Innovation Challenge - Spring 2024

Transit Ridership Experience Stream - Challenge 1

Data-driven insights to optimize decision-making processes and service delivery for transit agencies.

a close-up of the passenger stop button on a public bus

Ridership Advancements

HSR is seeking innovators to support the identification and integration of technologies and/or systems to transform the on-bus and overarching transit customer experience, aiming to foster a valuable connection with passengers, enrich ridership interactions for accessibility needs and safety, and amplify personalized communication based on individual habits and necessities.

How can HSR empower transit agencies with robust data-driven insights to optimize decision-making processes and service delivery?

passengers sitting and standing inside a city bus with blue handrails
HSR Transit Ridership Challenge 1

Transit Ridership Experience Stream

With commuters relying on buses, trains, and subways daily, the need for innovative solutions to elevate the passenger experience on public transit is essential for fostering a sense of connectivity, accessibility, and safety for all riders. There's a growing imperative to identify and integrate innovative systems that can transform the on-bus and overall transit customer journey. By harnessing advanced technologies, transit agencies can enhance accessibility and safety. Through continuous innovation, we can reshape the transit experience, making it more seamless, enjoyable, and inclusive for everyone.

Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) has provided an innovation challenge which focuses on deriving innovative solutions within public transit systems, that can enhance user experiences and ridership, ultimately fostering a more secure and reassuring journey experience for all passengers.

Meet our Innovation Challenge partner, Hamilton Street Railway (HSR)

HSR Logo

Hamilton Street Railway (HSR)

The Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is a public transit agency in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and is one of the oldest municipal transit systems in North America, with a history dating back to 1874.  HSR is considered a mid-sized transit agency and employs 880 people, operates 308 buses on 35 routes and has 2,300 transit stops.

The purpose of HSR’s transit service is to provide safe, reliable, accessible, and efficient public transportation across the City of Hamilton. Delivering seamless transportation is essential, as many customers rely on transit to support their quality of life.

Pre-COVID (2019), transit ridership was nearly 22 million. Like many transit agencies around the world, HSR experienced a decline in ridership, which has since nearly rebounded to pre-COVID levels.

In 2023, HSR entered Year 7 of the existing 10-Year Local Transit Strategy, which aims to increase the number of people who choose transit over other modes of transportation.  By 2031, HSR aims to have 33 million riders.

In 2023, HSR unveiled a proposed redesigned transit network for the future and is preparing Hamilton for the construction and future operation of an east-west light rail transit (LRT) service. HSR’s proposed new network encompasses every aspect of design, from routes, frequencies, amenities and creating a series of transit hubs to make travelling by transit more convenient.  More information may be found at: HSR (re)Designed Network | Engage Hamilton

HSR services enable the public to get to school, work, and sporting and social events, to access medical care, and facilitate access to necessities, like banking and grocery shopping. A high-quality public transit network is essential to the City of Hamilton and supports economic prosperity, social inclusion, cultural vitality, and environmental stewardship.