Category Archives: News

HSR launching new automated Twitter account: @HSRnow

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The City of Hamilton and the HSR announced on Monday that a new automated Twitter account will launch on Wednesday. This new account will be the outlet for service alerts for the transit agency.

The format for the new automated account is similar to that of the Hamilton Fire Department which also sends out automated alerts from dispatch over Twitter through the account @HFD_Incidents.

_20180320_073835The move is a step in the right direction for the transit agency, which has been beleaguered with issues of missing and cancelled buses in light of a manpower shortage. The automation of the new @HSRnow account should also alleviate some of the workload of the person responsible for social media to focus on customer service and not a steady stream of bus cancellations and updates.

The news also comes days after it was revealed that @HSR had blocked at least one citizen run Twitter account, which met with some backlash. The account was later unblocked without explanation.

While the account description for @HSRnow states that the account is not monitored, hopefully every automated tweet is tagged with @HSR. People will invariably reply to these service alerts and doing so will allow @HSR to be notified of replies.

@HSRnow launches on Wednesday.

Notice: Holiday Service Monday for Family Day

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for Family Day this Monday. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service Monday:

Colleges reopen on Tuesday; HSR service expected to return to Mohawk campus

Full classes will resume at Mohawk College will resume on Tuesday with the end of labour action at Ontario colleges. Continuing education classes resume on Monday night.

At this time the City of Hamilton and HSR have not released exactly when buses will return to the MOHAWK COLLEGE TRANSIT TERMINAL, but this is expected to happen tomorrow.

Below is information provided by HSR customer service on Sunday afternoon.


Camera testing phase begins on HSR buses

Photo by Jason Nason

Photo by Jason Nason


The City of Hamilton announced today that they have started a testing phase of security cameras on-board HSR buses. With the majority of these installations complete, the cameras started rolling as of this morning.

The cost to outfit the entire fleet with the security cameras was $1.7 million, which was funded through HSR’s capital budget.

The security camera installation should aid both passenger and operator safety, giving staff and police access to video in the event of incidents on board.

Haldimand County expresses interest in HSR service

Could the HSR see an extension south into Haldimand County in the future? That’s the hope of Haldimand County Council as expressed today in a letter to members of Hamilton City Council.

At the City Council meeting today a letter of interest was presented from Haldimand County where the regional council has reached out to explore the possibility of HSR bus service being extended to their county.

Haldimand County doesn’t have any local or regional transit. There is also no Greyhound, Coach Canada, or GO Transit intercity bus service available in the region.

HSR changing destination signs back to display branch information

Photo by Jason Nason | Hamilton Today

Photo by Jason Nason | Hamilton Today


The HSR announced today that effective early next week destination signs will receive an update. Included in the update is a new way in which route branches will be displayed.

The updated signs will change to the way route branches were displayed prior to December 2013 when they were streamlined. The large route “letter” branch was removed from the route line on signs and was relegated to the destination line of signs.

This change resulted in a loss of clarity for routes, especially route 5 DELAWARE which has five branches and seven end-of-line destinations. The smaller text of the destination line made it difficult to identify if an incoming bus was the correct bus at a distance. The change to smaller text also resulted in passengers accidentally boarding the wrong branch.

Summer 2017 Schedule Changes

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The Hamilton Street Railway has issued the Summer 2017 edition of their quarterly Bus News online. There are changes to the schedules, including the return of summer service on multiple routes.

Below are the changes that will take effect Sunday June 25th, 2017.

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.

PRESTO Cards now available at Select Shoppers Drug Mart Stores in Toronto

HSR 1013 in a Presto full wrap

Metrolinx and the province are making steps to make the PRESTO fare card more accessible for purchasing, loading, and reloading. Today marks the launch of a trial for a third party vendor network in the GTA. If the test is successful it could be rolled out to the entire GTHA, including Hamilton.

Beginning today, customers will be able to buy, load, and set discounts for children, elementary and high school students and seniors on their PRESTO cards at 10 Shoppers Drug Mart locations across the city of Toronto, with more locations to be added later this year.

An up-to-date list of all PRESTO retail outlets is available at prestocard.ca.

Limeridge Mall Transit Terminal to be redeveloped


Somewhat overlooked during the 2017 budget process among all of the hoopla with the endless LRT debate in Hamilton, as well as the deferral of the 10-year transit plan by council, are the other transit related notes hidden within the budget.

Many of the items that are listed in the budget are items that are partially being funded through the federal government’s PTIF, which stands for Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The fund pays for 50% of the capital costs of approved projects as long as the municipality picks up the remaining cost.

Projects included in this funding, which are approved in the 2017 capital budget, include “226 automated passenger counters” to accurately count actual transit usage and the “Design and planning of New Maintenance & Storage Facility in lower Hamilton.”