Another summer of inadequate service coming for 56 CENTENNIAL

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On Sunday, June 25th the Hamilton Street Railway will switch to summer schedules. As per every year that means that many routes will adopt summer schedules which sees a reduction in frequencies. One such route is the north-south route on the edge of Stoney Creek, the 56 CENTENNIAL. However this reduction does at best a disservice since the route was changed in 2012.

Prior to 2012 route 56 was known as 56 CONFEDERATION PARK. The route was a summer only service which only ran during the summer months and only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The routing for this old route is the same as the current incarnation 56 CENTENNIAL except for two differences. The route did not service the Walmart Supercentre plaza as it did not exist previously and the route had far better service times.

Here’s a little bit of history.

As previously mentioned route 56 CONFEDERATION PARK only operated in the summer months on weekends. During this time the route ran on a 45 minute frequency between Eastgate Terminal and the Lakeland Pool loop, stopping at Wild Waterworks in both directions. The first bus departed Eastgate at 9:15 AM and the last bus headed towards the beach at 8:30 PM. The final departure headed back towards Eastgate from the Wild Waterworks waterpark in Confederation Park was 9:00 PM, a full hour after the waterpark closes in the summer.

Since 2012 the frequency of this service as well as the hours of operation have been reduced.

For the last five years, with the upcoming 2017 summer schedule included, the new 56 CENTENNIAL will once again have a service frequency of 60 minutes and will end service for the day earlier than prior to 2012. The first bus departs Eastgate at 10:00 AM and the last bus heads towards the beach at 5:15 PM. The final departure headed back towards Eastgate from the Wild Waterworks waterpark in Confederation Park will once again be at 5:52 PM, more than two full hours before the waterpark closes in the summer.

When you consider that from June 24th thru August 13th Wild Waterworks is open from 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM, while August 14th thru September 4th the park is open 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, these service hours for 56 CENTENNIAL are not good enough. This is in addition to the fact that the Walmart Supercentre, the construction of which was the catylist for the route changing to daily service, is open from 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM daily.

Back in 2014, city staff opted not to improve the service standards, frequency, of hours of operation for 56 CENTENNIAL.

For those taking transit to these trip generators to or from work, 56 CENTENNIAL is not an option.

For those taking transit to these trip generators to or from work, 56 CENTENNIAL is not an option.

We need to do better and act smarter with public transit in Hamilton.