The STM in Montreal has not had a good few weeks.
First, media reports suggested that the transit agency's bus fleet was plagued by breakdowns as a result of a new refueling policy. The STM hotly contested those claims in a public statement, however.
TL;DR Below are compiled just some of the Twitter posts in which Montreal residents have criticized the STM for poor service over the last few weeks.
In addition, a dramatic increase in ridership this season has created congestion unlike anything in recent memory. Cooling temperatures and economic prosperity have driven people toward the system's already crowded buses and metro lines.
In response, the STM president admitted that only a new metro line, like Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante's "Pink" line, could ameliorate metro conditions.
That's unlikely to happen anytime soon. But the STM is doing what it can to better its services, including a promise to increase metro frequency starting in 2019.
Montreal residents, though, are unimpressed. Hundreds of STM passengers have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations with the beleaguered transit agency.
Of course, a spike in ridership and resulting congestion is not the fault of the STM, and its ability to address these issues is limited by resource constraints.
Last month, the STM even launched a campaign to educate its riders on how they can do their part to reduce service interruptions.
But in the meantime, passengers will have to contend with metro and even more severe bus delays.
Below are compiled just some of Montrealer's furious reactions to what some have called the worst STM service in living memory. Many of these Tweets are in response to an Orange line delay on November 29th.
Note that some statements have been condensed in translation and some words have been added in brackets to best convey in English the original sentiment in French.
"It's been three hours that 'service is resuming gradually' on the orange line. What's up with that?"
@stminfo @stm_Orange le service depuis quelques semaines est vraiment terrible. Arrêts de services, quais bondés, personnel bête et dépourvu d’initiative. Je prends le métro depuis 1990 et je n’ai jamais vécu ça aussi pire!!— sebgagne (@sebgagne) November 29, 2018
"Service has been terrible for a few weeks now. Service interruptions, crowded platforms, incompetent staff, and a lack of initiative. I've taken the metro since 1990 and I've never seen it so bad!!"
Au moins vous avez achetez des bons soldats pour nous crier apres pendant qu'on attend à berri uqam— Mr. Cha-Cha (@Cha_chagrin) November 29, 2018
"At least you've bought good soldiers to yell at us while waiting at Berri-UQAM," wrote this passenger ironically, referring to the STM officers that organize crowds during rush hour at the system's most-used station.
Endemic issues on @stm_nouvelles bus 51, with no service for 25 min yesterday at peak time and bus bunching today as seen below #stm #fail— Nicolas Saunier (@nicolas_saunier) November 29, 2018
What is happening? Accountability @stm_nouvelles ? pic.twitter.com/JxFoVYwl9z
Many people has issues with infrequent bus service.
@stm_nouvelles depuis le changement d'horaire, les autobus passent au 8, 12 ou 20 minutes en pleine heure de pointe. C'est inacceptable.— hejo (@johanehbert1) November 29, 2018
"Since a schedule change, buses have been passing [only] every 8, 12, and 20 minutes at rush hour. This is unacceptable."
"70 minutes of waiting for a bus. Is this reasonable?? Normal?"
URGHH Im starting to hate taking public transportation, when is the STM gonna get it together 😤— 🌹🍫 (@darkandlovelyxo) November 29, 2018
This user called out Quebec premier François Legault for his reluctance to explore the mayor's promised new metro line. "Hey Legault, here's the Berri-UQAM platform at 5PM, I the Pink line is worth the 5 billion dollars."
I usually walk to Champs-de-Mars to get on the @stm_Orange, even though I’m heading North, so as to avoid Berri-UQàM. Because, you know... Berri’s so jammed you never get on a train. Today - even at CdM, I’ve had to let four trains go by. pic.twitter.com/vkse9GHwk0— Justin Hayward (@CBC_Hayward) November 29, 2018
C’est déjà la congestion comme jamais sur la @stm_Orange Dès qu’il y a une intervention d’urgence c’est l’enfer!— Jessica Ménard (@Menayer) November 29, 2018
Il faut réfléchir à notre système de transport public qui est très très malade
"It was already congestions like never before on the Orange line, this emergency intervention has made it an absolute hell. It's time to think critically about our very, very sick public transport system."
