The STM has a reputation as a generous employer with fair pay and significant benefits. But its work conditions used to be a little bit different. A 1974 STM job posting for a bus driver shows just how far the company, its technology, and Montreal society have come.
The old newspaper advertisement was posted to the Spotted: STM Facebook page and attracted quite a bit of attention — and quite a few laughs.
To start, the STM, then the Commission de transport de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal, laid out specific — and by today's standards, bizarre — requirements for applicants.
They had to be between the ages of 21 and 39, have a height of between 5 foot 4 and 6 foot 2 "without shoes," and weigh at least 130 pounds.
These conditions, presumably, had to do with the size of the driver's seat.
The Commission also asked that applicants have a "sufficient understanding of English" as well as a driver's license.
As for pay, the starting wage was $4.76 per hour. That would increase, the advertisement promised, to $4.93/hour in November 1974 and $5.05/hour after one year of employment.
Drivers got a special remuneration for working on Sundays: an additional $1.19 per hour from the starting pay, for a total of $5.95/hour.
For context, CA$4.76 in 1974 is equal to about CA$25.01 in 2020, according to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator.
It's unclear when exactly this job posting shared by Spotted: STM is from, but an identical ad ran in the July 8, 1974 edition of La Presse (page D3).
The March 30, 1974 edition of La Presse (page H7) has an ad with even more alien requirements. Married applicants could be as young as 21, while single applicants had to be at least 23.
All these ads are, of course, gendered masculine, far from the inclusive language the STM now uses in its job postings.
Bus drivers who joined the company in 1974 took part in a moment of great transformation for transit in Montreal.
The fledgling metro network would grow even more for the 1976 Olympic Games and add the blue line in the next decade.
These old job postings are snapshots of a growing company.