaster University through downtown Hamilton to Eastgate Square.

There will also be a connection to the existing Hamilton GO Centre Station via a new high-order pedestrian connection on Hughson Street.

Your LRT questions answered

A video series that answers the most common questions about Hamilton’s LRT project. Videos will be posted regularly, check back often.

Visit YouTube Hamilton LRT for an entire list of questions and answers.

  • The Hamilton B-line LRT will service 17 stops along Main Street and King Street.
  • The route will run from McMaster University in the west to Eastgate Square in the east.
  • There will be a connection to the existing Hamilton GO Centre Station via a pedestrian connection on Hughson Street. 

Major construction of the LRT is scheduled for 2019 to 2024. 


Hamilton’s LRT will stimulate economic growth and contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Hamilton. The LRT will be part of a multi-modal network of transportation options throughout the city. This will:

  • attract new investors
  • grow our economy
  • broaden the tax base
  • bring more jobs to Hamilton


The LRT trains are clean and “green” with no emissions from the vehicle. Environmental benefits include:

  • Reducing air pollution from vehicle emissions and greenhouse gases which can contribute to cleaner air and reduce noise pollution.
  • By increasing transit ridership, LRT can contribute to reducing the amount of vehicle kilometres travelled and associated emissions.

Transportation and Mobility

The investment in Hamilton’s LRT will provide a catalyst for the development of high quality, safe, sustainable and affordable transportation options for citizens. LRT will be integrated with:

  • the local Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) network
  • pedestrian connections
  • cycling routes
  • The SoBi bike share system

Integrated Transportation in Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

Hamilton LRT is an integral part of Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan. It will provide residents and businesses in Hamilton with fast, reliable, convenient and integrated transit, including connections to the greater Toronto and Hamilton area through GO Transit.

The LRT project is just the first piece of a broader rapid transit strategy for Hamilton. The City’s overall Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan reflect a long-term vision. The vision encompasses five rapid transit corridors, connecting key destinations across the city (as shown in the BLAST network map).

City Council also recently approved a 10-year Local Transit Strategy which outlines short term actions for City Council to continue developing Hamilton’s transit network. 

The Hamilton LRT will stimulate economic growth and contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Hamilton. It will be part of a multi-modal network of transportation options throughout the city that will attract new investors, grow our economy, broaden the tax base and bring more jobs to Hamilton.

Implementing LRT now is planning for the transportation needs of future generations. It will allow more efficient travel through the lower city. 

Hamilton Long Term LRT BLAST concept for web

  • click image to download (320 KB)

Each end of the LRT route will have an end-of-line terminal. The terminals allow seamless integration with other transit systems, including HSR buses, GO Transit and Sobi bike share. There will also be a pedestrian connection from the LRT corridor to the Hunter Street GO Station. 

There will be a crossover near the end of the line. The trains will switch from one track to the other. The operator will then walk to the other side of the train where there is another cab for driving.

Project details

The LRT route will be 14 kilometres.

There will be 17 stops.

The majority of stops are approximately 600 to 800 metres apart, with a few exceptions. This stop distance is similar to the current B-line express HSR service which helps keep transit moving at a rapid pace.   

Ensuring emergency access to the LRT corridor is extremely important.

  • The curbed barrier segregating the LRT tracks from other traffic will be mountable for emergency response and maintenance access.
  • Emergency vehicles can also access the tracks at major intersections where there is no barrier at all.  
  • We expect there to be one-car (30-metre) LRT trains on opening day of LRT service.
  • We are designing the B-line stops to accommodate two-car (60-metre) trains in the future as ridership grows.

The 10-Year Local Transit Strategy, approved by Council on March 11, 2015 provides short term actions for City Council to continue developing Hamilton’s transit network. Local transit service will be enhanced to meet service standards. It will feed the light rail transit (LRT) line and keep up with projected population growth (by 2041 the population of Hamilton is expected to grow to 780,000 people). The timing of the strategy has recently been modified slightly to take advantage of the acquisition of buses though the federal government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). Over the past two years, Hamilton has added 25 buses to its fleet.

