FAQ for Transit Customers

With a rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, the City of Hamilton is undergoing proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. HSR is committed to providing a service that meets the needs of our customers. 

City of Hamilton Transit Customer COVID-19 Question & Answer

Disclaimer: These question and answers (FAQs) will be updated periodically as circumstances require but should not be viewed as constituting public health or legal advice.

To obtain the latest advice from Public Health authorities, all persons are strongly encouraged to periodically review these websites:
www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
www.hamilton.ca/coronavirus

HSR continues to be a safe method of travel. We remain committed to the health and safety of our staff and customers and are consulting with City of Hamilton Public Health Services.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 customers are required to wear a non-medical mask on public transit. This extra step can help protect others in spaces where physical distancing can be hard to maintain.

Yes. After a recommendation from Public Health Services and the Board of Health, on Friday July 17, 2020 Hamilton City Council voted to enact a by-law (By-law no.20-155) requiring the wearing of masks or face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Beginning July 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., with some exceptions, all persons entering an enclosed public premise are required to wear a mask or face covering. As more establishments and businesses begin to re-open, wearing a mask or face covering is an additional measure that can be taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

  • Operators will take all reasonable steps to ensure that every member of the public does not enter their bus without a face covering.
  • The mask or face covering should cover the nose, mouth and chin, without gapping.
  • The City of Hamilton is urging the public to be respectful as businesses seek to comply with the new by-law to protect all of us from COVID-19.
     
  • Several exemptions have been included in the by-law, since not every person can participate in wearing a mask or face covering. Some examples of these exemptions include:                        
    • children under 5 years of age,
    • any person who has an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering,
    • any person who is unable to place or remove a face covering without assistance
    • A self-declaration of exemption is acceptable and sufficient.
    • It is vital to note – no member of the public will be denied entry or be stigmatized if they are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a listed exemption.

We ask for patience and kindness as everyone adjusts and navigates through these uncertain times.

Council has approved the issuance of credits for April monthly passes.

If you are using a paper pass: please bring your April paper pass along with a PRESTO Card to the HSR Customer Service counter at the Hunter GO Station. The equivalent value of the pass will be loaded onto your PRESTO Card.

If you are already using a PRESTO Card: the equivalent value of the monthly pass will be directly credited to your card by PRESTO without any requirement to attend in person at Hunter Go Station.

Senior Annual Pass holders: If you purchased a Senior Annual Pass you will receive a credit towards your next annual pass purchase.  The credit will be applied at the time of renewal. An extra trip to the Hunter GO Station is not necessary.

       

HSR has several measures in place in addition to a daily standard cleaning protocol. The entire fleet has had a complete hard surface wipe down with sanitizing wipes, as well as a full bus antimicrobial fogging treatment. There is a wipe down of all hard surfaces every other day with sanitizing wipes in addition to the regular cleaning.

Beginning Thursday March 19, certified technicians were onsite to begin applying the the AEGIS Microbe Shield treatment to all buses. The application of this product is done by multiple crews concentrating on one vehicle per application. In addition to a high concentration on the driver’s area, it was also applied to the following high touch surfaces:

  • Seat back cushions
  • Seat bottom cushions
  • Head rests
  • Head rest hand grips (all surfaces)
  • Window sills, window panels, yellow call strip / bell cord
  • Arm rests (all surfaces)
  • Stanchions (all surfaces)
  • All grab bars (all surfaces)
  • Box and cabinet surfaces and locks / handles

Each application and wipe down takes a full crew of 7 people per bus for a half hour, followed by a half hour dry time. Vehicles that have been treated will have a round green sticker on the rear-view mirror installed for quick identification. This can be seen from the outside of the vehicle.   

  • The AEGIS Microbe Shield forms a durable chemical bond upon application and remains chemically attached to the surface on which it is applied. It functions by electrostatically and physically interrupting the bacterial or viral cell membrane and preventing its ability to survive on a protected surface.
  • The AEGIS Microbe Shield destroys any organism with a cell membrane upon contact and will continue to do so until the physical surface has been removed through repeated wear.
  • AEGIS provides a long-lasting defence to control the growth and survival of microbes on just about any surface. The modified surface will retain antimicrobial activity for an extended period of time, even after repeated cleanings.

The HSR is operating on a reduced schedule until further notice. Most routes are operating on a Saturday schedule on weekdays. Weekend service remains the same.

 View our updated PDF route schedules

HSR, Trans-Cab and DARTS have resumed fare collection. 

Operator compartment bio-shields have been installed as an additional measure to protect operators and customers, as all customers have returned to front door loading.

The Customer Service counter at 36 Hunter Street Go Station (ONLY) has resumed normal business hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, for customers to renew monthly passes, purchase and reload PRESTO cards and to purchase tickets.

Senior Annual Pass holders: We encourage those who are renewing a Senior Pass to come between 9 am to 10 am to avoid peak periods and lines. We encourage you to send a representative with ID to renew your pass for you. Please note: you do not need to come right away; if you are not planning to travel on the HSR for weeks or months – you can wait.

Customers can continue to purchase their passes and tickets at Participating Vendors 

Council has approved the issuance of credits for April monthly passes.

If you are using a paper pass: please bring your April paper pass along with a PRESTO Card to the HSR Customer Service counter at the Hunter GO Station. The equivalent value of the pass will be loaded onto your PRESTO Card.

