Major transit overhaul appears on the way for Hamilton

Support TNI Subscribe

New transit draft plan written by McMaster researchers to eventually go before Council after summer public consultation. Photo credit: HSR


The City of Hamilton recently revealed draft plans for a major transit overhaul meant to get the local bus system “ready for rail” and increase service to growing areas of the city.

The released plans are part of the “(Re)envision the HSR” project completed by the Public Works Transit Division in association with McMaster University researchers.

The project was actually launched in April 2018, but the process encountered multiple hurdles. The pandemic, the cancelling and then re-announcing of the Hamilton LRT project, and City Council’s decision to covert Main Street to two-way traffic all changed multiple variables.

Each hurdle meant significant tweaks to the draft plan, but it is now reaching the final stages of development.

The plan and a completely re-envisioned transit map were released to the public earlier this year.

Since then, the city has held a number of in-person consultation sessions and sought feedback on the draft plan through an online survey. 

The survey is open until September 30, 2023 and can be found here.

After that, officials will come up with a final plan based on the public feedback received and present that plan to City Council for approval in early 2024.

The draft plan includes adding new rapid transit routes and new neighbourhood routes and is based around a number of transit hubs.

Primary hubs in the plan are: Lime Ridge Mall, Eastgate Mall Terminal, Heritage Greene Shopping Centre Terminal, the King and James LRT stop, McMaster University Terminal, Meadowlands Terminal, Mohawk College Terminal, and West Harbour GO Terminal.

Secondary hubs are: Ancaster Gateway at the Ancaster Fairgrounds, the Centre Mall on Barton, Confederation GO Terminal, Downtown Dundas, Elfrida Gateway at Regional Road 20 and Upper Centennial Pkwy, Hamilton GO Centre, Mountain Transit Centre, Parkdale and Queenston LRT stop, Stoney Creek Gateway at Jones Road, and Waterdown Gateway at Highway 6 and Dundas St E.

Hamilton’s proposed rapid transit network, referred to as the BLAST network, would see buses run every ten minutes during peak times.

Currently, Hamilton only has two rapid transit routes: the B-Line from Dundas to Stoney Creek through McMaster University and Eastgate Mall and the A-Line from Mount Hope to Pier 8.

While proposals for the BLAST network previously only included five rapid transit routes (the B-Line, L-Line, A-Line, S-Line, and T-Line), the draft plan now includes a sixth route: the E-Line.

As a result, the report notes that the city’s “BLAST moniker will need to be updated.”

While the B-Line and A-Line will remain relatively the same as now, the introduction of new rapid transit routes will significantly change the HSR system.

The “30 S-Line” will run from Ancaster Gateway to the Parkdale and Queenston LRT stop connecting Ancaster and the south end of Hamilton Mountain to the LRT.

The newly introduced concept the “40 E-Line” will run from Confederation GO Station to Heritage Greene Terminal.

The “50 T-Line” will run from Downtown Dundas Terminal to Heritage Greene connecting with McMaster University and Lime Ridge Mall.

The “60 L-Line” will run from Waterdown Gateway to the Centre Mall Terminal.

Along a number of these corridors, the city also plans to install Transit Signal Priority measures, queue jump lanes for buses, and potentially even dedicated transit lanes.

The plan also says that the current Frank A. Cooke MacNab Transit Terminal lands could open up for development since West Harbour GO Station would replace the MacNab Terminal as the primary downtown transit hub.

Overall, the city would have nine new routes (increasing from 35 to 44), four new rapid transit routes, and the number of bus stops would increase from 2,359 to 2,471.

It is important to note that plans could still change slightly based on the ongoing resident consultation and Council’s final vote on the matter.

If approved by Council, new routes would be phased in gradually as early as next year.

Both set-up and operation costs will be revealed in the final presentation to Council in early 2024 and are expected to be significant.

Your donations help us continue to deliver the news and commentary you want to read. Please consider donating today.

Support TNI


  • Politics

  • Sports

  • Business

  • Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap