March 23: HSR asking customers to travel only if absolutely necessary and other updates from the City of Hamilton

The following article contains multiple department updates as of March 23, 2020 from the City of Hamilton concerning HSR essential service, waste collection, parking services, vulnerable citizens and playground closures.

Sample image of the bruce park play equipment

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The City of Hamilton provided multiple updates today regarding HSR service, waste services, playground closures, supports for vulnerable citizens, and parking updates as it works towards putting more safety measures in place due to the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton.

For more details, please continue reading below…

COVID-19 Update: HSR asking customers to travel only if absolutely necessary, changes to waste collections and other updates

The full press release from the City of Hamilton can be found here.

HAMILTON, ON – Earlier today, Mayor Fred Eisenberger joined Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, and the City’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Director, Paul Johnson, to update media and the community on the City’s response to COVID-19.

As of noon today, there are 32 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton.

At the time of this media release, City staff are reviewing the Province of Ontario’s announcement from earlier today. More information related to essential and non-essential City services will be available tomorrow.

Some operational updates from the City are listed below.

HSR Updates

Essential Travel Only
As an additional measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton, the City and HSR are asking that customers use HSR only if absolutely necessary to pick up essentials such as groceries, to attend medical appointments, or to go to work if they are not able to work from home. Customers experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who are going to an assessment centre for testing are asked to avoid public transit.

Customers are requested to practice physical distancing while riding the bus as much as possible. HSR is continuing to adjust schedules and is adding supplemental service on selected routes to help mitigate crowding and improve physical distancing.

Yesterday, HSR ridership was down by nearly 20,000 people from the same Sunday as last year.

  • Closure: Hunter St Go Station Ticket Counter
    Tuesday March 24, 2020 HSR Customer Service Centre (36 Hunter St. E.) will be closed until at least April 6, 2020. Customers will be required to wait until further notice to purchase any HSR fare products, including tickets, passes, DARTS Books, Taxi Scrips, and renewals of Senior Annual Passes.
  • Senior Annual Pass holders do not need to renew their passes even though their current Pass may expire March 31, 2020. We want to assure you that you will not be denied service, and will have ample time to renew your pass once service is back to normal.
  • Suspension of Taxi Scrip Service
    The Taxi Script program has been suspended until further notice. If you are a current Taxi Scrip or DARTS client, you may call 905-529-1717 to book an essential trip, using your Client ID number.
  • New applications for ATS/DARTS can be mailed to ATS, P.O. Box 340 Mount Hope, Ontario L0R 1W0.

Waste Collection Update

At the time of this media release, the City is continuing to work through issues with our waste collections service. Residents who had waste collection scheduled for today but did not get their waste collected, should put their waste out at the curb again tomorrow. We are continuing to review the provision of waste collections and will provide updates as we have them.

Leaf and Yard waste suspended beginning tomorrow
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, the City will suspend curbside pick up of leaf and yard waste until further notice. Residents are directed to either hold on to their leaf and yard waste, or take it to one of the Community Recycling Centres.

Keeping Collectors Healthy
The City of Hamilton waste collection crews are still out on the streets, picking up green bins, blue boxes and garbage. While crews have their own health and safety procedures in place, residents are asked to help protect them on the job:

  • Place used tissues and napkins in the garbage, rather than the green bin.
  • Please use liner bags (either paper or certified compostable plastic) in the green bin.
  • Please ensure that all material placed in garbage bins is bagged, not kept loose.
  • Please follow the advice of Public Health and keep a physical social distance of at least two metres from waste collection staff.

These steps will help protect the health of crews who handle thousands of bins, bags and boxes each week.

Playgrounds Update

Playground structures Closed
Beginning tomorrow, the City will be posting closure signs at all playground structures across Hamilton. Residents are advised that playground structures are closed until further notice. The City is strongly recommending that residents do not use City park equipment. Residents are welcome to enjoy park greenspaces in small groups while observing physical distancing practices, however, they should be aware that park equipment and play structures are not sanitized.

Parking Updates

In order to accommodate members of the community who may be self-isolating, working from home or caring for others, while balancing road safety, availability of parking and safe traffic circulation, the City is announcing the following updates to parking:

  • 30 free minutes at all municipal car parks (except York Parkade and Convention Centre) and at all on-street meters in order to support drop-off, pick-up and take-out services.
  • Until further notice, enforcement of the following parking regulations has been suspended:
    • 12-hour time limit for parking on City streets.
    • On-street signed time limit regulations such as 1, 2 and 3 hour time limits in residential areas.
    • Time limit exemption permits for City Streets with posted time limits.
    • Parking related fines for vehicles with expired Ontario License Plate Stickers.
    • Commercial Vehicle Time Limit Regulation for vehicles that may need to remain on street during this time.
    • The above parking offences may still be enforced in exceptional circumstances where a significant traffic safety, and/or of community concern exists.
  • All other parking offences will continue to be enforced. This includes No Stopping and No Parking Offences. This is to ensure traffic and pedestrian safety.
  • For any inquires relating to the above please contact parking@hamilton.ca or call 905-540-6000

Supporting our vulnerable residents

The City’s EOC activated a lead last week to ensure that we are supporting our most vulnerable residents. To date, that work focuses on:

  • Supporting vulnerable residents identified and referred by Public Health to assist with food and basic needs
  • Providing and coordinating emergency funding to extend services and supports at some local agencies to continue service until the end of April
  • Collaboration with youth and other drop-in centres to expand their services as a location for hygiene and food
  • Establishing an Isolation Centre to provide food and shelter to any individuals that currently are in the shelter system that test positive for COVID-19
  • Exploring online supports for children and older adults to help during their stay-at-home period
  • Looking at ways to help housing providers support their residents and review and change their processes to reduce contact during unit offers, unit viewing and lease signing processes

Additional Resources

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ward 8 office here.