Coronavirus: HSR buses in Hamilton free, riders asked to use rear doors when boarding

Hamilton Street Railway is asking all transit riders to board buses from the rear door in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Don Mitchell / Global News

In an initiative to protect its drivers during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is asking riders to enter buses from the rear starting Thursday.

In light of the change, the city will also allow riders free fares during the measure, which is expected to stay in effect until at least April 5.

“HSR customers are being asked to board buses from the rear doors only and to keep a fair distance from the bus operators and other customers,” the city said in a release.

“As a result, HSR will not be collecting fares until further notice.”

Individuals who require personal mobility devices (PMD) will be exempt from entering rear doors and permitted to enter and exit through front doors.

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All regular riders will be required to stay behind the yellow line at the front of the bus and keep the seats behind the operator free at all times.

“I would like to thank our operators for their continued dedication. I can’t stress enough the professionalism they have shown in the face of ongoing uncertainty,” said Debbie Dalle Vedove, HSR director of transit.

“We have been working with their union executive to ensure we are able to provide a service that meets their needs and the needs of our customers.”

The HSR is also reassuring customers of daily standard cleaning protocols, which include regular hard surface wipe-downs and antimicrobial fogging treatments.

HSR service will also be dialling down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting next Monday and continuing until further notice, the HSR will be operating on a Saturday schedule from Monday through Saturday.

There will be no change to service levels on Sundays, and DARTS service is not being altered.

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