Over the past several months, HSR customers have experienced some significant service disruptions. We know that many customers have been left waiting for their bus or have been feeling like they can’t rely on us to get where they needed to go. For that we apologize. HSR is working hard to restore service and rebuild our customers’ trust and confidence as we grow transit in Hamilton to a place where it better meets the needs and expectations of our customers. Here’s an update on our progress over recent weeks, and a summary of some of the enhancements our customers can expect in the future.
We are currently implementing short and longer-term solutions that will help to restore service and ensure our customers can rely on us to get where they need to go. One of the main reasons for the service disruptions has been that HSR has not had enough operators available to drive the buses each day, and subsequently we are not always able to maintain our schedule.
Here’s what we’re doing to fix it:
- Through discussions with our transit union, agreement was reached on the ability for operators to work additional hours each week. This is not something we want to rely on long-term, but it's helping our customers today.
- Those same discussions resulted in further agreement on our “wind down” operators – a smaller group of semi-retired operators who typically work about half the hours of a full timer - to be able to work additional hours as well.
- We’ve made some changes to the way we schedule our operators to free up a pool of “spare” operators each day. This is going to help us be more flexible if our staff aren’t available to drive the bus that day.
- We have 12 new operators in training right now. Half of them just started on their classroom training, and the other half will be out driving their own routes later next week.
- We’ve also made some changes in the way our operators request time away from work, we have adjusted some days off for operators who need more flexibility in their schedule, and are paying close attention to the data and trends as they relate to scheduling.
There are some more changes coming soon as well, and while we still have work to do before service is fully restored for our customers, these changes are already showing improvements.
Hamilton City Council has supported more than $219 million in capital and operating investments over the past eight years which translated to almost 150,000 service hours, 110 additional staff and 46 buses. In addition, these ongoing investments will also translate into other future notable improvements for our customers including:
- Mobile app and website upgrade that will provide real-time data when and where customers need it
- Wi-fi onboard the bus
- 16 new buses
- Onboard USB charging stations
- 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
Follow us on Twitter @hsr for service advisories, news and customer service. Check out our route-specific hashtags for updates on a certain bus or route: #HSR35, #HSR44, #HSR27 and more!
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