Hamilton’s $200 million bus mansion

Remember the Provincial Sales Tax that you paid for on top of the $20.00 for your new shirt? Well, some of it is going to Hamilton’s proposed Ten Year Local Transit Strategy – including the building of a giant new bus garage.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 8.27.02 PM

Compared to bus garages in other cities, Hamilton’s bus garage will cost much more. Kevin Love of Raise the Hammer did a Benchmark Study that looked at the cost of the new bus garage compared to other cities. Firstly, he standardized the value of the garages of different sizes by finding the cost/bus. Then, he got some astounding results. Toronto’s bus garage costs around $724,000/bus, and Calgary’s around $653,000/bus. And Hamilton? Well, if we use the number of buses that will be purchased in the HSR Ten Year Plan (126 buses), Hamilton’s bus garage costs a grand total of $1,587,000/bus. However, the Public Works Department claims that if the bus garage were filled (with 225 busses), it would cost only $888,889/bus.

The Public Works Department believes that this size is optimal and would allow space for future growth of bus fleets. Many are very happy that we will be doubling our current bus fleet of 226, suggesting that we will have more public transportation possibilities.

Others believe that a bus garage that is this extravagant should not be the foremost priority with our current provincial budget.

What does it mean to you?