Category Archives: Other

Brand New Articulated Buses Have Started to Arrive

While they won’t enter service until the fall, the brand new New Flyer Xcelsior buses have started to arrive at the Mountain Transit Centre. Just a handful of the new natural gas buses are on site, with eighteen in total due to arrive.

The buses, which will be numbered 1420 – 1437, are New Flyer XN60s.

While I don’t typically share a group of photos on the Hamilton Transit Blog, here are a selection of photos from the Mountain Transit Centre of the brand new buses courtesy of a few transit friends.

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March 18th, 2015 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day in Hamilton

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Consider this: For hours on end, transit drivers manage to keep a schedule, check fares, give directions, announce stops, remember stop requests and more, all while safely maneuvering an extra-large vehicle through unpredictable traffic, adverse weather conditions and some really tight spaces! The fact is, transit drivers don’t have an easy job, they just make it look that way.

On March 18th, join us in celebrating the contributions of our hard-working bus drivers and rail operators! That could be as simple as a smile and a wave when you board the bus or train, and a “thank you” when you leave. You can also print out and personalize any of the thank-you cards below to show your appreciation in person, and you can help spread the word. And, don’t forget to submit an official commendation for a job well done, so your drivers can be formally recognized for their efforts. (You can do that any time of year!)

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Hamilton Transit Desktop Wallpapers

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One question I get asked every so often when I tell people that I run this website and the @HSRTransit account is why? People are even more mystified when I tell them that I don’t work for the city, don’t get paid for the work I do and don’t really have any official support from the city or the HSR.

I do the things that I do for one big reason: I love public transit in the city of Hamilton.

This is part of the reason that I’ve made the above. The above is the first in a series of desktop wallpapers that I have made about the Hamilton Street Railway, which stand out and are recognizable as being from the great city of Hamilton. I have made them for myself to use on my own computer, tablet and smartphone, but have decided that I will share them with the world to use. They aren’t watermarked and don’t have any distinguishing marks or links to this website, so feel free to use these and share them as you will.

This is what I refer to as my “free-time” job. It’s volunteer work and it’s a passion. I’ll be adding more in the days to come so enjoy!

HSR Gets a Special Visit

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

New Flyer XN60 | Photo from New Flyer

At a recent public works committee meeting city staff reccomended that future orders of HSR buses (2014 and beyond) be comprised of Natural Gas buses, citing the rising costs of diesel fuel and the lower cost of natural gas.

Another call out from transit users is for more articulated buses in the system to handle the over capacity on some routes. Add into the mix the newest buses in the fleet, the Xcelsior, and you get the visitor that arrived at the Mountain Transit Centre on May 13th.

A 60-foot articulated Xcelsior bus, powered by natural gas, made a brief stop at Hamilton’s HSR mountain garage en route to the delivery to Akron, Ohio’s Metro Bus fleet. The stop allowed the maintenance department to get a look at a CNG artic.

There hasn’t been any commitment on what buses will be purchased when the orders for 2014 replacement buses are ordered, but it’s a safe bet that natural gas powered articulated Xcelsior buses are top of mind.

New Limeridge Mall Transit Terminal?

For the last while I’ve been thinking about and going over how to improve the transit terminal at Limeridge Mall. As it stands right now passengers using buses which stop on the west side of the terminal have to cross four lanes of traffic to get to the mall side of the lot. There is no crossing within the terminal to make this safe to do so.

After looking at several different ideas for relocating the terminal I came up with a design that requires that the current terminal be modified with very little change and minimal loss in parking.

I wrote up a proposal detailing my ideas and created several diagrams to go along with it, including the terminal’s current layout, proposed changes and the total number of parking spots which would be lost in the change.

This proposal was sent to Ward 7 Councillor Scott Duvall (councillor for the ward which includes Limeridge Mall) and he forwarded it to the transit department to investigate the possibility.

By copy of this email, Councillor Duvall is requesting that planning staff in Public Transit/HSR give your submission priority and contact you directly with their comments, as well as updating the Councillor.

So, while that in no way means that the changes will become a reality it does go to show that sharing your ideas can help make change.

Check out the full submission here.

My ‘not-so-fun’ TTC Experience

I love the HSR, and in comparison to the TTC I love it even more.

I took the GO train to Toronto today and used the TTC to get to my final destination. Where I was going wasn’t too far out of downtown so I only had to take one bus (72 Pape). The experience with the bus itself was fine, but things about the TTC itself left me a little bit annoyed.

1) Why does the TTC not accept Presto!?

I’m an early adopter. Actually, I’m what you would call a pre-adopter. I bought my Presto card before the HSR even had the readers installed in our buses. When the cards were available for purchase at the Burlington GO Centre (from the GO Transit counter) I got one. I use my Presto card on board HSR buses and use it when I take the GO bus/train to Toronto. As long as I have a decent balance on my card I don’t have to worry about it.

Photos from February 8th’s Snow Day

Friday February 8th was a busy day on the streets for the Hamilton Street Railway. Many Hamiltonians shared photos of HSR buses out and about in the snow. Enjoy!

HSR Gives out Safe Driving Awards

Monday morning at the Public Works Committee meeting at City Hall. The special ceremony acknowledged four HSR operators who have achieved 30 years of safe driving and one operator who has reached the 35-year milestone. Reaching this safe driving milestone means that these operators did not have any preventable collisions for 30 and 35 years respectively.

To put that into context, HSR operators drive a bus for an average of nine hours per day, five days a week and for 46 weeks a year. It’s estimated that a typical HSR operator drives some 40,000 km a year. That means, to receive a 35-Year Safe Driving Award, one has driven 1.4 million km without a preventable collision. That is like driving from Hamilton to Vancouver 350 times!

BLAST Network – The Map

I like maps.

As a kid I used to sit and stare at the 1989 HSR System Map to no end, even though as a kid I rarely had much chance to ride the bus. Since then collecting bus maps been something of a hobby. Not only have I collected every published edition of the HSR system maps since then as well but I have collected bus maps from several other regions as well.

I recently wondered what the Hamilton rapid transit system map would look like if it were done like a modern rapid transit map. Picture the TTC subway map or the London Underground map.