Amid GO Transit strike, Hamilton buses to have alternate stop at Aldershot

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Published November 9, 2022 at 11:09 am

Commuters affected by the three-day-old GO Transit strike who are connecting to downtown Hamilton or Waterdown will have a walk and a wait.

On Monday, around 2,200 Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 1587 member employees of GO Transit went on strike, forcing provincial operation Metrolinx to cancel bus service. Trains are still running, but downtown Hamilton only receives hourly service on the Lakeshore West line.

Local 1587 and Metrolinx’s respective bargaining teams have no new talks scheduled until Friday (Nov. 11) at the earliest. President Rob Cormier accused the provincial transit agency of “fail(ing) to come to the table with a reasonable offer.”

Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) bus drivers are also ATU members. As such, they have the right to respect a job action by another local and refuse to cross a picket line. Consequently, HSR has added temporary stops near GO Stations.

For now, HSR says it has added “a temporary stop location on Masonry Court throughout the day” Aldershot GO in Burlington. Riders who need a connection should head to GO’s platform 4 and walk through the south parking lot to the temporary stop.

Similar alterations have been made to routes that normally drop off and pick up passengers inside the Hamilton GO Centre on Hunter St. E. downtown. The HSR buses do not enter the West Harbour GO Station on Bay St. N., although there are stops close by.

Typically, the Lakeshore West westbound GO Train arrives at Aldershot at 22 and 51 minutes after the hour. Only the one that arrives closer to the top of each hour continues on to West Harbour, arriving at five minutes after the hour.

A travel guide was also provided by HSR in the same Twitter thread.

Travellers who are Waterdown-bound should take the HSR southbound No. 18 Waterdown Moutaineer route, which departs at 17 and 47 minutes after each hour. They can also walk to a stop at Waterdown Rd. and Masonry Crt. to catch the northbound No. 18, which arrives at three and 33 minutes after each hour.

If headed to downtown Hamilton, travellers can take either the HSR southbound No. 18 or Burlington Transit’s No. 4 Central route to Plains Rd. The latter comes by the GO Station at 25 and 55 minutes after the hour — although it is just a few minutes after a westbound GO Train would be pulling in nearly 1 km away. Both of those routes offer a transfer to Burlington Transit’s westbound No. 1 Plains route which goes into the downtown.

Users of the PRESTO card can transfer for free between the neighbouring cities’ buses. The transfer window is two hours from the time a rider first taps their card.

Local 1587 has said this is the first time that GO Transit bus operators have gone on strike. They have been working without a contract since June.

Striking workers have been holding overnight pickets at a garage in Dundas. Hamilton Centre member of Parliament Matthew Green, a New Democrat, also joined a rally on Tuesday. Green, who was first Black city councillor on Hamilton, noted he was an ATU member before entering elected politics.

Hamilton social justice leader Sarah Jama, who is the Ontario NDP candidate for a Hamilton Centre byelection that will be held to fill the Ontario Legislature seat vacated in the summer by now Hamilton Mayor-elect Andrea Horwath, was also on the picket line in the wee houus.

— with files from Glenn Hendry

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