Hamilton Street Railway
New Flyer C40LF #510213 on the 5C route in downtown Hamilton.
|Headquarters||2200 Upper James St.|
|Service area||Hamilton and Burlington.|
|Service type||Public Transit|
|Routes||34 + 2 seasonal|
|Fuel type||Diesel, CNG, Diesel-electric|
|Operator||City of Hamilton|
The Hamilton Street Railway Company (HSR) is the Transit Division of the City of Hamilton, Public Works Department  in Ontario, Canada. The name is a legacy of the days when the majority of public transit vehicles were streetcars; the present-day Hamilton Street Railway is in fact a bus operator. The HSR transports about 21 million passengers a year.
- 1 History
- 2 Services
- 3 Facilities
- 4 Terminals and connections
- 5 Fares
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Vehicles
- 8 Staff
- 9 References
- 10 External links
From 1873 to 1889, the HSR was owned by Lyman Moore and operated as a private business. In 1889 HSR was sold to Hamilton Cataract Interests, later known as Dominion Power and Transmission Company. The HSR was later acquired by Ontario Hydro.
Provincial ownership ended in 1946 when HSR was bought by Canada Coach Lines. CCL was purchased by the city of Hamilton in 1960. Hamilton-Wentworth Region began ownership of CCL and HSR in 1977.
Other streetcar systems
|Hamilton & Dundas Street Railway||1873-1923|
|Hamilton, Grimsby & Beamsville Electric Railway||1891-1931|
|Hamilton Radial Electric Railway||1893-1925|
|Brantford & Hamilton Electric Railway||1896-1931|
|Hamilton Terminal Company||1907-1930s|
|No.||Name||Inner Terminal||Outer Terminal||Notes|
|1||King||Hamilton GO Centre||Eastgate Square||Sunday service extends to Fiesta Mall.|
|1A||King||University Plaza Terminal||Eastgate Square||Weekday service only.|
|2||Barton||Hamilton GO Centre||Bell Manor Loop|
|3||Cannon||Hamilton GO Centre||Reid & Dunsmure|
|4||Bayfront||Downtown||Mt. Albion Loop||Limtied Weekday & Saturday trips service Ferrie Ave|
Dundas - Governors
|King & Jones||Pirie & Governors (Dundas)||Route 5 runs eastbound, Route 52 runs westbound. 7-Day Service to Governors began in 2014. Late Evening Service to Stoney Creek began in 2014|
||Greenhill & Cochrane||West Hamilton Loop
or The Meadowlands (Ancaster)
|Route 5A runs eastbound, Route 5C runs westbound. Alternating trips to West Hamilton Loop or The Meadowlands. Full day service to The Meadowlands on weekends began Sept. 2, 2012.|
Dundas - Head Street
|Quigley & Greenhill||Head Street Loop (Dundas)||Route 5E runs eastbound, Route 52 runs westbound. Buses no longer operate on Main/King Street East. 5B University Plaza route discontinued|
|6||Aberdeen||Downtown||Princess Point Loop|
|8||York||Downtown||Lamoreaux & Strathcona||Weekday Rush Hours trips operate via Head Street|
|9||Rock Gardens||Downtown||Holy Sepulchre Cemetery||Service operates on Sundays and holidays from May through November. Travels to Burlington.|
|10||B-Line Express||Eastgate Square||University Plaza||Weekday express service. 10A to McMaster extended to University Plaza|
|11||Parkdale||Valley Park Loop||Burlington Bus Terminal||Only daily route that travels to Burlington. Does not serve Downtown. Weekday Trips service Canada Centre for Inland Waters|
|12||Wentworth||Wentworth & Mars||Victoria & King||Counterclockwise loop. Route only operates on weekdays, with no midday service.|
|16||Ancaster||The Meadowlands||Wilson & Garner||No Sunday service. Does not serve Downtown. Separate AM & PM Routing. Interlined with 43 Stone Church|
|18||Waterdown||Waterdown & Parkside||Aldershot GO Station||Weekday peak hour service only. Does not serve Downtown. *Limited Drop-Off Only trips travel to Downtown Hamilton via Plains Road & York Blvd|
|20||A-Line Express||Hamilton Waterfront (Pier 8)||Hamilton International Airport||Weekday peak hour express service. Services Mohawk College & Mountain Transit Centre Park & Ride. Southbound buses service Macnab Terminal|
|21||Upper Kenilworth||Downtown||Heritage Greene Shopping Centre(as of Sept. 6, 2015))|
|22||Upper Ottawa||Downtown||Upper Ottawa & Rymal||Limited trips service Anchor & Bigwin|
|23||Upper Gage||Downtown||Upper Gage & Rymal|
|24||Upper Sherman||Downtown||Upper Gage & Rymal||Routing via St Jean de Brebeuf School cancelled 2014.|
|25||Upper Wentworth||Downtown||Lime Ridge Mall|
|26||Upper Wellington||Downtown via Rymal||Lime Ridge Mall via Rymal|
|27||Upper James||Downtown||Mountain Transit Centre Park & Ride|
|33||Sanatorium||Downtown||Scenic & Lavander Loop||Routing through Chedoke Arena cancelled 2014|
|34||Upper Paradise||Downtown||Glancaster Loop||No Sunday service.|
|34A||Upper Paradise||Downtown||Upper Horning Loop|
|35||College||Downtown||St. Elizabeth Village Loop||Alternating routing via Garth and via Upper James|
|41||Mohawk||The Meadowlands||Gage & Industrial||Does not serve Downtown.Alternating Routing via Ottawa & Kenilworth. Services Lime Ridge Mall|
|41A||Mohawk||Chedoke Hospital||Gage & Industrial||Does not serve Downtown. Alternating Routing via Ottawa & Kenilworth. Services Lime Ridge Mall|
|43||Stone Church||Saltfleet Secondary School (Highland & Aubrey)||The Meadowlands||7-day a week service from 6AM-Midnight began Aug. 31, 2014. Does not serve Downtown. Services Lime Ridge Mall Interlined with 16 Ancaster (Weekdays & Saturdays Only)|
|44||Rymal||Eastgate Square||Ancaster Business Park/Glancaster Loop (Weekends)||7-day a week service from 6AM-Midnight began Aug. 31, 2014. Does not serve Downtown.|
|51||University||Hamilton GO Centre via McMaster University||West Hamilton Loop via McMaster University||No Sunday or summer service. Service Monday-Saturday extended to 2:30am|
|52A||Dundas Local||York & Watson's Loop||Pleasant & Orchard||Weekday peak hour service only. Does not serve Downtown.|
|55||Stoney Creek Central||Eastgate Square||Hwy 8 & Jones||Via Queenston & Barton. Does not serve Downtown.|
|55A||Stoney Creek Central||Eastgate Square||Levi Loop||Does not serve Downtown.|
|56||Centennial||Eastgate Square||Lakeland Loop||Service to Confederation Plaza(Walmart Supercentre) w/Summer extension to Confederation Park. Does not serve Downtown.|
|58||Stoney Creek Local||Eastgate Square||Hwy 8 & Jones||Via Centennial & King. Does not serve Downtown.|
|99||Waterfront Shuttle||Downtown||Pier 8||Seven-day summer-only service.|
In the early 1990s the HSR eliminated many routes by expanding current routes. The following is a list of replaced and withdrawn routes:
|HSR replaced and withdrawn routes|
|1 King||This route had two previous ends of line during this time: 1B King-Reid and 1 King (to Donn Avenue in Stoney Creek). The 1B was replaced by extended service to Eastgate Square and it was changed to 1A King and the 1 King to Donn Avenue was moved to a new terminal at the Fiesta Mall. The 1A operated Monday to Saturday between Eastgate Square and downtown Hamilton and the 1 King operated Sundays only from Fiesta Mall and downtown.|
|2 Barton||Trips alternated between Melvin & Osborne (2C Barton-Talbot) and the Bell Manor Loop near Grays Road (near the Hamilton/Stoney Creek border). All trips were extended to the Bell Manor Loop.|
|15 Sherman/Ottawa||Replaced (on Ottawa Street only) first by 4 Bayfront, then 53 Burlington, and eventually 41 Mohawk.|
|17 Ancaster Local||Withdrawn due to low ridership.|
|18 Waterdown||Eliminated to Aldershot GO Station due to low ridership and not replaced; reinstated September 2008.|
|31 Fennell||Replaced by 21 Upper Kenilworth (service moved from Concession Street to Fennell Avenue) and 41 Mohawk (now serving Kenilworth Avenue and Ottawa Street).|
|32 Garth||Replaced by 35 College (which was extended south of Mohawk College).|
|45 Limeridge||Eliminated without replacement because Limeridge Road was closed as a through street.|
|53 Burlington||Replaced by 41 Mohawk (now serving Ottawa Street) and 11 Parkdale (which was extended into Burlington).|
|57 Nash||Replaced by 4 Bayfront (now serving Nash Road and Quigley Road to Mount Albion Loop).|
|59 Frances Ave||Four month trial route from October 2, 1989 - February 4, 1990.|
|Streetcar routes in Hamilton prior to 1951|
Trolley bus routes
Trolley buses were used by the HSR from 1951 to 1992 along the following routes:
|Trolley bus routes of the HSR from 1951 to 1992|
Introduced in 1998 as a two-year pilot project, Trans-Cab is a shared-ride taxi service between HSR and specific local taxi providers, currently offered in portions of Glanbrook and Stoney Creek.
