Partial transit victory
Hamilton City Council votes to extend service to Redeemer
2 min. read
April 10, 2014

Redeemer students will soon be able to take transit later into the evenings and on weekends. At its April 9 meeting, Hamilton City Council approved a series of improvements to the 44-Rymal route that services Redeemer’s campus. Service to the bus stop on Garner Road across from the campus’ main entrance will be extended beyond midnight each day; currently, the last bus comes by at 9:00 pm. Service will also be extended to weekends for the first time. But a third enhancement – increasing service frequency to the campus from 60 minutes to 30 minutes along Rymal Road west of Glancaster Road – was not approved. All three of the enhancements had been unanimously approved by the General Issues Committee in March, but Council amended the original motion. The decision to not increase service to 30 minutes was made to reduce the increase that Ancaster residents would see on their taxes. Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who moved the amendment, noted that the two enhancements are still an improvement to HSR service to the area. But he wants to see the ridership numbers on the route before the city spends more money. “This is still a reason to celebrate,” says Justin Eisinga, a third-year sociology/social work student. Justin is one of the leaders of Garnering Support, a group that has been advocating improved service. “I would like to thank and congratulate all who’ve been involved in this campaign, and particularly to the councillors who’ve championed this initiative. It has been an amazing experience!” Steve Dykstra, Redeemer’s Community Development Coordinator agrees. “This has been a bit of a labour of love for me, and I am so glad that after two-and-a-half years of advocacy, we are finally seeing tangible changes at this point. That said there is more to be done. We will keep working to expand service frequency; and safety for students crossing Garner Rd. remains a serious issue.” Plans are already underway to revisit the issue. “Redeemer got a glowing support speech from Councillor McHattie, and Councillor Ferguson is open to revisiting it again next year,” says Justin. “We will evaluate the situation over the next year and ask for service increase if we deem it necessary.” The issue has attracted much attention across Hamilton. Press reports detailing these changes were published by CBC Hamilton and The Hamilton Spectator, and the full council discussion, recorded by Joey Coleman, can be found on YouTube.

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