Proposed 2024 routes of the existing Main/King Corridor bus services

(between Queenston Circle and McMaster University)

Please note that the network is still under review and the City is continuing to refine their re-routing plans. More details will be shared as they become available. 


From Queenston Circle
  • North on Strathearne Avenue
  • West on Dunsmure Road
  • West on King Street
  • South on Gage Avenue
  • West on Dunsmure Road
  • North on Sherman Avenue
  • West on Cannon Street
  • South on Wellington Street
  • West on Wilson Street
  • South on James to Hamilton GO Centre

Existing Route 1 - King service west of James Street is discontinued.


From Hamilton GO Centre
  • North on John Street
  • East on Main Street
  • East on King Street
  • East on Maple Avenue
  • South on Weir Street
  • East on Central Avenue
  • North on Rosewood Road to Queenston Circle

The route between Queenston Circle and Eastgate Square is under review.


Existing route is maintained to Hunter Street at John Street. Then as follows:
  • West on Hunter Street
  • North on Bay Street
  • West on Market Street
  • South on Queen Street
  • West on King Street
  • Existing route maintained to existing ends-of-line

  • Existing weekday peak-period trips that currently end at West Hamilton Loop are extended to Meadowlands.


Existing route is maintained

Route discontinued and replaced with LRT.


  • Existing route between Hamilton GO Centre and McMaster University is discontinued.
  • From McMaster LRT station, existing route is maintained to West Hamilton Loop.


From West Hamilton Loop
  • Existing route is maintained to McMaster LRT station.
  • Existing route between McMaster University and Hamilton GO Centre is discontinued.

Route remains unchanged, except for a proposed replacement of the Bell Manor Turnaround with an on-street turnaround via Milburn and Brockley. 

Route remains unchanged.  


Yes. Surplus buses will be available for redeployment to help feed the LRT line. Staff is still working on these plans and will report back to Council.

A new LRT-only bridge will be constructed over Highway 403 to transition the LRT from Main Street West across Highway 403 and onto King Street West. This avoids complications with the Highway 403 ramps.  The cost to build the bridge is part of the overall $1 billion project budget.

There is no technical report or study directly comparing an LRT project on King Street (between the Delta and the 403) versus Main Street (between the Delta and 403). In 2009, a Corporate Working Group (comprised of City staff from various disciplines across the corporation) analysed the options. The working group concluded that King Street was the best option which Council subsequently approved. There was also a significant amount of public and Council consultation on the proposed route during the original Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP).

The request for funding from the Province was based on the route detailed through the TPAP and Council directed staff to update the previously approved TPAP based on the changes in the Provincial announcement. A detailed summary about the past public consultations is provided below for reference.

Six formal rounds of public consultation / engagement have been undertaken; five as part of the Pre-Planning phase and the sixth as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) phase. Each round of public consultation featured several public open houses. A Rapid Transit Citizen Advisory Committee was also established in Summer 2010 to ensure regular engagement and input into the development of the project. This committee of 26 members was made up of members of the public, property owners in the corridor, and a number of stakeholder organizations.

There are several planning and policy documents that have guided the decision to implement rapid transit on King Street over the last several years. Most notably, “Putting People First”, the Downtown Secondary Plan was approved in 2008. This document pre-dated LRT discussions. Main Street and Cannon Street were identified as through streets with King Street and York Boulevard identified as key streets that run through downtown proper. King Street and York Boulevard were identified as more pedestrian focused-streets which cater to higher order transit (rapid transit). Other significant decision points were as follows:

  • In 2007-2009, the City carried out a Rapid Transit Feasibility Study looking at both LRT and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on both King Street and Main Street
  • In 2009, a Corporate Working Group identified King Street as the preferred alternative and all reports to Council going forward identified LRT on King Street
  • King Street has been Council-approved since 2009 and has been the focus of rapid transit planning since that time
  • The approved Environmental Project Report (EPR) that was approved in 2011 as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) identified King Street for the project. The EPR included extensive public consultation (see detailed summary above)
  • Council reaffirmed support for LRT on King Street on April 24, 2013. (Item 7.2, Page 9)

No. City Council specifically asked the Province to fund 100 per cent of the Capital costs for LRT and that is what the funding was provided for.  

Ride share services and autonomous vehicles are likely to reduce the cost of personal travel by automobile. This will make these services more competitive with transit travel, and likely divert trips from transit, particularly for short, local trips. However, in major corridors, these services (or technologies) differ little from today in terms of single-occupant-vehicle capacity so will not be able to manage the mass transit demands of BRT, LRT or other high order transit services.

The project remains on schedule for contract award in 2018 and for major construction to begin in 2019.

It is anticipated that the Hamilton LRT project will be delivered as a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain (DBFOM) contract using the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) delivery model. The AFP model transfers the appropriate risks to the consortium that will be selected to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the project. An important feature of the AFP delivery model is that public ownership and control of project is retained. These types of projects are commonly referred to as Public Private Partnerships. 

On February 2, 2017 Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for interested parties to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.

The RFQ, which closed March 29, 2017  is the first step in the procurement process to select a team to deliver the project. An evaluation of RFQ submissions will result in teams being prequalified; these teams will then be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) in Summer 2017. The RFP submissions received from the teams will be evaluated and the successful team will be selected to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project in 2018.

Decisions about operations and maintenance costs are yet to be determined, and will be subject to an agreement between the City and Province (Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation).

The final details will be concluded through the negotiations with the preferred proponent as part of the bid process that will include the operations and maintenance costs, but we do expect some elements of the Operations and Maintenance Agreement to come forward as available over the next year.  

At this point the expectation is that the procurement of the Hamilton LRT project will see the successful private-sector bidder operating and maintaining the LRT. It is anticipated that a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) model will used for the final procurement.

The required operating subsidy will be determined based on factors including the proposed operations plan (e.g., service frequency, hours of operations etc.), the fare structure for the LRT and the bids received through the procurement process.  The details will be addressed as part of negotiations on the Operations and Maintenance Agreement.

Decisions about revenue will be part of the negotiations for the Operating and Maintenance Agreement.  

Under the proposed delivery model, the successful proponent (referred to as Project Co) would be responsible for operating and maintaining the LRT system, including personnel decisions. This is similar to the GO Train network which is operated and maintained by Bombardier Transportation on behalf of Metrolinx.

No. The Project Agreement will be signed by Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario as project sponsors.

Yes. Council will also be asked to approve the execution of the Master Agreement and the Operating and Maintenance Agreement with Metrolinx once they are negotiated. Throughout project implementation Council may be required to approve other elements of the project as required, particularly in relation to City infrastructure. 

Opportunity for upsizing sewer/water pipes ~ $150 to $180 million

The single largest opportunity presented by the LRT project with respect to the underground infrastructure is the ability to upsize the existing pipes to facilitate development and address existing capacity issues (growth and storm water issues). To construct the LRT, Metrolinx would have to move just about every pipe in the corridor. Although the water and sewer pipes in this corridor are in good condition they are not necessarily in the optimal location or arrangement. The LRT project provides an opportunity to have the system optimized and upsized at a fraction of what it would have cost the City to do the same work on its own. This upsizing and optimization work is conservatively valued at a range of $150 million to $180 million.

Road reconstruction – net benefit to the City ~ $20 to $25 million

There are approximately 44 lane kilometres of road currently along the corridor. The City could be expected to conservatively spend $25 to $30 million on road improvements along the corridor over the next 30 to 40 years without LRT. As part of the LRT project the entire corridor would be reconstructed by the end of 2024 and only minor resurfacing would be required over the next 30 to 40 years at a cost of about $5 to 10 million. Therefore, the City's net benefit from this LRT-related road work would be in the $20 to $25 million range.

Overall net benefit for City of Hamilton Infrastructure ~ $205 million

Based on the summaries above, the overall net benefit to the City’s infrastructure as a result of the LRT project would be approximately $180 to $205 million. This does not include the cost to potentially replace or rehabilitate the Longwood Road Bridge or the associated municipal work at the Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility site.  

