The City of Hamilton announced tonight that Hamilton buses will operated on New Years Eve to let people celebrate.
I have been told by good source that the City Manager himself was involved. I was also told that a “bigwig” from City Hall was up at the HSR Garage (outside of the City by the airport) today yelling at the HSR manager who made this so-called “scheduling oversight” as they are now calling it. Some “oversight”, you know this thing called New Years only happens once a year so who knows what to expect from it. I am not buying the whole it only falls on Sunday once every seven years argument either. BTW, not to be too picky but it happens every six years (and rarely it takes 10 years to repeat) ! The ATU was not an obstacle whatsoever. Many in Hamilton’s entertainment sector were extremely concerned about the potential for drunk drivers to bring liability upon them and some even went so far as to threaten a class-action suit against the city in the event of any lawsuits against them.
Many people I know have already made plans to celebrate in Toronto, take the last GO Train out of Union and get back to West Hamilton by GO Bus instead of getting stuck in Downtown Hamilton as the city originally was setting up to happen here.
The City of Hamilton has the following statement:
HSR extends Sunday hours for New Year’s Eve – Free transit service for all riders from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Hamilton**, ON – December 28, 2006**– The****Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) will be extending its Sunday service hours for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2006. Transit service will be available from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. at no charge for all riders. A scheduling oversight originally had the service ending at midnight; however discussions between HSR management and representatives of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 107 resulted in the revised schedule.
“Once every seven years the HSR has to accommodate for this change in the Sunday schedule. Unfortunately, due to an oversight, the schedule was not changed for this year,” said Scott Stewart, General Manager, Public Works for the City of Hamilton. “Our drivers have been very accommodating to allow for the last minute change in order that anyone celebrating the New Year can do so knowing that the transit service will be available to them from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. for free.” The HSR will develop a permanent fix to the scheduling conflict in 2007.
“I am pleased we were able to reach a solution in time for this year’s New Years Eve celebrations,” said Mayor Eisenberger. “I’d like to personally thank the members of our Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 107 and HSR management for working with us today to ensure residents have a safe and enjoyable celebration on Sunday night.”
The City of Hamilton encourages anyone who has consumed too much alcohol to legally drive, to take public transit, designate a driver or call for a taxi.