Expérience moins positive ce midi. Je marche vers le bus. Il me reste 2 mètres. Le moniteur avec heures de départ dit départ dans 9 minutes. Puis le chauffeur ferme la porte et accélère. Je courre, elle hoche de la tête et ne me donne pas la chance de monter. 🤷🏻♂️@stminfo pic.twitter.com/xAY2kmzwBU— M Read Sévigny (@sevigny_michael) November 29, 2018
This person recounts a horrible experience with an STM bus driver: "I walked towards the bus, it was only two metres away and was not scheduled to leave for another 9 minutes. But the driver shut the door and accelerated away. I ran after it, but the driver didn't give me a chance."
@stm_nouvelles @stminfo Depuis un bout c'est de pire en pire. J'ai aucunement envie de prendre le transport en commun quand je vois ça pour les autobus et métro. Si ça continue je serai pas la seule a décidé de racheté un auto! #Zèle @projetmontreal @CraigSauve #polmtl pic.twitter.com/14e3dWKLD2— Diane Gervais (@dianejess93) November 29, 2018
"It's getting worse and worse. I have no desire to take public transit when I see this," presumably referring to the policing of the STM. "If this continues I will not be the only person to decide to take a car [instead]!"
@stm_Orange Est-ce normal qu’il y a toujours des problèmes à la ligne orange à cette heure ci ?— Thierry Dominique (@mrteedee) November 29, 2018
"Is it normal to always have problems on the orange line at this hour?"
@stm pas de neige, pas pluie et pas trafic sur mon trajet mais 2 autobus et 2 métro en retard? Comment c’est possible ??????— JoLego (@Johjoh2009) November 29, 2018
"No snow, no rain, no traffic on my route but two buses and two trains have been late. How is this possible??????"
Here’s a crazy thing, if you want people to use public transit more, how about making the experience enjoyable? @stm_Orange— Harry (@hillouz22) November 29, 2018
De toute façon la STM est incapable de géré l’heure de pointe du soir et du matin, c’est pas nouveau, l’horaire des bus est exécrable, et aucun effort pour corriger le tir, mais on va avoir un beau garage construit sous terre ouuuuuu!— Jacques Duclos (@DuclosJacques) November 29, 2018
"In all cases the STM is incapable of dealing with rush hour both in the morning and evening. It's not new, the bus schedule is appalling and there's no effort to correct it. But at least we'll have a new underground garage ooooooo," wrote this passenger, referring to plans to construct the first-ever underground bus station in Montreal.
"The bus driver closed the door in our face instead of encouraging passengers [to make room and] move toward the back. This is your service??"
Pendant ce temps dans le métro de Montréal, ligne orange où c’est impossible de bouger pendant quelques temps, c’est trop. Service essentiel le transport en commun ?#Siprendreletransportencommunetaitl’fun ... @Val_Plante #STM #RTM pic.twitter.com/XfCe5Wg10c— Nathalie B (@nathalieblais_) November 27, 2018
"For some time now in the metro, it's been impossible to move on the orange line during some hours. It's too much."
@stm_Orange Bonjour. Quelle est la raison pourquoi depuis plusieurs semaines, les trains arrêtent au moins une minute à chaque station durant les heures de pointes? Mon trajet, autrefois 21 minutes, prend en moyenne 35 min ...— TheBridge (@MrTheBridge) November 27, 2018
"What is the reason for such short train stops on the metro for the past several weeks? My commute, otherwise 21 minutes, now takes at least 35 minutes..."
STM.... Back at it again avc les bus qui passent juste pas 😑— Camy (@cvrmz) November 27, 2018
"STM.... Back at it again with the buses that just don't pass."
@stm_Orange You guys suck really— Marika (@kikalatte_16) November 25, 2018
Public officials will have to agree on some pretty radical action soon if they are to win back the trust of Montreal residents.