In terms of binding legal agreements with Metrolinx, the City has entered into a binding Real Estate Services Protocol and the confidentiality provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) are also binding. The City has also entered into numerous legal agreements such as professional services agreements, employment agreements, and leasing agreements.

As indicated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Metrolinx and the City of Hamilton, Hamilton is not responsible for any capital costs associated with the project unless specifically stated. Metrolinx intends to build the project as set out in the scope but it is always subject to eligible costs and budgets.

The project will be delivered using an Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) approach, which requires a fixed-price contract signed by Metrolinx and the successful proponent for the delivery of the project. The project budget will include appropriate contingency to accommodate design development and address unforeseen circumstances that may arise during construction. The AFP procurement process is designed to work with the bid teams to ensure that the project comes in at or below budget.

Metrolinx is responsible for all capital costs associated with the project unless the City decides to upsize or enhance City-owned infrastructure affected by the project. The City would be responsible for incremental costs related to the upgrades if it chose to do so, subject to Council approval. 

Metrolinx is confident that the approved project scope can be accommodated within the $1 billion budget. For added certainty, Metrolinx will complete a detailed pre-tender estimate prior to issuing the RFP to confirm that project costs remain in line with the approved project budget.

If bids came in over budget during the procurement process, scope reductions would be one option to address budget pressures, but it would depend on the size of the pressure.

As indicated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), Metrolinx would consult with Hamilton on any material changes to the project and provide an opportunity for the City’s input prior to making a final decision. Also, as stated in the MOA, Hamilton is not responsible for any capital costs associated with the project unless specifically stated.

The project team is currently working in partnership with the local hydro utility Alectra Utilities (formerly Horizon Utilities)) to assess power requirements for the project. Final costs will depend on the results of this work and will be confirmed through the procurement process to select the proponent that will build and operate the project. As part of the procurement process, bidders will be required to propose options to reduce energy use, both to reduce operating costs and to enhance sustainability.

We don’t know yet.We will be working with Metrolinx and the Province on this matter as per Councillor Collins’ motion from the General Issues Committee on October 25, 2016.We anticipate that this matter will be addressed as part of negotiations on the Operations and Maintenance Agreement.

To date, no formal Operations and Maintenance Agreements for Provincially-owned LRTs have been executed. The recent draft cost-sharing terms endorsed by the City of Toronto for LRT projects in that community represent the first step towards a formal O&M Agreement. The draft terms established that the City of Toronto will be responsible for operating and regular maintenance costs. The draft terms for an LRT O&M Cost-sharing Agreement in Toronto do not impact their Gas Tax revenues.

Metrolinx is working towards one simple, consistent approach to transit fares across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to benefit customers and improve the performance of the transportation network.

This means that transit travellers across the region would have a consistent approach for calculating and paying for their fares, regardless of where in the GTHA they were travelling and which transit service(s) they were using—making crossing municipal boundaries and switching between transit systems simple and hassle-free.

  • Fare integration can be as transformative as infrastructure projects, resulting in a greater number of competitive transit choices and an effectively expanded transit network.
  • GO Transit already has co-fare agreements with municipal transit providers outside of Toronto and the municipal transit systems outside of Toronto have agreements to provide free inter-municipal transfers.
  • The PRESTO smartcard system lays the foundation for fare integration; with the completion of its rollout on the TTC by the end of 2016, PRESTO will offer a common and modern method of payment throughout the region.

The existing approach to fares in our region is complex, and finding a solution requires a significant amount of planning and cooperation.

Metrolinx is currently studying four options. An update is expected in the fall, 2017.

It is the City’s position that the fares for LRT should be consistent with HSR fares (which are set by Council) and that the LRT will remain a service that riders can transfer on and off at no extra cost.

Metrolinx shares the City’s objective for a seamless, easy transfer between HSR and the LRT, including integrated fares.  Fare levels and structure will be addressed as part of the Operations and Maintenance Agreement.

