Big changes coming to HSR as they ramp up physical distancing measures
The City of Hamilton announced more HSR service impacts as they implement safer social distancing practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
To ensure physical distancing for operators and customers, the city said in a press release issued Thursday (April 2), that effective Friday HSR riders should expect longer wait times because they will be implementing strict customer capacity limits on buses.
Customer loads on the smaller, 40-foot buses will be restricted to 10 passengers and on the bigger 60-foot articulated buses, 15 passengers at a time will be allowed on.
"Operators will be by-passing stops if the load on the bus is in excess of the above amounts, or if there are concerns with physical distancing," the city's press release says.
All customers will also be required to enter and exit through the rear doors of the bus. Even customers using walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and other personal mobility devices (PMDs) will have to use the back doors.
"We can’t stress enough: travel on public transit is for essential trips only," the release asserts. "Please leave public transit for those who really need to be on the bus at this time for essential reasons (ie. to get to work or medical appointments)."
The city also says that customers using PMDs will be required to travel with a companion who, under the direction of the bus driver, will have to load and secure the PMD and that buses will now only be able to accommodate one wheelchair/scooter per bus regardless of its size.
"We encourage customers to plan to give yourself more time to get to your destination, as you may need to wait for a second, possibly third, or even fourth bus," they say in the release.
The city is asking employers to be flexible with start and finish times for their work locations to accommodate these changes.
"We need to work together, now more than ever before," they say.
Between the hours of 1pm and 5pm the following routes will experience the greatest impacts:
"We would ask the public to please exercise patience our operating staff; staff are doing their very best to accommodate physical distancing measures."
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