Service changes to HSR starting September 6

This article, from August 20, includes a news release from the HSR about service changes to their service, which will take effect on September 6.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

The Hamilton Street Railway will be returning to weekday service at a summer level with 100% seating capacity.

The HSR stated it its news release  on August 20 that they are increasing capacity from the current 2/3 seating to a 100% seating capacity and is expecting to meet riders’ needs based on current and near-term projected ridership levels.

For more details, please continue reading below…

Service Changes for HSR

The full HSR news release can be found here.

Hamilton, ON – Beginning Sunday, September 6th, HSR will return to weekday service at a summer level on most routes, with the equivalent of a 100% seated capacity. This would mean a combination of seated/standing 30 customers on a 40-foot bus and 50 customers on a 60-foot articulated bus. Note: the seats closest to the operator on the NOVAS will remain blocked and there is no plan to move the yellow lines.

Throughout all stages of the pandemic, recovery, and re-opening, HSR has consulted with and taken recommendations from the Provincial Medical Officer of Health, City of Hamilton’s Public Health Services, and the Emergency Operation Center. HSR continues to support the City of Hamilton’s Hamilton Reopens Phase 3 efforts; while balancing the customer experience and ensuring there is a reliable and sustainable plan for service to continue.

Operating at a summer level of service includes improved frequency and span on weekdays, complemented with school extras to meet demand peaks as required. This will result in increased service for customers compared to the current service levels implemented as a result of COVID-19 measures. Customers are encouraged to check their route specific timetable for details.

By increasing capacity from the current 2/3 to a 100% seated capacity, this is expected to meet customers’ needs based on current and near-term projected ridership levels. HSR will continue to monitor and add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.

Customers are reminded, as per the City of Hamilton By-law 20-155, masks or face coverings (some exceptions) are required when using public transit; this includes HSR, TransCab and DARTS.

Schedule Highlights

  • Routes 1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 12, 16, 18, 20, 42, 43, 44, 52A are operating regular weekday service.
  • Routes 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 41, 55, 58 are operating a reduced weekday service (service reduced during peak periods only).
  • Routes 9 – ROCK GARDENS (Sundays/Holidays) and 56 – CENTENNIAL (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays) are operating their normal weekend schedule.
  • Route 51 – UNIVERSITY is cancelled.
  • Days of service and hours of service (approx.) are listed in the description of the route on the PDF schedules page, but not frequency (as it changes numerous times each day during the weekday, Saturday and Sunday).  Customers can look at the PDF timetables for each route description for further details on frequencies.

For schedules, FAQ’s and more information, please visit: www.hamilton.ca/hsr

Background Information

  • As Hamilton Reopens, more City and public facilities and services will resume operations, including schools for elementary and secondary students, increasing the demand for public transit.
  • As a result of COVID-19 physical distancing measures implemented; current ridership levels for transit are averaging approximately 50% of normal trip volumes compared to the same period last year.
  • Parents of secondary school students will have the choice of whether to send their children back to in-person classes at one of 4 milestones: beginning at the start of the school year, after Thanksgiving Day, after Christmas break or after March Break. At this time, it is unknown how many secondary students will be returning to in-person classes in the fall.
  • HWDSB and HWCDSB will follow an adjusted schedule for secondary school students who are returning to in-person classes, which may shift a portion of the HSR’s afternoon peak periods on transit to mid-day.
  • The number of students returning to in-person classes will impact requirements for additional HSR service using “school extras.” The recent announcement by both the HWDSB and HWCDSB School Boards regarding half days will result in the operation of mid-day school extras. The PM peak school extras will not operate initially. We will continue to monitor and add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys.
  • Most post-secondary students will not be returning to in-person classes in the fall. Mohawk College, Redeemer University and McMaster University campuses will continue to have service provided on nearby routes that will operate on a summer-level of service, to support students who are required to attend in-person instruction, labs and assessments.  As a result, Route 51 University service will not operate.
  • Post-secondary students who require transit can purchase standard adult fares ($2.50/trip) or an adult monthly pass ($110/month) using their PRESTO card.  Otherwise, a cash fare is $3.25 per trip.
  • Customers can plan their trips, find their schedules and get their next bus information using the following options:
    • Online trip planner: https://hsrnow.hamilton.ca
    • Mobile apps: HSRnow, Google Maps, Transit App, Mon Transit (search the app store for details)
    • Online PDF downloadable route schedules: www.hamilton.ca/hsr
    • Text messaging: Send “HSRnow  ####” to 25370 (where #### = stop number)
    • Phone: 905-527-4441 for automated next bus information and to speak with a customer service representative who are available 7 days-a-week, from 7:30 am to 8 pm
    • MacNab Terminal platform displays
    • HSR APP – details on this launch coming soon!

In an effort to ensure the ongoing safety of using public transit as service levels increase, HSR continues to implement the following measures:

  • Performing additional cleaning and enhanced sanitizing of high-touch surfaces.
  • Implementing improved touchless PRESTO fare payment technology fleet-wide.
  • Adhering to the City’s By-law 20-155 requiring that all customers (with some exceptions) wear a face covering or mask while traveling on transit and waiting in a bus shelter.
  • Availability of a free disposable mask at HSR’s Hunter St. Ticket Office (36 Hunter St.) and Municipal Service Centres that sell HSR fare media for customers who need to obtain a mask to ride the bus.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

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