The 2010 Metrolinx Benefits Case Analysis estimated that the LRT would generate approximately 5,800 direct and indirect ‘person years’ of employment during the construction phase. Person years is the industry standard unit of measurement for estimating construction employment impacts.  

Under the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015, the Province committed to providing local economic and community benefits for large infrastructure projects. Metrolinx will work closely with the City and local stakeholders to develop a community benefits framework for the LRT project.  However, we cannot legally require all labour on this project to be reserved for local residents only.

For infrastructure projects to be successful, the companies delivering them must have a sound understanding of Ontario’s business and regulatory landscape. Since 2012, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) has required that all companies bidding on Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) procurements demonstrate familiarity with local building code requirements, health and safety regulations, and other regulatory measures applicable to a given project. 

Local companies typically provide a significant contribution towards large infrastructure projects. Past experience demonstrates that Canadian and international bidders will seek local partners because of the following advantages:

  • proven experience of local contractors
  • knowledge of local conditions
  • experience with local labour pool
  • not having to provide travel and accommodation expenses for out-of-town workers

Unless otherwise directed by Council, the City will not be compensating businesses for construction losses. We are committed to working with affected businesses to provide marketing support and other assistance throughout construction to mitigate the impacts.  

We are working on a parking and loading strategy that will address some of these concerns.  Additionally, our Community Connectors are gathering feedback from affected businesses during visits that will help shape our plans.  

Metrolinx is supporting the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Downtown BIA and International Village BIA, in launching a four-part workshop series aimed at preparing businesses along the corridor for the impacts of construction. The first workshop was held June 6, 2017 focusing on construction experiences of others who have “been there.”

Additional workshops will be scheduled late summer/early fall, 2017 and will feature a field trip-type event where business owners can sign-up to visit the Waterloo LRT corridor; another workshop focusing on strategies to assist in developing comprehensive customer lists and leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) software systems; and a final workshop that will focus on the benefits of social media and building an effective online retail presence. Please visit for more details about the workshop series.  

Yes, we expect construction to be completed in phases along the route. Construction staging will be determined based on proposed construction schedules submitted by proponents during the procurement process.  

The majority of the properties that received a notification so far are commercial. Metrolinx compensates property owners in accordance with the Provincial Expropriations Act. Where circumstances warrant, this can include documented costs associated with relocation.

Yes. Metrolinx will be responsible for acquiring properties required for the project. Metrolinx will engage with affected property owners and will attempt to reach a negotiated settlement on mutually agreeable terms. In certain cases, Metrolinx may start the expropriation process while negotiations are underway.  This parallel approach is used to ensure that all necessary lands are available to start construction on schedule. 

In cases where the expropriation process has begun, Metrolinx would continue to negotiate with property owners to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. If an agreement is reached expropriation proceedings can be discontinued.

The timelines for property acquisition will ensure that all necessary properties are acquired by the time the successful bidder begins their construction schedule. While the negotiations on compensation through an expropriation process can take time to resolve, the actual transfer of ownership occurs in a predictable timeframe that would not delay the project.

Our plans do not include park and ride stations. But, we are working closely with HSR who is developing a park and ride strategy at key transit hubs across the city

It is anticipated that the light rail vehicles will be included as part of the project procurement. There are several benefits of including the vehicles in the project procurement:

  • Transfers the risks associated with the delivery and quality of the vehicles to the proponent
  • Provides proponents with greater schedule certainty
  • Allows Project Co. to optimize vehicle design including length, consists, etc.
  • Allows Project Co. to optimize vehicle procurement and stagger delivery of vehicles to meet ridership requirements
  • Simplifies systems integration between the vehicles and track/systems operations

The successful private sector consortium will be responsible for the disposal of all material from various excavations and they shall adhere to all Provincial and City standards with respect to the proper disposal of material.

Metrolinx is committed to expanding GO Train service to the City of Hamilton as part of its ten-year plan to transform the GO rail network. Current plans include service to Toronto in the morning rush from Hamilton GO Centre every 15 minutes and from West Harbour GO Station every 30 minutes. This service would operate in reverse in the evening rush.

