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Hamilton mayor calls for an end to joy rides on HSR amid coronavirus pandemic

Hamilton Mayor Fred estimates that the HSR is currently running at about 20 per cent capacity as it operates on a Saturday schedule from Monday to Friday.
Hamilton Mayor Fred estimates that the HSR is currently running at about 20 per cent capacity as it operates on a Saturday schedule from Monday to Friday. City of Hamilton

Hamilton’s mayor has a message for bored people who think joy-riding on city buses for free is a good way to pass the time: “don’t do it.”

READ MORE: Hamilton’s HSR service now on Saturday schedule amid COVID-19 pandemic

Fred Eisenberger says he understands that there’s a need to be entertained, somehow, but he adds it’s not a good time for “recreational jaunts.”

He says those who do so are putting themselves and others at unnecessary extra risk of coming into contact with the new coronavirus, adding that it’s a “dangerous thing to do.”

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

Hamilton’s transit system is free for the time being, since customers are being asked to stay away from the drivers and to enter and exit through the rear doors.

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The mayor says Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) drivers have indicated that an unintended consequence is that people are getting on at a given location, riding to the end of the line and “going around for the loop.”

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Eisenberger estimates that the HSR is currently running at about 20 per cent capacity as it operates on a Saturday schedule from Monday to Friday.

He says that is helpful from a social distancing perspective, since “buses are much, much more empty and people can separate themselves.”