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View Full Version : McMaster vs. Hamilton: HSR Buses Through Campus



scott000
May 2, 2009, 1:23 AM
I'm wondering if anyone has any information regarding HSR bus lines being re-routed around McMaster rather than going through campus. Specifically, if there will be any changes before September regarding the remaining lines (1A, 5A/C, 51) that run through campus.

Prior to Sept. 2008 the B-Line was moved out to stop at MUMC and Main at Emerson instead of on-campus, with McMaster expressing plans to remove buses from campus completely in the next few years.

Here's a link to an old article from The Spec regarding the issue:
Route tweek boots B-Line off campus (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/423104)

emge
May 2, 2009, 2:43 AM
There was a thread on this several months back, I'm just seeing if I can pull it up.... it will probably have that information. the City of Hamilton or HSR website will probably have it also

flar
May 2, 2009, 2:46 AM
As far as I know, all buses will be routed off campus come September. Very stupid in my opinion.

emge
May 2, 2009, 2:51 AM
August 22, 2008 of "The future of Hamilton's public transit" (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=140244) thread is where the discussion on this forum started last year, with that article. With my settings that's around page 40 in the thread.

The goal was all buses off campus by 2011 but I haven't seen anything more specific thus far.

scott000
May 3, 2009, 12:55 AM
August 22, 2008 of "The future of Hamilton's public transit" (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=140244) thread is where the discussion on this forum started last year, with that article. With my settings that's around page 40 in the thread.

The goal was all buses off campus by 2011 but I haven't seen anything more specific thus far.

thanks, I'll check it out.

and yes flar, i agree completely, its a very stupid move.
btw flar, love the photo tours of Hamilton, a link to one is what got me to this site and checking out the rest got me to join.

scott000
May 3, 2009, 2:33 AM
Here's my view of the whole HSR on-campus issue.

Disclaimer: I am a current Mac student living in a student rental off-campus so there may be so bias here.

I think that it is essential to keep buses running through campus as many students (myself, included) who live off-campus use the HSR daily to get to and from campus. While the walk to the edge of campus is only between 10-20 minutes for most us, its another 5-10 minutes to get to main buildings on campus. Therefore if buses stop at the edge of campus (as proposed), it greatly reduces the usefulness of the HSR entirely. While it may be worth it to wait a few minutes for the bus if its takes you right to your destination, when it only takes you half or two-thirds of the way, it becomes less desirable.

However, if the master plan is to have the LRT line run through campus (although that doesn't seem to be the current plan from what I've seen) and have local buses not enter the campus, this would likely reduce the dreaded growth of student housing and maybe help spread students throughout the city.

If the LRT were to run through the campus, it would provide quick access to students living in the West Village Condos, the proposed Ewen St. Student Apartment, and many other place along the proposed route (including, of course, downtown). Houses within a short walking distance of McMaster would still likely remain the most desirable choice for students moving off-campus. However, houses that are farther away (but currently remain desirable because of their proximity to bus stops that take students onto campus) would likely become less desirable to similar residences downtown (or elsewhere) that will provide students a direct route to the center of campus.

Consider these two options (all based on assumptions & generalizations):
House A (Westdale): 25min walk to Center of Campus (CoC), buses run every 15mins to edge of campus, walk 7mins to destination
House B (Downtown): 50min walk to CoC, LRT runs every 10mins(?) directly to destination, lower rent than House A, walking distance to shopping, bars, GO Terminal

Not everyone would choose House B, but its likely some would.

While the suggestion that many current student houses would return to single-family homes is likely unrealistic, the declined desirability of some homes in these areas (and therefore declined revenue potential, ease of finding tenants) would hopefully stall the creation of more student homes in the Westdale/ Ainslie Woods community, and instead place students further into the core.

However, everything that I am suggesting to justify the removal of HSR buses from campus is dependent on the inclusion of multiple LRT stops on campus. Therefore, until and only if this becomes a reality, should buses be removed from campus.

emge
May 3, 2009, 3:21 AM
I highly doubt LRT will ever include any in-campus stops, for speed factors alone. The proposed route also includes it going straight along Main, not into campus at all.

This is to preserve the speed of light rail itself - if it goes through Mac, it will slow down the entire route, especially past McMaster, or those waiting for it to loop around and come back. LRT needs to be fast, fast, fast, especially for students coming from farther away, or non-students whose destination is past McMaster, or those going downtown from Dundas via the LRT.

On the one hand, it does make it tougher to get to campus to take the buses out entirely. I don't like that idea. On the other hand, other schools have long walks involved and are well-serviced by transit at their perimeters, and people get along fine. Once the initial whining and complaining pass, people will still get there in time. It's still a far shorter walk than parking in most peripheral lots at Mac.

