HSR buses stored in the Mountain Transit Centre garage in December 2017 Credit: Joey Coleman

Hamilton’s public transit agency wants its new $300-million bus storage and maintenance facility built and open by the end of 2024.

The City posted bid documents for the facility this week.

The new garage will be located beside the 330 Wentworth Street North public works garage.

The new facility is often referred to as the “Bus Barn”

The 330 Wentworth facility was originally built for the HSR using provincial and federal funding. The former Region of Hamilton-Wentworth Council converted it to a public works vehicle storage building after a few years.

The new bus barn is largely funded by the provincial and federal governments.

The proposed layout of the new HSR bus barn from the bid documents posted in January 2023

The bid documents state the City wants the facility to house 200 natural gas-fueled buses, a bus wash facility, offices for HSR dispatch and administration, a five-storey parking garage for employees, 30 repair bays, and amenities for employees, including a fitness facility.

The winning bidder will be responsible for demolishing existing buildings and soil remediation on site.

The City says they want the building to “target” LEED Silver principles, but the City “will not be pursuing the certification itself.”

The HSR presently has around 275 buses in its fleet. The buses operate from a transit garage on Upper James Street near the airport.

The present Mountain facility is overcapacity, with many buses being stored outdoors. This lowers their life cycle and increases maintenance costs.

Operating out of the Mountain Transit Centre has increased the HSR’s operating costs as buses must travel to and from the facility to enter service in the Lower City.

The HSR will operate out of both facilities when the new garage opens.

The location of the planned HSR bus barn. From the bid documents posted in January 2023

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Published: January 14, 2023
Last edited: January 15, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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6 replies on “Hamilton Posts Bid Documents for New HSR Bus Barn”

  1. Before beginning these plans, ask management, drivers, mechanical staff , custodial staff , training staff for their input. What do they think would make a good bus barn. Incorporate these ideas . For example the dispatch office should look out onto the barn and be able to see where all of the buses are. Make the gym close to where the drivers exit and enter the garage. They will use it more. Healthy drivers, better attendance. Perhaps make a survey and actually ask the people who actually use this facility what they think.

    1. Great suggestions Marnie. I hear the HSR gym is crap thus it won’t be used. The HSR operators I see and chat with go to the Hamilton Downtown YMCA between shifts.

  2. Why don’t HSR employees take the bus to and from work at this proposed facility? A 5 story employee parking area costs how much?
    Take the bus or find your own parking I say.
    Governments, especially these days, seem to think that the taxpayers are all really rich and don’t care how much money they spend of OUR tax money.

    1. Hey Wayne,
      Thanks for the comment. Firstly, I want to publicly apologize for my delay moderating overnight.

      A large number, potentially the majority, of bus operators begin their shifts before 6am and end after 12 midnight. There is no bus service at those times.
      Parking is required.

      The new facility does include bicycle parking.

      Over time, many operators will likely move into the surrounding neighbourhood. Back when the HSR was located at this very site, I lived near Wentworth and Cannon, I saw many bus operators who walked to work.

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