As some COVID-19 restrictions begin to soften in Hamilton and local services adjust to the current circumstances, the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is set to make some changes; including resuming fare collection on all HSR vehicles as of July 1st.
Amid the earliest uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HSR acted out of an abundance of caution by drastically reducing maximum capacity on its standard-size buses to 10 passengers, only allowing rear entrance to limit contact with bus operators, and suspending fare payments temporarily.
HSR, Trans-Cab and DARTS will resume fare collection starting July 1, 2020, and return to front door loading for all customers, including customers requiring the use of a wheelchair, scooter or other PMD (personal mobility device.) #HamOnt pic.twitter.com/V42SEJZjlo
— Hamilton Street Railway (@hsr) June 26, 2020
The idea was that the bus was meant to be strictly used by those who still need public transit for essential reasons such as grocery shopping or medical appointments, as well by locals working in essential services who still need the bus to get to work.
But as Hamilton falls into Phase Two of reopening and more workplaces and services begin to open under careful conditions, the HSR is widening its parameters a little bit.
Now, with all HSR buses mandating the wearing of face masks or coverings – a move they’ve been called out for not truly enforcing – they’ve also increased the maximum capacity of their transit vehicles to accommodate more locals who have re-entered the workforce.
Additionally, the HSR will be resuming front door entry on their buses as protective shields have been installed in front of the driver’s seat on all vehicles to further protect operators.
With that increase in capacity comes the reinstatement of regular fare payments, going into effect as of July 1st on HSR buses, DARTS buses, and TRANSCAB vehicles. Reduced bus schedules are still in effect until further notice.
To learn more about updates to HSR service and policies, check out the City of Hamilton website.
Lead image courtesy of @hsr