As COVID-19 restrictions ease, HSR is getting more reliable for riders

A month ago, the daily average of people left standing on the side of the road was 465. Tuesday, the number was 12.

A month ago, the average of people left on the side of the road was 465. Tuesday, there were 12

HSR started allowing more riders on buses on June 22, which has led to fewer pass-bys. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

HSR is getting easier to use for people needing to keep schedules, with the number of times a bus passed someone by dropping from 465 per day to just a dozen.

As the city eases COVID-19 restrictions, it's more than doubled the number of passengers allowed on its buses, from 10 per regular-sized bus at the height of the pandemic to 22 now. It's also allowing 33 riders on an articulated bus, up from 15.

That means the number of pass-bys has dropped from a daily average of hundreds to 22 on Monday and just 12 on Tuesday, HSR data shows. The city is also adding more buses to busier routes to minimize crowding. 

The increase happened on June 22, when the buses started running at 67 per cent capacity rather than 30 per cent, the agency said. HSR has also installed polycarbonate shields (bio-shields) to separate drivers from passengers, and will start collecting fares again on July 1. The city stopped collecting fares in April so people could enter through the rear door. 

Masks are also mandatory on city buses. 

Fifty people in Hamilton were known to have COVID-19 as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.

That's five more than the day before. The city has seen a total of 814 cases of the virus so far, including 805 confirmed cases and nine that are probable.

Of those, 720 people have recovered and 44 have died.

Sixteen victims of the virus were residents of the Rosslyn Retirement Residence, including 87-year-old Joan Wallace who died in hospital Tuesday. The home is the site of the deadliest outbreak in Hamilton.

There were no ongoing outbreaks in the city Wednesday.


Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Niagara Wednesday, brining the number of active cases in the region to 25.

The area has seen a total of 745 cases during the pandemic. Of those, 659 people have recovered and sixty-one people have died.

Outbreaks are ongoing at Crescent Park Lodge in Fort Erie and Garden City Manor in St. Catharines.


There are 63 active cases of COVID-19 in Halton — four fewer than Tuesday.

The region also added four more confirmed cases to its tally, for an overall total of 810 (731 of those cases are confirmed and 79 probable).

Eight more people recovered Wednesday, raising that number to 722. Twenty-five people have died.

Twenty-four people in Burlington currently have the virus and seven have died. The city has seen a total of 169 cases, including 150 that have been confirmed and 19 that are probable.

There are outbreaks at CAMA Woodlands (no current resident cases), Creek Way Village (one resident) and Billings Court (one resident) in Burlington. One resident at Billings Court has died.


Two more cases of COVID-19 were resolved in Brant for a total of 114 Wednesday, meaning three people in the county currently have COVID-19. Health officials say they're not in hospital.

The area has had a total of 121 confirmed cases during the pandemic. Four people have died.

An outbreak is ongoing at ​Telfer Place Retirement Residence in Paris where two staff members have tested positive for the virus.


Haldimand and Norfolk counties saw one new confirmed case of the virus, for a total of 445.

Of those, 217 are associated with Scotlynn Group in Vittoria — 199 migrant farm workers, and 18 people associated with the farm. 

Thirty-two people have died and 184 cases resolved, meaning 229 people currently have COVID-19.


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