Compared to many cities, Montreal has a pretty solid transit system. But, if the recent metro delays/shutdowns have shown us anything its that our fair city's transit is far from perfect. No single solution is evident and clear to repair Montreal's transit infrastructure, but the city's top four mayoral candidates believe they have the solution. Here is a breakdown of each contender's platform to better understand how they hope to change the city's transit system.
Rather than extend or upgrade current bus/metro systems, Joly aims to implement an entirely new way to get around the city. Joly has proposed a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, using high speed and air conditioned buses between stations and neighborhoods with heavy traffic. Check out the video below, from Joly's campaign website, for a visual representation.
Côté, along with Coalition Montreal, is proposing changes for multiple aspects of the transit system, rather than one major focus. The party wants to quickly finish the construction of a BRT system on Pie-IX Blvd, lower speed limits at pedestrian-heavy areas, and create more reserved bus and bike lanes. On another note, Côté recently said how he wants to take out one-third of senior city officials to similarly restructure the municipal system.
Coderre hopes to make a 'revolution' of the city's transportation system, initially achieved by making the STM fully assume its role as the city's transport company by integrating BIXI and Parking Montreal into its jurisdiction. Rather than introduce new systems, Coderre believes focus must be paid to existing modes of transportation, especially buses (like adding reserved bus lanes), to improve the city's transit. Read Coderre's full transportation platform here.
Bergeron and Projet Montreal have big plans for the city's transit system, maybe too big. Two major building projects have been outlined in the party's transportation platform: expansion of the Blue, Orange, and Yellow Metro Lines, and the construction of a 37.5 tram-way system. This is in an effort to reduce the use of cars and increase the amount of transit users, but existing city officials say it may cost more money than the party has proposed to create these additions (e.g. $40 million per kilometer vs. $65 million per kilometer for the tram-way system).
Think these are all lofty promises to gain favour and voters? Have a better plan to improve MTL's transit? Let us know in the comments below.
It's a Christmas miracle! The STM, Montreal's transit authority, has finally released its much-wanted ugly Christmas sweater after huge demand for it last year.
According to a press release, "After a show-stopping debut last year, the STM sweater is back, now available for the first time in the STM online store."
[Brrrace yourself!] For some, the sight of the first snow is exciting, for others it makes you want to hibernate until spring. Either way, the cold season brings its share of unforeseen events on the road. If you have to go out, be careful and plan your trips.pic.twitter.com/K8pXpT1mid
Last year, the sweater took the town by storm after the STM presented it as a prize for a contest. With only a limited quantity available, folks looked on in envy at the contest winners and their snazzy new ugly Christmas sweaters.
Along with the sweater, the STM also remade the metro map with hilarious Franglais holiday names like Aca-Dinde (Acadie) and Côte-Ver-Tuque (Côte-Vertu). This holiday-themed map adorns the front of the sweater.
The STM describes the garment as a "long-sleeve, crew-neck fleece sweater" with "a map of the Montréal métro decked with fun and festive versions of each station name, making it the perfect attire for any holiday party, virtual or in person."
But don't wait until the holidays, because this sweater is sure to sell out fast! The STM has only released a limited quantity.
For each sweater purchased, the STM has promised to "donate $10 to the STM generosity campaign," which partners with Centraide of Greater Montreal, the Canadian Red Cross, Réchaud-Bus and HealthPartners-Quebec.
The sweater is available only at the official online STM store and is priced at $39.99 plus tax.
Quebec-born actress Caroline Dhavernas will become the personality of the REM. According to a news release, she's perhaps best known for her work on TV series Les beaux malaises and Mary Kills People and movies De père en flic 2 and Hochelaga, terre des âmes.
Dhavernas is also the daughter of Michèle Deslauriers, the actress who voices STM metro announcements.
Dhavernas' voice was chosen for the REM following a public vote. Out of three then-anonymous options, her voice won out with 14,200 votes.
"Without knowing it, the public voted for a voice that echoed that of the Métro de Montréal," the REM said in the release.
In a promotional video, Dhavernas said she thought "it'd be really funny" if Montrealers ended up choosing her voice.
"Now that it worked out, I can't believe it," she continued. "Because when I take the metro with my daughter, I tell her that she's hearing her grandma's voice and that when we'll take the REM, we'll hear my voice."
She said that when she went into the audition to be the voice of the REM, she was still recovering from a sinus infection and tried to vocalize from her stomach instead of her nose to compensate.
"I have to admit that even I could barely recognize myself when I was listening to it on the website during the vote since my voice was slightly different because of the sinus infection."
The first branch of the REM is set to start rolling in 2022.
A viral video shows someone collapsing on the Montreal metro after getting caught between closing train doors at Lionel-Groulx station. Metro passengers rush to the person's aid, eventually moving them to a seat as one person calls on someone to pull the train's emergency lever.
But the act was a stunt.
"Vroom Vroom," the person in the video, @vroom_vroom514 on Instagram, told MTL Blog that they staged the incident to see how metro riders would react to such an emergency.
The video managed to rack up over 57K views in the 24 hours after it first appeared on the @vroom_vroom514 account.
"I did it because since COVID like everybody is by himself and I want to see if people will help me," they told MTL Blog.
About a dozen passengers seem to offer help in the video.
While the Instagrammer feigned unconsciousness on the ground, one commuter rushed to help them, asking if they were alright while trying to shake them awake. They even seem to check the prankster's pulse.
"Vroom Vroom" was curious to see "if people would care about a random person."
The viral video has recieved a lot of negative social commentary on social media platforms.
As for the STM's view on the matter, they told MTL Blog "this video already received much more exposure than it deserved and we do not wish to bring any more attention to it. There is nothing positive about faking an health emergency, needlessly worrying métro clients and damaging our rolling stock."
This isn't the first stunt on the Instagram page, which has a following of 22,000 people.
Montreal's Outremont station is set to close for seven months as part of a major renovation. From January 10 to August 19, 2022 passengers will not be able to enter or exit the metro at the blue line station.
The STM says the planned closure will make way for crews to fast-track a renovation project that began in January 2021. The project includes the installation of elevators, a new waterproof membrane, better lighting and motorized butterfly doors, according to the transit company.
In a press release, it explained that the closure of the station was necessary because it only has one entrance, so passengers wouldn't have another way to safely enter the metro during construction.
People who usually use Outremont station will be able to get on a special shuttle to get to Acadie station or the regular 51 or 119 buses to get to Édouard-Montpetit station.
Though Outremont station will reopen in August 2022, work will continue until December 2023.
Work on the blue line station is just one part of a major renovation push by the STM. 24 stations are undergoing or have recently undergone some sort of construction project, according to the company's website.
Many of those projects involve the installation of elevators.
According to the STM, "Outremont is the ninth station to close for major work, after Côte-Vertu (2021), Beaudry (2018), Beaubien (2015), Jolicoeur (2013), Villa-Maria (2011), Côte-Sainte-Catherine (2010), Charlevoix (2009) and Georges-Vanier (2008)."