HSR Referenda

HSR Referenda

GSA/HSR Referendum:

Every three years the GSA enters renegotiations with the City for a new contract for the upcoming three years. The below represents the four questions the GSA will be bringing to students via referenda. The current rate of the HSR bus pass is $294.15. Voting NO to this referendum means Graduate Students are voting to not accept the agreement and not have a pass for Fall next year.

VOTING TAKE PLACE: February 13th 10:00am- February 15th- 6:00pm. All eligible voters will receive an email with voting details before the election (please check your McMaster emails)!

  1. Full time students (Fall)  

Do you agree to an increase in the FT graduate student Bus Pass mandatory student fee, for the following three years $302.35 in 2023/2024, $307.95 in 2024/2025, and $313.54 in 2025/2026. 

       2. Full time students (Winter) 

 Do you agree to reducing the FT graduate student Bus Pass for January starts; whereas, historically they were charged 100% of the cost of the FT fall (September fee). Though Access was for 8 months. This would result in a cost to students of 66.66% FT fall fee, a decrease of 33.34 % of the FT fee? 

 For example, the FT fall Buss Pass is $302.35 in 2023/2024 then FT winter students (January starts) will be charged a prorated fee of $201.57 for January 2024. (2/3 of the FT fall UCTP fee) 

       3. Full time students (Summer) 

Do you agree to the establishment of a mandatory student fee of 33.34% the cost of the FT Fall Bus Pass for FT graduate students starting in May? Historically, this group did not have access to any Buss Pass.  For example, the FT fall bus pass is $302.35 in 2023/2024 then FT Summer  students (May starts) will be charged $100.78 for May 2024. (1/3 of the FT fall UCTP fee) 

       4. Co-op students 

 Do you agree FT Co-op students at the respective rate (depending on start), with an ability to  opt-out for those students on co-op outside of the city of Hamilton?  Prorated fee for the remainder of the year the student is at McMaster University. 

VOTING NO- means that Graduate Students will not have access to the UPASS (HSR) pass (and the discounted rates herein).

Any questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of Macgsa@mcmaster.ca

Overtime Relief Fund

Overtime Relief Fund

Are you an overtime grad student whose funding has expired? Have you been unable to receive a sufficient extension in your funding? You may be eligible to apply for the GSA Overtime Relief Fund by the GSA, CUPE 3906 & Alumni Association. Check out the application here for more info. Deadline to apply is February 10th, 2023. 



HSR Graduate Student Survey Result

HSR Graduate Student Survey Result

Thank you for partaking in the HSR Graduate Student Survey. By participating in this small-scale survey, you have aided the GSA in gathering important feedback for what could be improved with the bus service in the City of Hamilton. This information will be relayed during negotiation meetings to improve user experience of the service. We are aware and apologize for not tailoring the survey to those who do not take public transportation, however based on responses from non-bus users, we have been able to omit those votes in overall calculations to not bias the results.

The participation of students in this survey has helped us find important negotiation points for the upcoming 2023-2026 HSR- GSA contract. If you have any further feedback or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the GSA office.

Key point:

  • We received 129 responses to our HSR survey.
  • Out of all participants, 71% of respondents were Ph.D. students and 29% Master students.
  • 80% of respondents use public transportation as their main mode of transport in Hamilton.
  • 88% of participants have redeemed their HSR bus pass, and 81% of those using the bus pass make use of the service on a daily and weekly basis.
  • The most frequented routes taken by 36% of participants is from Central Hamilton to the University, followed by 17% of students travelling from East Hamilton and 17% of participants travelling from Westdale.
  • The buses are mostly on time based on 68% participants.
  • Out of the survey participants 86% of students were satisfied or more than satisfied with the HSR service.


  1. More punctuality with the service is essential. Buses mostly arriving early which leaves students waiting for the next bus in cold temperatures.
  2. Weekend schedule is too infrequent.
  3. More bus frequency required at night.
  4. More double buses required as the buses are very busy in rush hour to and from the university
  5. Direct buses from further distances to the university should be created with minimal stops to reduce travel time.
  6. Announcing prolonged stops by the drivers to the passengers
  7. More accessibility from the Mountain.
  8. More accessibility to Binbrook/Waterdown from Hamilton.
  9. Buses are coming at the same schedule, would be better to be more spaced out between lines stopping at the same stops
  10. The city should have more route 5 buses.
  11. Increase the yearly pass by one week, in order to have the service available after the summer.
  12. More route 10 (Line B) services on Sundays, as buses are very busy.
  13. Dirty buses need to be addressed.
  14. Masks on buses should be reintroduced for safety.
  15. Car users would like to have an opt out option to not pay for the service they do not use.

Graduate Student Banking Session with RBC McMaster On Campus

Graduate Student Banking Session with RBC McMaster On Campus

Join the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) McMaster On Campus team for an interactive financial literacy workshop. To learn more about student banking in Canada, how to make daily transactions (i.e., paying tuition/bills, savings and investing), budgeting to meet your financial goals, and how to get the most out of your everyday banking. There will be a Kahoot game with a chance to win prizes!

Date & Time: Wed, 23 November 2022, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM EST

Location: McMaster University Student Centre, Room 313/311 1280 Main Street West Hamilton, ON L8S 4S4

Register HERE!

Storwell Self Storage Offers a $2,000 Bursary to Support Foster Children Going into Post-Secondary Education

Storwell Self Storage Offers a $2,000 Bursary to Support Foster Children Going into Post-Secondary Education

Along with providing safe, secure, and affordable self storage units, Storwell is also devoted to helping out the local community through various charitable causes and social initiatives. For over a decade, Storwell has been running a bursary program for students who were part of the foster care system to help them attend post-secondary school.

A study done in 2017 by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth found that over the last four decades, poor academic outcomes have been characteristic of former youth in care from Canada, the United States, and Britain. Youth in care struggle to complete high school with 56% of Ontario Crown Wards dropping out of high school. According to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, right now there are approximately 63,000 Canadian children living in permanent care with foster families, extended family, or in group homes. These children and youths frequently experience difficulties gaining access to adequate education opportunities, especially when it comes to post-secondary education.

In response to the growing number of foster children and youth in care that struggle to afford post-secondary studies, Storwell has developed the Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program. The aim of the Foster Children Bursary Program is to provide foster children with resources and opportunities that might be otherwise unavailable to them. With the proper tools, these students can work towards building a better life for themselves through the pursuit of higher education.

Storwell offers an annual bursary of $2,000 to help foster children attend post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life. Eligibility requirements and access to the application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application