TL;DR STM buses in Montreal are regularly put on the roads when they are in repairs or due for maintenance. The STM pushes out buses that are not in peak condition due to the massive demand during morning rush hour. Other important measures are often not taken at all.
Still, most of us rely on the STM to get us to where we need to go. You might want to take back some of that trust, however, as the city's public transit system has been trying to cover up a lot more than you could've imagined.
It turns out that STM buses are regularly put on the road and into service even after mechanics have determined they are unfit for work and have a high chance of breaking down.
Remember those times you've been on a city bus and it suddenly broke down, leaving you to somehow find another way to get to your destination? Well, it was totally predictable, yet the bus was still put into service.
The reason why these buses are being pushed out despite their issues is because of how concerned the STM is with reaching its quota for buses on the road during morning rush hour. Although it really doesn't make the situation better if all of these morning commuters end up stuck on a broken-down bus and super late for work.
Sources even admit that maintenance work will shut down in the mornings so that enough buses can be on the roads. On top of that, the STM has fewer full-time mechanics in 2018 than in previous years, causing work on all 1,808 buses in the city to take longer than usual.
To put things in perspective, STM buses break down up to three times more often than the public buses in both Toronto and Manhattan, and as twice as often as buses in Laval! Needless to say, Montreal's transit is starting to look a bit embarrassing.
It gets worse, as even when mechanics flag all of the issues with a bus, it does not guarantee they'll be addressed. Ever. Any unrequired work is rarely done on the buses, so problems involving bus doors, for example, are often neglected.
And sometimes when a bus does break down, it might not even be due to poor maintenance! Instead, it could simply be because the bus is empty on gas, which is an issue that is becoming much more frequent.
We knew the STM was pretty dysfunctional, but never to this extent! It looks like you'll want to start looking for another means of transportation in the city.
Yes, it's a long weekend! Three uninterrupted days to relax, have fun, and not think for two seconds about things like school or work, or other responsibilities until Tuesday morning. Not to be too depressing but it will be six weeks before we get another official long weekend.
But let's focus on the positive! This is usually one of the summer weekends that people are trying to pack in their last days of camping or chalet time. But if you're planning to stay in the city it's good to know what's open and what's closed so you can plan out your Labour Day weekend.
Labour Day falls on Monday, September 2 this year. The good news is the city doesn't stop being its fun self. There are still a ton of things to do. Most of Montreal's museums are all open if you're looking for a little culture. As are the beaches, La Ronde and the casino.
And phew, the majority of SAQ express locations are also open so you don't have to stock up on alcohol today.
If you're planning to get around the city by public transit, double-check the schedule as the STM operates on holiday schedules and it might impact your normal route. Check out their website here.
If you're planning to hit any stores or eat at a restaurant, it's best to call first to check hours. So let's take a look at what's open.
SAQ Express stores will have normal hours. But all but three SAQ classic stores will be closed.
311, the city of Montreal’s information hotline
Hospitals and emergency services
Dépanneurs and pharmacies
Most bars and clubs
Some restaurants (this can really be hit and miss as a lot of restaurants aren't open Mondays anyway so make sure to call) and pubs
Hotels & resorts
Small grocery stores (less than 4,037-sq-ft in size)
Swimming pools and sports centres remain open with reduced hours
Montreal Casino (the business that never sleeps)
Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal’s museum of history and archeology
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
What's open continued...
Montreal Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Light
Montreal Science Centre and IMAX Theatre
Public and farmers’ markets (like Atwater and Jean-Talon)
Parking meters (yep you will still have to pay)
Garbage and recycling pickups stay on schedule (there are isolated exceptions)
What we love about potholes here at MTL Blog is that they provide us with an endless number of stories to share. Readers are constantly sending us photos of their favourite holes in the road. Not only that but we've become friends with many potholes around the city.
We see them every day doing their very best to make us late to work and to destroy our wheels so it's about time we give them some love!
If you think you've seen a more beautiful pothole than these, send them into @MTLBlog on Instagram with the hashtag: #montrealsprettiestpothole!
TL;DR We voted and MTLBlog has finally found some candidates for the city's prettiest pothole. Welcome to Montreal's very first Pothole Beauty Pageant 2019! #montrealsprettiestpothole
What's not to love about potholes? Whenever you encounter one in Montreal (they're everywhere!) they also make our days better by exploding our tires or flipping us over our bike's handlebars. Sometimes, they even twist our ankles, sso not even pedestrians can escape they're impact!
Here are the nominees for Montreal's prettiest pothole!
Fashion can transcend time and space. No one knows this better than vintage clothing aficionados. Vintage lovers rejoice because Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups is hosting the biggest vintage pop-up shop Montreal has ever seen!
With Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, you never have to worry about finding the perfect piece because they have everything! Since March 2018, this independently operated pop-up boutique is one of the best vintage clothing markets in the city. You simply can't miss this Flohmarkt event happening at the former Urban Outfitters on St-Denis!
TL;DR On April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28, fans of vintage clothing won't have to scour the city for that perfect piece. Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, Montreal's finest vintage pop-up boutique, is hosting their largest-ever pop-up event in the former St-Denis Urban Outfitters location.
Since March 2018, Alex Mondry and her team have worked tirelessly to bring you the best vintage pop-up events. If you've ever been to Flohmarkt, you know that you can expect expert vintage curators. What's awesome about Flohmarkt is that each vendor operates independently, meaning that your money supports local small businesses.
Flohmarkt is the perfect place for you to find that jacket, dress, shirt, and even accessory that matches your unique personality. Vintage shopping is often intimidating and shoppers can get easily discouraged if they don't find the right piece. At Flohmarkt, you'll never have to worry about that!
From clothing and outerwear and to accessories and shoes, Flohmarkt has got you covered. Have you been trying to find the perfect hat to complete that hipster dad look? That's a guarantee.
Keep in mind that some vendors might not have changing rooms, so be sure to return all items to their booths if you don't buy! Make sure to come as early as possible to get first dibs on the best stuff! This is a can't-miss event!
Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups hosts the largest vintage pop-up event in Montreal on April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28. For full details, click here!
A video shared with MTLBlog by Instagram user @21blocks this afternoon shows a massive car fire two blocks from Lionel-Groulx metro station at the Petro-Canada gas station in the Montreal neighbourhood of St-Henri.
Details of the fire are few, but it's clear several police vehicles were on scene.
According to @21blocks, the driver thankfully escaped unharmed.
The fire is quite impressive in its size. Giant swirls of red flames shoot from the side of the car. Clouds of black smoke billow above the gas station.