The Montreal metro is remarkable for its extensive network, which stretches a total of 69.2 kilometres with 68 stations across four lines in five municipalities. The addition of five stations and 5.8 kilometres of tunnel with the blue line extension — not to mention the forthcoming Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) a light-rail, rapid-transit line, which will almost double the current length of the metro system — will bring the network even farther in the next decade. But because of their dispersal across the metro area, not all metro stations are created equal.
Any commuter who uses the metro will notice that some stops are more popular than others.
We brace ourselves for the packed crowds at some of the most-used stations (Berri-UQAM) and breathe easy in the approach to stations where the incoming riders are usually few (Acadie).
Noting this universal experience, one Montrealer created a pair of entertaining videos ranking the most and least frequented metro stations.
In their videos (in French), posted to YouTube and shared on Reddit, Capitaine Montréal explains the perhaps surprising reasons for varying ridership across the metro network.
Georges-Vanier ranks as the least frequented station in the network because, as an infill station between Lucien-l'Allier, a busy commuter train station, and Lionel-Groulx, a point of transfer between the green and orange lines, passengers have little reason to stop there, says Capitaine.
Meanwhile, Assomption station on the green line, the fourth least-busy, serves mostly passengers from the 131 bus to and from the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
With the exception of Georges-Vanier, all of the lesser-used stations are in low-density or more suburban areas.
The least visited stations are, according to Capitaine and media reports:
De la Savane
De la Concorde
The most crowded stations in the network are more predictable.
Longueuil-Université-de-Sherbrooke, Berri-UQAM, and Lionel-Groulx, for example, are all major hubs or transfer stations for commuters. Berri and Longueuil are also integrated with institutions of learning.
The STM publishes data on its busiest stations in its annual report. The top three, Berri, McGill, and Guy-Concordia, in 2018 each welcomed over 9 million passengers (Berri: 12,393,299; McGill: 11,464,736; Guy: 9,559,923).
The top five most visited are:
Capitaine Montréal is prolific on their YouTube account, where, they tell MTL Blog, their mission is to "make the positive sides of the city known! Learn while having fun... and stay as far away from crying as possible!"
More information about STM ridership is available in the company's 2018 report here.