HSR bus route solution

HSR Bus Routes Changing at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences

The City of Hamilton staff, the HSR, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University have worked together to find a bus route solution for the McMaster precinct which includes both McMaster University Medical Centre and the University. A report will be going to the City of Hamilton’s Public Works Committee on Tuesday.

A number of factors are contributing to the need to alter the route from the front drive of McMaster University Medical Centre, including the structural damage to the hospital building caused by buses on the driveway, concern about access for ambulances, and exhaust from idling buses near patient care areas. Hamilton Health Sciences will be restricting buses from using the front drive of the hospital as a turning area and passenger drop off.

Under the proposal, buses that currently turn under the canopy at the McMaster University Medical Centre will continue to travel through the university campus but will then exit campus at the Main Street light without using the hospital ramp.  Two options for the subsequent last leg of the route are being considered. The first would enhance bus service levels further west on Main to Dundas with buses turning at the existing terminus at University Plaza.  The University has also offered a turning location on the west side of campus which would be established within an existing parking lot.

“We all had a common goal of finding a way to ensure patient, student and citizen access and safety, and to optimize HSR routes,” said Ward One councilor Brian McHattie. “We are proposing a solution that we believe meets all of those criteria.”

If approved, changes to the routes would begin in June.

The proposed routes will have minimal impact on service as students and patients will still be able to catch buses on campus at the top of University Avenue with easy access to the Medical Centre. All other current stops will be maintained.

Construction at the hospital will begin this May. HSR will use its usual temporary detour route on Emerson until the new bus route configuration begins in June.

The parties have committed to continuing to work together to maximize busing options to serve the campus and the hospital in the longer term including the potential to develop a more comprehensive transit area on campus that could includes rapid transit, the HSR and Go Transit which currently has a bus terminal at the University.