The other day I took the metro and I was staring out the window, trying not to make eye contact with people's reflections (just metro things), when I had a thought.
We paint massive murals every year in Montreal for MuralFest, but most people never get to see them unless you live in those neighborhoods.
So if you're going to paint murals, then why not paint them on the walls that are seen by the most amount of people?
I'm talking about those long boring grey tunnel walls in the Montreal metro system.
Think about it, we decorate the hell out of our stations, but we never actually bother with the tunnels. And why not?
Any street artist who would paint a mural in the tunnel would automatically have the most seen mural in the city. It seems crazy that we HAVEN'T done this yet.
And I know what you're thinking.
The metro zips by too fast to be able to look at the murals, but you're wrong.
First of all, if we wanted to paint classic murals like the ones we have all over the city, we could just put those at the start and at the end of the tunnels so you can see them as the train takes off and you can also admire them while standing on the platform.
As for the rest of the tunnels, I've thought of a few solutions.
1. Psychedelic Tunnel
Remember that boat scene in Willy Wonka when they go though that crazy colorful tunnel? A few bright multi-colored stripes and we can easily turn any metro tunnel into a magical psychedelic ride.
2. Star Wars
We don't even need multiple colors to make this happen. We could paint thick white lines at the start of the tunnel that gradually get thinner and thinner to give the illusion we're entering light speed on board the millennium falcon.
3. Flip-Book Movies
Although this idea would be more difficult to accomplish, it would totally be worth it. If we could print out a movie reel and paste all the images in sequence inside the tunnel, then it would create a giant flip-book and you could actually watch a silent movie while you're zipping between stations.
Chicago did something kind of similar, except they put the image on the train itself so people waiting in the station would have the illusion of watching an Olympic athlete sprinting. This is the same concept, only reversed.
It's really not that far fetched of an idea and it could even turn our metro into a tourist attraction if done properly.
We didn't put in those bigger windows in the new AZUR trains for nothing. We might as well have something pretty to stare at.
A few lucky Montreal-area residents will be able to test refilling their OPUS cards from their phones this fall and winter.
"During the experiment, which will run from September 14 to December 31, 2021, citizens will be invited to try out and comment on a function under development for reloading the OPUS card from a smartphone," the metro area's transit authority, the ARTM, said in a press release.
"Eventually," it continues, "this innovative and user-friendly feature will allow public transit users to consult the contents of their OPUS card, purchase tickets and add them to the card in a few moments from their smartphone."
The pre-pandemic monthly struggle of waiting in long lines to refill your OPUS card is all too familiar to Montreal transit riders.
We dare say there is NOTHING worse than forgetting to renew your monthly fare ahead of time and only realizing your mistake when you're late for work and come across the long line in your metro station.
STM, RTL, STL and exo riders can apply to participate in the experiment online. The lucky chosen ones will also have a chance to win one of five $100 prizes.
Montreal's Plaza Saint-Hubert is getting two self-driving buses that the public can ride for free as part of a pilot project that will be on from October to December 2021 and May to July 2022.
The two electric minibuses from the company Keolis will operate along a 2-kilometre loop between rues Saint-Hubert and Saint-André, and rues Beaubien and Jean-Talon.
There will be seven stops and the buses will reach a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Even though they're self-driving, an operator will still be aboard.
According to the city, the pilot project will study the "integration of this technology into the urban fabric" and will make possible the "cohabitation of autonomous shuttles with other means of transportation."
The buses will run "out of sync with the Line 30 buses in order to improve the population's active travel options."
There's enough room for 15 people aboard each bus, but, because of the current public health context, the city says only five will be allowed for the time being.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The STM has unveiled its new plan to build more reserved bus lanes by 2025.
A collaboration with the City of Montreal, the plan will "translate into a series of measures to improve bus service on strategic axes of the Island of Montreal over the coming years," according to a press release.
Vision 2025 : un nouveau réseau structurant, fort et fiable
"We want Montrealers everywhere to have access to efficient, fast and frequent transportation services a few steps from their home or place of work," Mayor Valérie Plante said in the release.
"This strategy, which aims to increase the number of buses, reserved lanes and preferential measures for buses, will ensure smoother, faster and more reliable journeys by 2025."
The action plan is split into two parts: "improvement of the regular network" and "implementation of specific measures on targeted structuring axes," the STM says.
First, the STM will continue improving its existing structures by adding more reserved lanes and priority traffic lights "in sensitive sectors during peak periods."
"The emphasis will be placed on the establishment of reserved lanes on strategic axes in order to support employment sectors, developing sectors, the reduction of overcrowding and mitigation measures during major works," the company explained.
Finally, the STM will explore ways to develop more reserved lanes in targeted sectors. Intended to be complementary to the metro, these reserved lanes will be distinctive and provide reserved bus service 24/7.
"These scalable measures may not only include the establishment of reserved lanes with extended off-peak time slots, but also the development of RBS [rapid bus service] type infrastructure."
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.