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HSR revises fares for seniors, starting January 1

Hamilton City Council recently approved several changes to the Hamilton Street Railway’s fare structure and policies.

To make sure the HSR complies with new regulations in the Accessibility for Disabled Ontarians Act, starting New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013, all passengers aboard regular HSR buses will pay the same cash fare, regardless of age.

(Under the ‘fare parity’ regulations of the act, all transit agencies in Ontario are required to make sure all passengers are treated equally when they pay transit fares.)

To provide more economical fares to senior passengers — age 65 years or older — the HSR is offering a discounted fare for seniors using PRESTO fare cards and a senior PRESTO monthly pass fare.

Since the HSR is working to eliminate paper fare media and move all its passengers to the PRESTO card, it will no longer issue senior paper tickets or senior monthly passes and only offer seniors a discount when they use a PRESTO card.

The HSR will issue free PRESTO cards to seniors for a limited time, and when they use them with proper identification, they will be eligible for the $1.65 single ride or the $20.50 monthly pass price. It will still offer Hamilton seniors senior annual passes for $205 or the Golden Age Pass, free of fare for Hamilton residents 80 years of age or older. However, if you do not take advantage of the senior discounted fares, you must pay the adult fare of $2.55.

City of Hamilton council recently reversed an earlier decision to charge regular transit fares to blind and other disabled passengers as part of the fare parity policy. It will revisit that policy in April and, in the meantime, City staff will consult with provincial officials before council makes a decision on whether to charge fares to all passengers using transit services in Hamilton.