Accessible Transportation Services (ATS) is the section that administers a variety of accessible services on behalf of the City
- Accessible low-floor (ALF) buses provide level entry and exit to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. It is anticipated that the entire HSR fleet will be accessible by 2009.
- Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (DARTS) is a non profit charitable organization that is the paratransit service provider.
- Taxi Scrip program provides discounted taxi coupons for ATS registered persons who are unable to access regular transit buses.
In 1981, during Bill Davis's Progressive Conservative administration, the Province of Ontario offered to finance the construction of a light rail line in Hamilton, from Lloyd D. Jackson Square to the Lime Ridge Mall. The line would have used the same technology as the Scarborough Rapid Transit. The plans triggered a lot grass-roots opposition, and Hamilton-Wentworth Council turned the proposal down. The plan called for an elevated track -- one of the element that triggered opposition. Residents being concerned commuters would be invading their privacy, by looking down on their back-yards and in their second floor windows.
When the CBC News compared the rejected 1981 plan with the 21st Century rapid transit plan they quoted the individual who had been the planning and development manager for Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Government, Doug Lychak, who pointed out that Vancouver's introduction of the same elevated light rail technology, just four years later is widely acknowledged to have been very successful.
- B-Line – Main/King corridor from McMaster University to Eastgate Square
- L-Line – Downtown to Waterdown
- A-Line – James/Upper James corridor from Downtown to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport
- S-Line – Centennial to Ancaster Business Park
- T-Line – Mohawk to Meadowlands
- 1875 first horsebarn opens
- 1887 second horsebarn opens
- 1889 Sanford Avenue carhouse opens
- 1927 - 1990 Wentworth Street North carbarn/garage opens (machine shops, etc.)
- 1984-1996;1998 to present Mountain Regional Transit Centre on Upper James Street
- 1990 - 1998 Wentworth Street Transit Centre
|Barton & Bell Manor Loop||bus|
|CNIB/Main West Loop||bus|
|Dundurn Loop||bus||Locke Route; technically terminus for three-point-turn|
|Glancaster Road Loop||bus|
|Kenilworth & Barton||trolley bus||short turn loop|
|Kenilworth & Cannon||trolley bus||short turn loop|
|King & James turntable||streetcar|
|Main & London||trolley bus||King route short turn loop|
|Princess Point Loop||bus|
|Queenston Loop||bus||no longer used; replaced with Fiesta Mall)|
|Scenic & Lavender Loop||bus|
|Strathearne Loop||trolley bus||Strathearne & Roxborough Ave; no longer used|
|Valley Park Loop||bus|
|West Hamilton Loop||bus|
Terminals and connections
HSR routes from downtown to the Mountain (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 33, and 35) currently use MacNab Transit Terminal, while several lower city routes (4, 6, 7, 8 and 9) have an on-street terminal layover at the intersection of Main and James Streets. 34 has a layover location on King at James.
