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Important new information for HSR riders: Bus capacity, masking, going paperless

Important new information for HSR riders: Bus capacity, masking, going paperless

Beginning Sunday, December 27, 2020, schedule updates are being implemented by the HSR to ensure there is a reliable and sustainable plan for service to continue.

Bus Capacity

HSR will remain on a weekday service at a summer level on most routes, with the equivalent of a 100% seated capacity. This would mean a combination of seated/standing 30 customers on a 40-foot bus and 50 customers on a 60-foot articulated bus. With the mask By-law in place, City of Hamilton Public Health are not recommending HSR move to a reduced capacity at this time. Wearing a mask on public transit provides the best protection where physical distancing is hard to maintain.


Everyone is reminded, as per the City of Hamilton By-law 20-155, masks or face coverings (some exceptions) are required when using public transit; this includes HSR, TransCab and DARTS. Customers are reminded their mask should cover their nose and mouth and remain snugly on their face for the duration of their trip; and not remove their mask to eat, drink or talk on their cell phone.

HSR operators take great care in the safety of our customers and ensure that all customers follow City of Hamilton’s Mask By-law 20-155 when entering the bus. They are committed to providing a safe, reliable and professional service and do their best to limit instances of over-crowding by monitoring the boardings of customers the best they can, while safely operating their vehicle.

Operators continue to take an educational approach, as we know wearing a mask provides protection where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. It is important to note, it is the responsibility of individuals to adhere to physical distancing and respect the measures implemented. MLE does not have the capacity to enforce the by-law on board HSR buses; please reach out to By-law directly at 546-CITY if you require more information.

Going Paperless

•       Earlier this year, Hamilton City Council approved the removal of paper media (HSR paper Bus tickets and monthly passes) from circulation. The PRESTO fare card system was approved by Council and implemented with the intent of replacing legacy paper tickets and paper monthly pass products.

•       HSR discontinued the paper monthly passes on October 31, 2020. As of November 1, 2020, passes are available only on a PRESTO card. 

•       Paper tickets have stopped being sold on October 31, 2020; tickets are now only available on a PRESTO card. 

•       HSR will continue to accept paper tickets already purchased until December 31, 2020.

•       PRESTO E-Ticketing – using a smartphone and a credit card, you can pay with the PRESTO E-Tickets mobile app. PRESTO E-Tickets cost the same price as paper tickets and allow for a 2-hour transfer window.

•       Residents who are 80 years and older will receive a one-time free PRESTO Card when they obtain their Golden Age pass for unlimited free transit in Hamilton.

•       A special purpose ticket has been created for social agencies and school boards that utilize paper tickets to support their clients; and available at the Customer Service Office at 36 Hunter Street East. Customers may also purchase up to two (2) special purpose tickets at a time at the Customer Service Office They will remain available until PRESTO has released suitable functionality that meets their needs.

•       Staff are currently working with PRESTO to rollout equipment to vehicles utilized by DARTS.  More information will become available as the project progresses.

•       For more information click here:

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