Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) Bus Pass

The MSU / HSR Student Bus Pass

By virtue of referendum, all full-time undergraduate students hold a 12 month, unlimited ride bus pass with the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR). Historically, the physical bus pass was a portion of the colour-coded registration sticker mailed to students over the summer and affixed to one's student card.

The University is no longer producing stickers to affix to a student card, therefore a new bus pass system is required. For the upcoming academic year, the HSR bus pass will be a separate card issued by the McMaster Students Union (MSU), the Graduate Student Association (GSA), the Campus Store and the HSR.

New this year, both the new bus pass card and a valid student card must be presented to an operator to board the HSR transit system.  The bus pass gives full-time students unlimited access to the HSR bus system from August 29th, 2015 through August 31, 2016.

New student cards, as well as old student cards with last year's sticker will remain valid bus passes for the duration of the three week grace period, ending Monday, September 21 at 11:59pm.


Why the new card?

The University no longer prints stickers to be affixed to student cards. Therefore, the MSU could no longer use a portion of said sticker to act as the bus pass.  In addition, new student cards are now being produced for all new students.  Therefore, creating a 'new sticker' is also not feasible.

Where can I get my bus pass?

Bus passes will be will be available for pick up beginning August 29. A student must present a valid student card to pick-up the new bus pass. The new bus pass can be picked-up from the following locations:

  • Main Campus Store located in Gilmour Hall
  • Health Sciences Store located in the Health Science Centre
  • RJC Campus Store in Burlington (from September 8th to 25th)

Main Campus Store and Health Science location hours:

  • Saturday, August 29  Mid-afternoon to 5pm (Note: the Campus Store opens at 10am, but we expect the passes to be available in the mid-afternoon).
  • Sunday, August  30  10am to 5pm
  • Monday, August 31 to Thursday, September 3  9am to 6pm
  • Friday, September 4  9am to 4pm
  • Saturday, September 5  12pm to 4pm (main Campus store only)

The bus pass will be available for pick-up at the Campus Store continuing throughout first semester. The hours above reflect the first possible times to pick-up a bus pass, not the only times in which to do so. Click here for Campus Store hours of operation.

How does the bus pass work exactly?

A student must present both the new bus pass and a valid student card to board the HSR. A bi-fold card holder will be issued along side the bus pass.  It is recommended that students use the card holder, as both cards must be shown to the operator in order to ride the HSR.

How much is the bus pass?

All full-time students, via an ancillary fee on one’s student account, have already paid the cost of the bus pass.The cost of $138.65 represents a generous reduction of the monthly HSR fee. It costs a McMaster student approximately 1.5 months of retail bus charges for 12 months of use.

Is there a grace period in which my old sticker will still work?

Yes. The HSR will permit a grace period of three weeks, ending at 11:59pm on September 21. During the grace period, both the new student card or a previous student card with last year’s sticker will be accepted by the HSR.

Please ensure you pick-up your new HSR bus pass before September 21 to avoid any transit disruption in your schedule.  That said, the new bus pass will be available for pick-up beginning August 29th, continuing throughout first semester.

What happens if I lose my bus pass?

Replacement bus passes can be acquired as of September 21, the last day of the bus pass grace period.

If a bus pass is lost, one must first contact the HSR at 905-527-4441 / hsrserve@hamilton.ca, as well as McMaster Security Services 905-525-9140 ext. 27093 / security@mcmaster.ca, and inquire as to whether or not the pass was recovered. If not, please visit the Compass Information Centre in order to replace a lost bus pass. Bring this form with you to Compass, though forms are also available at the Compass desk.

A student’s first bus pass replacement will cost $25 and a second time replacement will cost $40. In each case, if a McMaster University student card was also lost, the replacement fee will be reduced by an additional $10.

Subsequent lost cards will be charged at a rate of $100, escalating to $150 for further replacements.  Should a person require additional replacements beyond two cards, one must contact HSR@msu.mcmaster.ca to discuss the case. There is the possibility of special financial consideration; each circumstance of this nature will be handled on a case-by-case basis.   

Please note, damaged cards will be replaced at Compass Information Centre for no cost. A damaged card must be relinquished at the time of receiving the replacement card for no cost.

Without a sticker, can how do I validate my student discount via GO Transit?

GO Transit will continue to recognize the credentials of a McMaster student, without the need of a separate GO student ID card.  That said, one must carry both a student card and a valid HSR/MSU bus pass card to show a GO operator, if requested as proof of student status.

Without a sticker, how do I prove my enrolment for insurance purposes?

First of all, your sticker never proved your access to coverage under the MSU operated Health and Dental insurance plans. Your student number remains the only information you need on that front.

For external/personal insurance, you can use your Mosaic account to acquire a letter proving your current registration. To issue yourself such a letter, follow these steps:

1.       Log into Mosaic
2.       Click on Student Centre tab at the top of the page
3.       On the left-hand side there will be an “other academics” drop down 
   menu. Select it and click on the enrolment/financial letters option,
   then hit the “>>” button
4.       Select academic career from drop down menu
5.       Select academic term from drop down menu
6.       Select “Registration Letter” from drop down menu
7.       Select delivery option from drop down menu
8.       Hit “Submit”