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Hamilton City Council’s General Issues Committee reviews transit budget presentation

Hamilton, ON – Earlier today, the Hamilton City Council’s General Issues Committee considered the 2018 budget request from the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR). Staff provided Committee with a summary of HSR’s 2017 accomplishments, a number of measures to compare HSR with other GTHA transit agencies serving populations of a similar size, a recap of the Council-supported investments over recent years, a review of the 10 Year Transit Strategy, and a look ahead into 2018.

Over the past eight years, Hamilton City Council has supported more than $219 million in capital and operating investments in transit. This has translated into almost 150,000 additional service hours, 110 more staff, and 46 additional buses. In addition, these ongoing investments will translate into other future notable improvements for customers including:

  • Mobile app and website upgrade that will provide real-time data when and where customers need it
  • Security cameras to improve the security of our customers, operators and equipment
  • WiFi on board the bus
  • 16 new buses (Five on the road in September 2018)
  • Onboard USB charging stations on new buses
  • Upgrades and repairs to 350 transit shelters
  • New sidewalks and landing pads near bus stops so customers can wait for their bus in a safe location
  • Passenger counters that will help staff gather more data to ensure we are providing service that meets the needs of our customers

Quick facts about HSR service in 2017

  • Provided more than 21,400,000 rides on HSR
  • Travelled almost 16,500,000 kilometres - to the moon and back 21 times
  • Drove more than 865,000 hours
  • Collected $40.5 million in revenue

With the Federal and Provincial Transit Infrastructure Funding committed to in March 2017, Council will deliberate on the operating resources to support these enhancements during the 2018 Tax Budget deliberations in the coming weeks.  Moving forward, they will consider implementing year three of the 10 Year Transit Strategy, which focuses on service standards and growth. If approved, year three of the Strategy will result in five additional buses, 26 new staff, and an additional 34,000 service hours. The total annualized cost to implement year three of the strategy is $3.4 million. It would also include a fare increase of $0.10 on the adult ticket price.

Council will hear presentations by all other departments of the City over the coming weeks, and will consider approval for the final operating budget in March.