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Coach Canada cancels Hamilton - Guelph bus service

The Hamilton Spectator and Guelph Mercury both report that Coach Canada is ending daily bus service between Hamilton and Guelph, starting next Monday, August 17.

The newspapers quote Coach Canada spokesperson Brian Morehouse, who said the Guelph - Hamilton line has been a money-loser for years; however, they also report that regular passengers say buses are quite often full.

Buses leave Hamilton for Guelph as often as five times a day. From Hamilton, buses pick up and drop off passengers at McMaster University and from the downtown Hamilton GO bus terminal. In Guelph, buses leave from the University of Guelph’s transit loop in front of the University Centre and from the downtown Guelph bus terminal.

Buses also serve Waterdown and several rural communities within the City of Hamilton. The Coach Canada buses provide more direct service between Waterdown and downtown Hamilton than the Hamilton Street Railway’s own service. Passengers from downtown Hamilton have to travel by Burlington Transit or GO Transit to reach Aldershot GO Station before they can use the HSR’s service, which only operates during rush hours.

On Monday, Coach Canada is canceling the five daily runs and, instead, will operate one trip each week on Tuesdays until it ends the service completely on Tuesday, October 21.

According to Tom Luton’s Hamilton Transit History website, Canada Coach Lines (CCL) provided intercity coach service between Hamilton and Guelph as early as the 1930s.

“Originally a privately owned bus company, CCL bought the HSR from Ontario Hydro in 1946. Shortly after buying the HSR, the management of the CCL decided to re-arrange the corporate structure, making the HSR the parent company, and the CCL the subsidiary. This structure continued after the City of Hamilton bought HSR in 1960. The CCL served as a municipally owned intercity bus line until the City sold it to Trentway - Wagar in 1993.”

(This arrangement is similar to the City of Toronto’s relationship with the TTC and its intercity unit, Gray Coach Lines from the 1920s until the 1990s.)

Today, Trentway - Wagar uses the Coach Canada name — operating as part of the Coach USA network.

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