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Improving the HSR customer experience with real-time notifications

Hamilton, ON - In a continuing effort to improve the experience of transit customers in Hamilton, HSR is introducing a number of enhanced communication channels that will provide customers with real-time access to information about transit service in the city.

A new automated twitter account is now live at @HSRnow, tweeting alerts as they happen, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This account has a direct line to HSR’s control room and will automatically tweet out up-to-the-minute information about service interruptions or bus cancellations.

HSR’s existing Twitter account @HSR will remain active and will be monitored by staff during regular business hours, but will not share information about potential service disruptions.  

Bus Check (phone-in) and Wayside (digital screens inside terminals) are also being updated to share the most up-to-the-minute information possible, direct from the control room. On-street signage (LED panels outside of terminals) will reflect service cancellations by removing information about buses that may not be in service. These improvements will give customers waiting on the street for their bus multiple options for real-time information so they can make informed decisions about their travel.

Later this spring, HSR will also launch a new version of the traditional Trip Planner, an online tool that will now be responsive on mobile devices and will allow customers to easily plan their trips online, and sign up for customized alerts or notifications for specific routes and stops. HSR’s new mobile app will also launch later this spring and will include similar personalization features allowing customers to select the type of alerts they receive by indicating the specific routes, times, and stops that they are interested in.

These upgrades to customer communication and experience are part of the more than $219 million in capital and operating investments that Hamilton City Council has made in transit over the past eight years. 

“These improvements to customer communication are a key component in our continued implementation of the 10 Year Local Transit Strategy. As we move ahead into year three of the Strategy, transit customers will continue to see enhancements and improvements like those being introduced today, and I am confident they will lead to greater reliability and transparency in our transit system.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger

“While HSR’s goal is always to avoid service disruptions, they are sometimes a reality in the transit industry. When that time comes, we want to ensure our customers are informed and have the most up-to-date information possible so they can appropriately plan their way to work, school or other important appointments. These real-time notifications are key to ensuring customers know of any service disruptions and when they can expect the next bus to arrive.” - Debbie Dalle Vedove,  Director of Transit, City of Hamilton

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