If you are already using a PRESTO Card: the equivalent value of the monthly pass will be directly credited to your card by PRESTO without any requirement to attend in person at Hunter Go Station.

Senior Annual Pass holders: If you purchased a Senior Annual Pass you will receive a credit towards your next annual pass purchase.  The credit will be applied at the time of renewal. An extra trip to the Hunter GO Station is not necessary.

The Customer Service counter at 36 Hunter Street Go Station (ONLY) has resumed normal business hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday , for customers to renew monthly passes, purchase and reload PRESTO cards, purchase tickets and taxi scrips, and accessible transportation application pick up and drop off.

Mountain Transit Centre will remain closed until further notice. Following the announcement from the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health all City of Hamilton facilities were closed to the public as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, until further notice.

This includes:

  • Mountain Transit Centre at 2200 Upper James St., Hamilton
  • Hamilton City Hall, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton
  • All Municipal Service Centres.
  • MacNab Terminal

School extras will start up again when the school programming resumes.

HHSR and Trans-Cab have resumed fare collection.

Trans-Cab will has resumed standard operating procedures, with the following exceptions:

Trans-Cab will allow family groups, and workers employed at the same workplace, to ride together in a Trans-Cab sedan or minivan, so long as vehicle capacity is not exceeded.

For Trans-Cab customers travelling on their own, they will be asked by the Trans-Cab driver if they will accept additional customers being accommodated in their Trans-Cab.  If they refuse, then a sedan will only transport 1 customer and a minivan will only transport 2 customers.  This may result in additional wait time depending on vehicle availability. 

Customers are required to wear a non-medical mask while using Trans-Cab.

The DARTS bus-stop – to bus-stop program has been discontinued (as of July 1, 2020). HSR has returned to front door loading for all customers, including customers requiring the use of a wheelchair, scooter or other PMD (personal mobility device).

The DARTS bus-stop – to bus-stop program has been discontinued (as of July 1, 2020). HSR has returned to front door loading for all customers, including customers requiring the use of a wheelchair, scooter or other PMD (personal mobility device).

Reservations may only be made 3 days in advance, to allow for medical screening questions to be asked and so determine if the trip can be booked. 

Customers are required to wear a non-medical mask while using DARTS.

The Taxi Scrip program has now resumed. Our Customer Service ticket counter at 36 Hunter Street (only) is now OPEN, for customers to purchase their July taxi scrip allotment, and for accessible transportation application pick up and drop off.

Taxi Scrip clients who are not DARTS clients must apply for accessible transportation services and found eligible in order to use DARTS.

New applications for DARTS service can be emailed to [email protected], faxed to 905-679-7305, or mailed to ATS, P.O. Box 340 Mount Hope, Ontario L0R 1W0 (ATS mail is currently picked up once per week).

Like HSR, DARTS remains committed to the health and safety of their staff and customers. In addition to standard cleaning, DARTS is taking additional proactive actions to address the health and safety of staff and customers, including:

  • All vehicles are cleaned and disinfected every evening.
  • Drivers are advised to wipe down vehicles throughout their shift.
  • Posters have been placed throughout the office areas.
  • DARTS also has an existing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) policy that drivers follow in the event of any cleanup of bodily fluids on board.
  • Increasing supply of sanitizing products for use by their Operators and staff.
  • Effective March 27, all DARTS vehicles will have been treated by certified technicians with AEGIS Microbe Shield treatment.
  • All DARTS trips are being screened by a reservationist for essential and critical travel.
  • To increase physical distancing, DARTS is booking one client per vehicle; one companion or support person may travel with the client.
  • We continue to remind staff and the community to follow the City of Hamilton’s Public Health Services Guidelines to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

Customers are required to wear a non-medical mask while using DARTS.

To ensure physical distancing for operators and customers, HSR has implemented changes in how service will be delivered.

Operators are committed to providing a safe, reliable and professional service and will do their best to limit instances of over-crowding by monitoring the boardings of customers the best they can, while safely operating buses.

Operators are not responsible for policing capacity restrictions. It is the responsibility of everyone to adhere to physical distancing and respect the measures implemented.

HSR is restricting customer loads to two-thirds (2/3) capacity and will continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help minimize crowding and potential customer pass-bys. Signs will be posted to identify which seats are not available for use. Operators will not be policing these seat restrictions if someone sits in a marked seat. It is the responsibility of everyone to adhere to physical distancing and respect the signs posted.

Operators will be by-passing stops if the load on the bus is in excess of the above amounts, or if there are concerns with physical distancing.

Between the hours of 1 and 5 pm the following routes will experience the greatest impacts:

  • 2-Barton
  • 1-King
  • 5-Delaware
  • 10-B line

The public is reminded to adhere to the public health measures that have been put in place.

To ensure there is a reliable and sustainable plan for service to continue over the coming weeks, we will remain on a Saturday level of service and physical distancing measures will remain in place. We continue to add supplemental service on busier routes to help mitigate crowding.

HSR Lost Items is closed to the public. If you have lost something on the HSR, we’ll keep it safely stored as per our usual processes. If you have lost something critical, please call us between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm at 905-546-2424 ext. 1882. If your item is deemed essential, we will do our best to make arrangements for pick up.