Transit Fare Parity Update

voluntary_pay_policy_june2013

At the April 10th Meeting of City Council, council passed the following motions regarding Transit Fare Parity in the HSR, including voluntary “free” fares onboard city buses.

That, effective June 1, 2013, a temporary transit fare special program be implemented that would permit the below groups to ride the conventional public transit system (HSR) by either paying the applicable fare or riding at no charge, to be exercised at their own discretion:

  1. Those transit riders who require the use of a wheelchair, walker, or scooter in order to ride the conventional public transit system (HSR), and
  2. Those transit riders who are Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) cardholders

Staff was also directed to develop options for the implementation of a new transit fare discount program for persons with disabilities, and report back to the General Issues Committee.

Full notice of motion can be read here.

The HSR updated their website on May 14th with a PDF file containing an FAQ about the new temporary policy, which can be seen below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING:
ELIMINATION OF VOLUNTARY PAY POLICY and IMPLEMENTATION OF A
TEMPORARY PROMOTIONAL TRANSIT FARE SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR HSR

WHEN IS THE ELIMINATION OF THE HSR VOLUNTARY PAY POLICY TAKING PLACE?
It will be effective Saturday June 1, 2013.

WHEN IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HSR TEMPORARY PROMOTIONAL TRANSIT FARE SPECIAL PROGRAM TAKING PLACE?
It will be effective Saturday June 1, 2013.

WHY ARE WE ELIMINATING THE ORIGINAL HSR VOLUNTARY PAY POLICY?
The HSR (Hamilton Street Railway) and the ATS (Accessible Transportation Services) have been directed to implement a Fare Parity Policy in accordance with the Transportation Standards regulations made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

In order to achieve this goal, all passengers on Conventional or Specialized Transit must be treated equally when it comes to fare payment. A new transit fare discount program for persons with disabilities is being investigated to replace our historical practice of offering no charge fares to certain individuals. In the meantime, while this policy is investigated, a temporary promotional transit fare special program will be implemented. Hamilton City Council has approved these changes.

WHAT IS THE NEW HSR TEMPORARY PROMOTIONAL TRANSIT FARE SPECIAL PROGRAM?
Those transit riders who require the use of a wheelchair, walker, or scooter in order to ride the conventional transit system (HSR) and those who are Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) cardholders are permitted under this temporary promotional transit fare special program to pay the applicable fare or ride at no charge. This means that transit riders who use other devices not listed above, such as four prong canes, must pay the applicable fare. They can not ride for no charge any more.

WHAT ARE THE HSR FARE PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR JUNE 1, 2013?
See more details on the current fare structure here.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE HSR TICKETS, PASSES AND PRESTO CARDS?
If you are purchasing paper adult or student tickets or paper adult or student monthly passes, you can visit any of our 125 Ticket & Pass Vendors listed on our website.

If you need a Senior Annual Pass, Golden Age Pass, PRESTO Monthly Pass, Photo ID or a PRESTO Card, please visit our Customer Service Centre at 36 Hunter St. E (Hamilton GO Centre). The PRESTO card fee for these seniors will be waived for a limited time.

ARE THERE ANY CHANGES TO THE HSR SUPPORT PERSON POLICY OR ID CARDS?
No, this will remain the same as in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).