The only rides on the STM metro network anyone seems to remember are the ones when things so south, or in other words, when the metro stops, your trip is delayed, and you get super pissed.

It's understandable. The stress accrued from waiting for the metro to get running in the early morn when you're running to work/school is a bit more memorable than a simple get-in-get-out metro ride.

Making matters worse is the fact that you, the disgruntled rider awaiting metro service to restart, is left completely in the dark, unaware of what caused this particular breakdown, or any of others for that matter.

We decided we'd find out, and spoke to Philippe Déry, the public affairs advisor for the STM, who has given us some insider info on what causes the metro to stop running when you need it most.

Despite experiencing less breakdowns than almost any other European or North American subway system, people have this skewered perception of the city's metro, believing it always breaks down. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

On a global average, metro systems break down 24.7 times for every million kilometers traveled. Montreal's average sits at a much lower 11 breakdowns per million kilometer.

So what accounts for those pauses in the metro's service? Well, for the most part, it's our fault, as over 50% of all service interruptions are linked directly back to STM rider.

For a further breakdown on what causes the metro to shut down, read on below.

A rider pulling on the emergency brake

It's their for a reason, but please only pull the emergency brake if there's an actual emergency. (Part of the 50% caused by riders)


Holding the doors open for an extended period of time

Let it go, another train is going to come. (Part of the 50% caused by riders)


Sick or injured people riding the metro

Generally due to an existing condition not caused by the metro. The delay can be even more lengthy if medical professionals need to be called. (Part of the 50% caused by riders)


Persons on the track

This wasn't defined as those attempting to commit suicide, though that's probably what you'd assume. Remember, however, that people can fall on the tracks simply by accident. (Part of the 50% caused by riders)


Rolling Stock Problems

Accounting for 25% of service interruptions, these include blocked doors, motor problems, and the like.


Random Problems

For the remaining 25% breakdowns, Déry attributed "various other problems" as the cause, citing equipment issues as one example.

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