HSR connects with GO Transit at Hamilton GO Centre, which serves as the terminus for four HSR routes (1, 2, 3, and 51). The station, located at 36 Hunter Street East, a few blocks south of King and James, is the terminus of the GO's Lakeshore West railway line and Express Highway 407 and Queen Elizabeth Way GO Buses. It is also the main Greyhound Lines bus stop (mainly serving London, Ontario and those connections) in Hamilton. Canada Coach Lines, once owned by HSR, is now served by Coach Canada, formerly Trentway-Wagar, and operates routes between Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, and Niagara. It is also the former Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B) passenger station, and there is a small museum above the public concourse. HSR routes 2 and 4 also connect with GO at Barton Street & Nash Road in East Hamilton, where a GO bus travels between there and the Burlington GO Station.
At the Mountain Transit Centre transfer point (served by route 27) and a contract with Blue Line Taxi, the HSR also connects with other areas in the northwest portion of the former Glanbrook Township.
In addition, the HSR is connected with Burlington Transit, as one route (11 Parkdale) travels into Burlington via Burlington Beach, 18 Waterdown connects with BT at Aldershot GO Station, and BT Route 1 enters downtown Hamilton from Plains Road West. Also '9 Rock Gardens' travels into Burlington going into the Royal Botanical Gardens during the summer months.
Other terminals and loops
|Bell Manor Loop||2, 55A|
|Eastgate Transit Terminal||1, 10, 44, 55/55A, 56, 58|
|Glancaster Loop||34, Redeemer University College Shuttle (limited service)|
|Lime Ridge Transit Terminal||25, 26, 41/41A, 43, Mohawk East Extra Shuttle|
|McMaster University||1A, 10A, 5A/5C, 51 run through or terminate at the University
5B/5E, 10, 52 pass nearby on Main Street
GO Transit bus service to & from Burlington GO Station
|Meadowlands||5A/5C, 16, 41, 43, Redeemer University College Shuttle (limited service)|
|Upper Horning Loop||34A|
|West Hamilton Loop||5C, 51|
|Fare Class||Single fare||Monthly pass||Annual pass|
|Student (13 to 19)||$2.75||$1.80||$1.80||$79.20||$79.20||n/a|
|Senior (65 to 79)||$2.75||n/a||$1.80||n/a||$23.50||$235.00|
|Golden Age (80+)||$2.75||n/a||Free||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Appropriate identification must be provided. Fares as of September 01, 2015|
Metrolinx and HSR have partnered to operate the Presto electronic fare card. The project aims to standardize fare collection systems across transit agencies in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The system is currently operational.
HSR also once operated horsecar (1873–1892) and streetcar (1892–1951) lines (hence the name). Trolley buses were also run on a routes 1 King, 2 Barton and 3 Cannon from 1951 to 1988 - the trolleys lasted on route 2 Barton until 1993. Today HSR is exclusively a transit bus operator and has been Low Floor friendly since April 30 2009 with the Last High Floor buses Retired.
Most staff at HSR are members (bus operators, mechanics and other transit workers) of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107. The local was formed in 1899 and also represents transit workers at Mississauga Transit. The local does not represent those working on city's paratransit service, Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (DARTS).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hamilton Street Railway.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Streetcars of the Hamilton Street Railway.|
- About the company
- Name and relationship of HSR as shown on City website
- Cory Ruf (2014-05-27). "LRT and lessons to be learned from Hamilton's first flirtation with urban trains: In 1981, Council turned down elevated train line, despite province's vow to foot most of the bill". CBC News. Archived from the original on 2014-05-27.
On the night of Dec. 15, 1981, Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Council rejected a proposal to build a $111-million elevated train line from Jackson Square in the city’s core to Lime Ridge Mall, the hub for what was then the southern fringe of the Mountain’s blooming suburbs.
- City of Hamilton - Rapid Transit
- Why is the City of Hamilton interested in rapid transit?
- 2013 HSR Ticket and Pass Vendors
- Mills, John M. (1971). Cataract Traction:The Railways of Hamilton. Canadian Traction Series. Volume 2. Toronto: Upper Canada Railway Society & Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association. p. 116.
- HSR website
- Hamilton Transit History
- HSR history
- HSR Bus Roster
- HSR streetcar roster
- HSR horsecar roster
- HSR Incline
- HSR General Info
- DEWIRED (Re: 1992 close-down of Trolleybus service)
- JN's Hamilton Transit Photos
- Tom's Trolleybus Pix Hamilton ON
- Drawings and photos of Hamilton Street Railways buses