A recent post to the Spotted: STM Facebook page appears to show an STM bus driver smoking while sitting on a bus. "Spotted downtown: a bus driver on Saint Jacques @ 3:25 PM smoked a cigarette on the bus while the bus was moving," the post reads (translated from French).
The accompaying photo shows the driver holding a cigarette out the window. Though the post claims the bus is moving, it is unclear whether there were passengers aboard or whether the bus driver was on break.
STM by-laws prohibit the use of tabacco products in closed buildings and "rolling stock," which the agency defines as "a bus, minibus, subway car, or any other vehicle used for the transportation of persons."
The exact language of the by-law (R-036 Section IV) is as follows: "No one shall, within a building or rolling stock smoke or have in his possession tobacco or any other lit substance." Note that the language does not make a distinction between STM customers and employees.
Moreover, the Quebec Tobacco Control Act explicitly prohibits smoking on most vehicles of public transportation: "smoking is prohibited in [...] means of public transportation, taxis and other vehicles carrying two or more persons that must be used in the course of employment."
You can view the Spotted: STM submission below:
We reached out to the STM for comment regarding the smoking rules for employees, and, in particular, smoking rules for employees on break. In response, an STM spokesperson confirmed that "it is not permitted to smoke on a bus."
The Spotted: STM post does not specificy a bus route, but the STM bus map for downtown Montreal shows that buses 747, 420, and 36 run along rue St-Jacques. Though, again, it is unclear whether the bus was operating at the time the photo was taken.
The bus could have been en transit between two locations. You can view the STM bus route map for downtown on its website here.
This is not the first time an STM bus driver was caught smoking on a bus. In 2016, a pedestrian captured a photo of a driver smoking a cigarette within the bus.