Category Archives: Opinion

Opinion: Half shelters are no shelter at all

Photo by Jason Nason

New shelter at Hamilton GO Centre Platform 18 | Photo by Jason Nason

Just before Hamilton felt the full force of winter the HSR transit shelters were removed from the Hamilton GO Centre. The shelters were for HSR service on Platform 18 and left the stop without any shelter for nearly three months.

While the timing of the removal and resulting sidewalk work was dubious at best, a large brand new shelter was installed in late February. In fact the new shelter is one of the new “B-LINE” style shelters which have been installed strategically along the 10 B-LINE EXPRESS and 20 A-LINE EXPRESS routes, as well as at the Mountain Transit Centre and the Mohawk College Transit Terminal.

The only problem with the new shelter is that it’s only a half-shelter.

Transit communication needs to be consistent

Back in 2013 the City of Hamilton changed the way routes were listed, both in print and on board buses. It was said that the reason for these changes was to streamline route messaging, especially in light of the new information screens at the MacNab Transit Terminal.

Included as part of this change was a drastic change in the way routes were displayed on buses. Branch numbers were removed from the route identifier, relegated to the destination line. This was perhaps most impactful for route 5 DELAWARE, which has five branches and seven end-of-lines.

Several of the five branches had unique, and often confusing branch names. The 5C branch for example was often referred to as 5C DELAWARE, but was also listed as 5C WEST HAMILTON on some old rollsigns and transit maps. Even more bizarre is the branch of route 5 which travels into Dundas.

Report: Unproductive Routes Not Getting a Fair Shake?

As part of the March 6 General Issues Committee meeting relating to the 2015 Budget, the Hamilton Ten Year Local Transit Strategy report will be discussed. One of the items requested by council as the last meeting was a list of under-performing routes, which is listed below from the report.

In a vacuum this information is meaningless.

A route, which is runs at an extremely low frequency, uneven frequency, has a confusing routing or runs only at certain times of the day, is bound to have a challenge drawing passengers.

I personally live on Wentworth and have a stop of the 12 WENTWORTH steps from my front door. I don’t ride the bus that often because the bus doesn’t run when I want to make use of it. I would gladly use this service to get to the 10 B-LINE EXPRESS and make my way to Eastgate, but I would only make that trip on the weekend. This bus only runs on weekdays during peak periods. My wife used to work at Victoria and Main, so this bus was perfect for her. Unfortunately the bus stopped running in the morning about 30 minutes before she needed to leave for work.

A bus that doesn’t run when I need to use it isn’t much use.

Hamilton Transit Blog – Rebranded

If you’ve visited the Hamilton Transit Blog today, or checked into the various social media outlets that I use for the blog, you’ve no doubt seen somewhat if a visual change. Gone is the familiar blue-yellow-white logo and appearance, which had been replaced with a circular “HT” logo.

The change was made for a few reasons, with the primary reason to further disassociate myself with the HSR.

From the onset of the Twitter account, followed by the blog and Facebook page, I have endeavored to provide transit users with updates. Upcoming and current detours, events and news were my focus.

56 CENTENNIAL Route Frequency Change Proposal

The below is a copy of what I sent in over the weekend to all members of council as well as Don Hull, the transit division as a response to the information report being presented to GIC this Thursday. Below I outline my thoughts and suggestions on how the route could be make more efficient and useful, while not increasing any funding to the route.

It was brought forward in the latest information report that there are no plans to increase service frequency or service levels for route 56 CENTENNIAL during the 2014 budget year. This makes sense in that with reduced demand there is no justification for any increase in service, however not withstanding employment growth and anticipated demand for the area of Confederation Plaza (Walmart), there is a relatively simple way to increase service frequency without resulting in a budget increase for 2014.

State of the Bus Lane


The transit priority lane has been in effect on King Street through downtown Hamilton since October 2013 and has been somewhat successful. The desired result of improving travel times has informally been met, as reported by some transit operators who travel the stretch of roadway multiple times a day through the week. There are some issues which have arisen since the implementation of the bus lane.

One of the issues surrounding the lane is that, while it is intended to be used exclusively by transit buses, the lane is being used increasingly by other motorists. If you spend any amount of time observing traffic patterns in the downtown core you will spot car after car using the lane throughout the day. Why?

One of the main factors for the illegal use of the lane is the fact that it is not sufficiently marked. The lane itself had special lines and markings painted during the fall to call out the lanes’ exclusivity. However since that time the markings have faded so that they have virtually disappeared just a few months later. Also while the roads are snow covered these markings are also not visible.