- Exo is enforcing a policy that requires visitors to a Montreal commuter train station to register online before using the bathroom.
- On social media, Montrealers were quick to call out the policy as "unfair."
- Exo argues that with this system it can better guarantee the cleanliness and security of its facility.
Montrealers who were hoping that commuter train stations would better maintain bathrooms are in luck today but as always, there's a catch. If you need to go bathroom, you better have an OPUS card and sign up online.
Exo, Montreal's North and South shore metropolitan transit company, has announced a pilot project, opening up a public bathroom in the Lucien L'Allier train station. According to Louis-André Bertrand, spokesperson for Exo Quebec, 1,600 people have already registered since August 15, 2019. Roughly 100 people use the facilities daily at Lucien L'Allier station.
Bertrand emphasized that this is only a temporary solution and that Exo is working towards a permanent one. Since Canadian Pacific (CP) owns the station, Exo had to make a compromise, and requires people to register to better guarantee the "health and safety of commuters."
Potential bathroom users will need to sign up using Exo's online form (only available in French) and will need their OPUS card handy. The company hopes that they can improve accessibility and are in the process of finding a permanent solution.
According to Bertrand, the facilities are state-of-the-art and completely sanitary. Despite that, many Montrealers are calling out the company on social media, calling the restrictions "ridiculous" and "a cruel joke."
The bathroom entrances (seen below) are prominently displayed along with a sign that warns potential users that they need to register to use the facilities.
As you can see, the bathrooms are handicap accessible. Unfortunately, we couldn't go in because we didn't register in advance but if the fresh coat of paint is any indication, these facilities are top-of-the-line.
Reactions to this are quite negative, however. Users report that it can take up to five days for Exo to process a request. One Montrealer even called this "classist BS".
@TaylorNoakes Thank you for your question. After some incidents, it was decided with our partner CP Rails to contro… https://t.co/OFGgmakQ8d— exo - Réseau de transport métropolitain (@exo - Réseau de transport métropolitain) 1570046463.0
One Montrealer pointed out that the nearby Montreal Central Station has bathrooms that are completely sanitary despite being open to the public.
@perreaux @allo_exo @picardonhealth I don't read French, does the fine print say "this is an experiment to see how… https://t.co/mGy23aJpvH— knapsackbackpack (@knapsackbackpack) 1570030894.0
@perreaux @allo_exo @picardonhealth It will not be sanitary when my kid pees on the floor cause he can't wait— Denise Balkissoon (@Denise Balkissoon) 1570030301.0
Just For Laughs even got in on the action, saying that this would be a good spot on their Gags show.
@Ahmed_Shalaby @perreaux @allo_exo @picardonhealth We aren't behind this we swear... But thanks for the inspiration… https://t.co/Uq0y95HxyV— Just For Laughs (@Just For Laughs) 1570049880.0
If you have a child or a friend with you that really needs to go, one OPUS card will suffice, says Bertrand.
To register to use the bathrooms at Lucien L'allier, visit Exo's official website (only in French).