The HSR U-Pass PRESTO card is available for pick-up August 19 inside the Campus Store

August 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

All full-time undergraduate and graduate students hold a 12 month, unlimited ride bus pass with the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR). The HSR bus pass is a physical PRESTO card, used in combination with a valid student card. The bus pass is issued by the McMaster Students Union (MSU), the Graduate Student Association (GSA), the Campus Store and the HSR.

Both the PRESTO card and a 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 September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.

DO NOT TAP ON TO THE HSR PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2017.  Use your student card exclusively to ride the HSR until the end of August.  Tapping onto the HSR with your new PRESTO card prior to September 1 will result in a negative balance on your PRESTO account.

The new HSR U-Pass PRESTO card belongs to a student for the entirety of their school career at McMaster. In the future, only new students will be issued a new card, because the technology on the card will allow future HSR U-Passes to be sent directly to existing passes. It is strongly recommended to register your new HSR U-Pass PRESTO card at

View the HSR U-Pass PRESTO card FAQ page for a complete list of details.

Bus Pass Distribution

The HSR U-Pass PRESTO card will be available for pick-up beginning Saturday, August 19 via the Campus Store in Gilmour Hall B101. A student must have a valid student card present when picking-up a new bus pass. Please visit any register inside the Campus Store to acquire a PRESTO card. Additionally, students specifically enrolled in the Faculty of Health Sciences may visit the Health Sciences Campus Store to acquire their HSR U-Pass PRESTO card pass. 

Classes do not begin until September 5, but the Campus Store will be open every day from Monday, August 21 until Saturday, September 2.  The Campus Store will be closed on the Sunday, September 3 and Monday, September 4 of the Labour Day long weekend. 

Main Campus Store hours:

  • Saturday, August 19 - 9am to 4pm
  • Monday, August 21 and Tuesday August 22 - 9am to 6pm
  • Wednesday, August 23 - Friday, August 25  9am to 4pm
  • Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27  10am to 5pm
  • Monday, August 28 to Thursday, August 31  9am to 6pm
  • Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 2 - 10am to 4pm
  • Tuesday, September 5 to Thursday, September 7 - 9am to 8pm
  • Friday, September 8 - 9am to 6pm
  • Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 – 10am to 4pm

For HSCS hours, along with the Campus Store's full schedule,  please click here.

There is no additional cost

Full-time undergraduate students, as well as graduate students have already paid the HSR ancillary fee on their student accounts. There is no charge when picking up the card. In addition, a bi-fold card holder will be provided at time of pick-up. It is strongly recommended to use the card holder for a student card and PRESTO card, as (AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 )HSR drivers will require a student to tap onto the bus and show a student card to grant bus access.

Is there a grace period?

The HSR has granted a grace period, ending at 11:59PM on Friday, September 22, 2017. Therefore, students will have until such time secure their new HSR U-Pass PRESTO card from the Campus Store. During the grace period, a valid student card is all a student will need to ride the HSR.

Do all McMaster students receive a bus pass?

By virtue of respective referenda, only full-time undergraduate and full-time graduate students pay a fee to the HSR for the purposes of receiving a bus pass.  Part-time students at any level, as well as continuing education students have not paid the HSR fee and are not eligible to receive a bus pass. More information about bus pass eligibility is available at

Part-time students can qualify under certain circumstances.  Additional details can be found online here. Students who meet the criteria to become an MSU member as a part-time student can apply for a transfer beginning September 14 and continuing for 30 days.

Should I register my card?

Yes. In case you ever lose your bus pass, please register your card at Please note that your card is already activated. To register, create or sign into a My Presto Account and click "Add an Existing Card." Check out our video tutorial to watch the registration process with instructions for both new PRESTO users and those who already use PRESTO.

For more information on the bus pass, please visit

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