Okay so let me first explain what HSR is – that’s the Hamilton Bus system. What do the letters actually stand for? Hamilton Street Railway (and yes I had to Google that because I was not sure about it haha).
The HSR has been working very well during the pandemic. They have had strict measures in place, while still keeping the transit system running 7 days a week. That’s impressive in my eyes.
But while the system runs well, there are some things about the people who ride the HSR that makes it always entertaining!
My first view is of the actual bus line. The buses, for the most part, are clean, they are making sure everyone is wearing a mask when they enter and are on the bus, and in my experience the bus is usually on time, with some exceptions to the rule, mainly to do with traffic. Koodos to the HSR for running a very good transit system!
Now, the exceptions to the rule, the big one would be the one line – the Number 2 – Barton Street. Barton Street has a reputation of not being the safest area for very good reasons. The homelessness, the crime, the prostitutes – it’s an array of unsafeness. But the thing about the No. 2 – is the smell. It has the nickname of the Garlic Express. I’m sure you all get the picture, or perhaps the smell – garlic! Body odour! General stinkiness. It’s one bus line that I really try to avoid taking.
My next observation, and actually this one goes out to ALL transportation systems throughout the world – can we please put a ban on cellphone conversations on the bus? I have listened, only because the person is speaking so loudly that it’s hard not to listen, to many conversations about the sex they had the night before (really not interested), their upcoming doctor’s appointment, the way they are being treated so unfairly at work – and then in the next sentence oh I called in today I want to go shopping instead! Perhaps that’s why you aren’t being treated well at work? Anyway – I digress. The most interesting one I have had heard recently was just yesterday – about their court case coming up that week and discussing what to wear in front of the judge. “Should I wear that cute dress I got last week, or just stick with jeans and a t-shirt?” I really had the urge to say go for the cute dress but I refrained, as I was on the dreaded Garlic Express and you just don’t say things to others on that bus for safety reasons.
It’s always interesting to take transit – I highly recommend anyone who is travelling to Europe to take the transit. They have, by far, the BEST transit systems in the world! Clean, on time, yes you are going to hear phone conversations but unless you know the language they are speaking you won’t really know what they are saying anyway!
So – for an amusing day full of adventures – take the bus! See the sites of the city for a cheap cost, and listen to some fascinating locals It is well worth the trip!