During weekday midday and evenings, and on weekends, there would be hourly service in both directions between Union Station and Hamilton GO Centre downtown.

For more information visit:           

The construction at West Harbour is part of the Metrolinx ten-year plan to transform the GO rail network and our commitment to expand GO Train service to the City of Hamilton.

Service levels west of Burlington GO Station, including service levels at Aldershot, are dependent on infrastructure and service agreements with CN and CP, who own the rail corridors. Final plans may vary as the 10-year program evolves.

Metrolinx is closely working with CN to finalize construction plans for the new track over the Desjardins’ bridge and any other infrastructure required to bring this new track into service. Metrolinx will continue to update the community and stakeholders as this project progresses.

Yes. This is an ongoing issue for HSR and the source of many complaints. HSR is making progress to reduce ‘pass bys’ on the B-Line by switching to all articulated buses and by adding more service on other routes in the King-Main-Queenston corridor. 

According to information from the 2011 Transportation Tomorrow Survey (a comprehensive travel survey conducted in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area once every five years), 39.1% (9,032) of commuting trips to Ward 2 originate from Wards 1 to 3, and 21% (4,848) originate from Wards 7 to 8.

According to information from the 2011 Transportation Tomorrow Survey, 19.8% or 4,579 people, work and live downtown.   

History: LRT and Hamilton

A Benefits Case Analysis was completed by Metrolinx in 2010. 

Six formal rounds of public consultation/engagement have been undertaken; five as part of the Pre-Planning phase and the sixth as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) phase. Each round of public consultation featured several public open houses. A Rapid Transit Citizen Advisory Committee was also established in Summer 2010 to ensure regular engagement and input into the development of the project. This committee of 26 members was made up of members of the public, property owners in the corridor and a number of stakeholder organizations.

Details of public consultations:

  • 21 opportunities total + formation of Rapid Transit Citizen Advisory Committee)
  • Two Open Houses were held in May of 2008 following the completion of the Rapid Transit Feasibility Study (FTFS) Phase 1
  • Two Community Update Meetings were held in December 2008
  • Two Property Owners Workshops were held in February 2009
  • Three Community Update Meetings were held in June 2009 on the options being investigated and the next steps for the project
  • A Rapid Transit Citizen Advisory Committee (RTCAC) was established in Summer 2010
  • An Open House was held on September 30, 2010 to give the public an update on project progress and to introduce the Rapid Transit Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Seven Public Open Houses were held between January and February 2011
  • Four Open Houses were held in August 2011 after the Notice of Commencement was issued

Community engagement

Yes. The exact timing for this is still to be confirmed.

One of the biggest concerns of the businesses during large construction projects is anticipating impacts that may arise from construction. Considerations such as business deliveries, local parking, and garbage pick-up are important and not overlooked. We are committed to working together to ensure the continued viability of local businesses during construction.

The LRT outreach team will be visiting every affected property (nearly 1,400) along the corridor twice per year for the duration of the project to share information, gather valuable input, answer questions and address concerns.

What to expect

Trains will come about every 6 minutes during the peak hours.

We expect it to take around 32 minutes to travel from end to end. 

The operation of a light rail vehicle (LRV) in snow will not be an issue, and should there be any fear of icing up during particularly inclement weather, they will be run through the night to keep the catenary lines clear of ice. The consistent running of the LRV will also keep the transit way clear of any snow build up.

LRT systems successfully run in many other cities that experience harsh winter conditions, including Calgary, Edmonton and Minneapolis.

There is a strong connection between cycling and transit so bicycles will be accommodated on the light rail vehicles. Metrolinx will also be working with the City to identify opportunities for bike racks and bike share facilities at various stops along the corridor.

Although the specific vehicle is yet to be confirmed, comparable LRT vehicles (one car) generally have a standard capacity of 130 passengers, seated and standing. Currently, the standard capacity for an articulated HSR bus is about 68 and a regular bus is about 44 (combined seated and standing).