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Absent buses frustrate HSR riders, Hamilton city officials

Hamilton's General Manager of Public Works acknowledges that the city is letting down HSR riders.
Hamilton's General Manager of Public Works acknowledges that the city is letting down HSR riders. City of Hamilton

Hamilton’s General Manager of Public Works acknowledges that “we’re letting our customers down.”

Dan McKinnon confirms more than 1,000 missed hours of municipal bus service in October with absenteeism among drivers at the “extraordinary level” of 18 per cent.

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McKinnon acknowledges that it is “frustrating” since the city doesn’t want to cancel even one hour of Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) service.

He adds that “we’re trying to be as strategic as we can” by ensuring that two buses in a row are not missing on the same route and that it’s “on routes that have lower ridership.”

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While the cause of the spike in absenteeism is unclear, McKinnon notes that city staff is working with the union that represents HSR drivers to try to “get that service out on the road.”

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He adds that they’re “very aware” and “sympathetic” to the fact that “people rely on this to get to work, they’ve got commitments that they’ve got to live up to, and when the bus does not show up that’s a huge problem.”