But that's not all. The buses are also going to be equipped with screen telling you which stop you're at in real-time.
That means the next time you're on an unfamiliar bus route, you can relax and stare at your phone instead of looking out the window trying to figure out where to get off, or asking the bus driver to warn you when your stop comes.
And that's still not all!
The bus schedule will now also be updated in real time which means you can see exactly when the next bus is coming and whenever there is a service disruption using a app on your phone.
Here are the lines where you're likely to see one.
Move aside, limos, there's a cooler way to get around Montreal streets now: by renting an STM bus. That's right, you and your group of friends can rent an STM bus to pull up to your next function.
Buses are available for rental during the week from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., and 24 hours a day on weekends.
The STM confirmed with MTL Blog that it's possible for an individual or a group to rent a bus for personal reasons, as long as all the terms and conditions are followed.
To start off, a maximum of 55 people are allowed on board at once. That includes 30 seated and 25 standing.
The rules of conduct while on the bus include no smoking, drinking alcohol or doing drugs; no music (sigh); no decorations of any sort are allowed to be hung up; and all passengers must maintain a "respectful conduct and noise level."
So basically, you can't turn it into a party bus. But you can take it to get to a party — so long as the bus isn't used to travel to the airport, a private parking lot without permission, or anywhere buses aren't allowed or couldn't navigate (unpaved roads, narrow roads with hairpin turns, etc.).
As for prices, it's $198 an hour plus tax for commercial groups, with a minimum of three consecutive hours. And for non-profit groups, it's $165 an hour plus tax, with a minimum of two consecutive hours. Note that "additional fees apply when buses are rented for night-time transportation."
To apply to rent an STM bus, you can fill out the form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The form asks simple questions such as the date of your event, the number of passengers, the description of your activity and the destination(s).
But it did, and Montreal's buses are now air conditioned.
Obviously the STM can't afford to pull all the buses off the road to replace them with hybrids, so for the last two weeks, the busiest and most crowded lines and those who cater to the most tourists have been prioritized.
So far the 11 and the 747 lines have been equipped with generators that store the energy the bus spends it is breaking. That energy is then used to power the air conditioning system as well as the bus itself.
But here's the good part.
There are 23 buses in total so far with air conditioning and 24 more will be rolled out by the end of the year. Which means they will be popping up on random bus lines all over the city, so if you're lucky, the bus line you use might be next.
The air conditioning makes a huge difference. When the temperatures and humidity soared above 35°C yesterday, the interior of the bus felt like 18°C.
And I'm sure it helps with the odor as well...
Considering today might reach up to 38°C, I seriously pray that you get picked up by one of these on your way home.
And if not, at least the next time you take a bus up to Mount Royal, you can bet it'll be air conditioned.