I think I come out opposite to you in this because of that: LRT shouldn't be slowed down to stop people from walking an extra few minutes... but preserving a bus service into campus for local students who don't want to walk won't affect the pedestrian-friendliness of the campus at all.

adam
May 3, 2009, 3:47 PM
Mac should be ALL OVER Light Rail and pay their way for a stop in central campus. A student could have an 8:30 class at central campus and a 11:30 class downtown.

SteelTown
May 3, 2009, 4:30 PM
MUMC is currently renovating the front entrance and soon I suspect they'll re-do the front entrance for cars and buses. I suspect they'll remove the green space and trees to build a transit terminal.

mishap
May 3, 2009, 5:53 PM
MUMC is currently renovating the front entrance and soon I suspect they'll re-do the front entrance for cars and buses. I suspect they'll remove the green space and trees to build a transit terminal.
Are you talking about that semi-circular area on the north side of Main Street. That would actually make a great location for a terminal (aside from something actually on the campus). You'd have to add a curb cut and a transit priority signal for buses to exit at the east end, but I think it could work. Notice how Forsyth is slightly elevated there? If they wanted to get "fancy," they could add a ped tunnel under the street to connect the campus with the centre of the terminal. For security purposes, the tunnel could be closed off at night.

I have mentioned this specific location before, but I have never heard that they're actually considering it. What I have heard is that the old one-storey building next to the new engineering(?) building may be coming down, and that's a potential site.

highwater
May 3, 2009, 8:07 PM
That's also the ambulance entrance for emerge. Not sure how well that would mesh with at transit terminal.

SteelTown
May 3, 2009, 8:15 PM
http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&q=Hamilton+ontario&ie=UTF8&split=0&gl=ca&ei=x_r9SaagL5SWMZPHtL0E&ll=43.258657,-79.918282&spn=0.000926,0.001717&t=h&z=19

That green space. Currently buses park on the curb. If they locate the terminal there they can enter and turn from that area instead of the current spot that have to circle around (near the ER entrance).

scott000
May 3, 2009, 10:35 PM
I highly doubt LRT will ever include any in-campus stops, for speed factors alone. The proposed route also includes it going straight along Main, not into campus at all.

This is to preserve the speed of light rail itself - if it goes through Mac, it will slow down the entire route, especially past McMaster, or those waiting for it to loop around and come back. LRT needs to be fast, fast, fast, especially for students coming from farther away, or non-students whose destination is past McMaster, or those going downtown from Dundas via the LRT.

On the one hand, it does make it tougher to get to campus to take the buses out entirely. I don't like that idea. On the other hand, other schools have long walks involved and are well-serviced by transit at their perimeters, and people get along fine. Once the initial whining and complaining pass, people will still get there in time. It's still a far shorter walk than parking in most peripheral lots at Mac.

I think I come out opposite to you in this because of that: LRT shouldn't be slowed down to stop people from walking an extra few minutes... but preserving a bus service into campus for local students who don't want to walk won't affect the pedestrian-friendliness of the campus at all.

That's a good point because having the LRT on-campus would be somewhat of a detour that would slow down the speed of the line. While I wasn't suggesting that having LRT stops through campus should be used by students just trying to get across campus, but rather to provide easy access to students travelling to class from farther away (ie. downtown), unfortunately the former would likely be unavoidable, especially in bad weather... so yes, it would significantly slow down the service just to benefit a few.

As for taking the buses off-campus, I didn't realize they would be constructing a new terminal and so if the buses stop at the new terminal in front of MUMC and then again at Forsyth & Sterling it really isn't too bad at all. For some reason I had imagined the buses not entering campus at all, but if they just go around the perimeter on Forysth that'll be almost as good as going through campus. Hopefully the new bus stop/ terminal by MUMC will accompanied by an improved pedestrian crosswalk to accommodate the significant amount of students that will be crossing Forsyth and heading up University Ave.

The one idea that I do not fully understand is how the removal of buses will make the campus significantly more pedestrian friendly (aside from the obvious - less traffic). The roads that the buses currently use through campus cannot be removed when they are no longer used by buses because they are still essential for delivery trucks, campus security, emergency vehicles, etc. so its not like they could replace them with a giant pedestrian/ cyclist walkway across campus. If anything, the removal of buses passing through campus may result in increased danger as pedestrians will be less aware when crossing the road without a steady flow of buses to have to watch out for.

adam
May 4, 2009, 3:17 AM
Organize students to collectively start walking on the mcmaster roadways as a protest. Its a business that serves the students but I guess they never thought to ask students what they wanted? Each Students is feeding thousands of dollars / year into Mac.

highwater
May 4, 2009, 4:26 AM
I don't know about the student body as a whole, but the student union supported the removal of buses from campus.

mishap
May 4, 2009, 6:10 AM
That's also the ambulance entrance for emerge. Not sure how well that would mesh with at transit terminal.
Shouldn't be a problem. There are already buses driving up to the hospital doors. A terminal would actually help by taking the buses away from the building.