The kitchener - Hamilton bus is great, but damn is it slow. Over 2 hours for Hamilton to Kitchener. If heading from Hamilton Centre you'd be better off taking Burlington Transit and catching the bus at Aldershot. Similarly it may be faster for some trips to transfer at Aberfoyle to the 25 if going to Waterloo..
6:50am departure from waterloo gets you to Hamilton Centre at 9:20. If you take the 7:10 Route 25 departure instead, you can connect to the same bus in Aberfoyle. Then get off at Aldershot at 8:43 and connect to the 8:51 train to West Harbour, arriving at 9:05. Comparatively, the 17 bus would arrive downtown at 9:20.
That would make the trip a total of 35 minutes faster than just sitting on the bus the whole time.
Agreed - it's fantastic that they're finally adding this route, but the brutal travel times will be a challenge for generating ridership.
On the Kitchener end the bus is indeed slower than the 25, but it does take the fastest route from Waterloo to Guelph, and from Guelph to Highway 6. The route will be very valuable for Kitchener-Guelph trips and Guelph-Hamilton trips, even if it fails to attract many Kitchener-Hamilton trips.
The real issue is on the Hamilton end, where it tries to do too many things at once:
This is not three branches of a route, this is a single bus which does a solid half hour of deviations before going to Hamilton Centre.
Rather than serving 3 destinations poorly, we ought to serve one or two destinations well. Especially since there is already regular bus service from McMaster to Aldershot, McMaster to Hamilton Centre, and Aldershot to Hamilton Centre.
I would cut Aldershot off the route, saving 15 minutes per direction (half hour round trip) for people heading to McMaster of Hamilton Centre. People heading from Kitchener, Guelph or Aberfoyle to the GTA can just as easily take the buses via Highway 7 or Highway 401. The more valuable connection on this end is to the City of Hamilton itself, as well as GO Route 18K from Hamilton Centre to St Catharines and Route 15 from McMaster to Brantford.