Commuters have long known that the Montreal metro system is becoming unreasonably crowded. The eastern arm of the orange line between Montmorency and Bonaventure stations, in particular, is suffocatingly crowded during rush hours. Passengers must sometimes wait for several, packed trains to go by before finally being able to board.
Despite efforts by the STM to improve service, including with the addition of high-capacity Azur trains and, this year, trains every five minutes during work hours, the orange line now appears to have reached its capacity reports le Journal de Montréal.
Limited improvements to the metro system and ever-increasing ridership may even create a potentially dangrous environment, Christian Savard, head of Vivre en Ville, tells le Journal.
TL;DR The orange line is reaching capacity, creating a possible safety risk, according to le "Journal de Montréal."
To many, the hazards of an overcrowded metro network are abundantly clear. Packed trains lead to falls, minor accidents, and aggression among passengers.
Already, the STM deploys officers to manage crowds at Berri-UQAM station during peak hours.
The alleviation of major crowding will require a radical intervention. Last year, Phillipe Schnobb, president of the STM, suggested that only the addition of a new metro line circumventing Berri-UQAM station could reduce major congestion.
But despite Montreal mayor Valérie Plante's support for a new "pink line" that would run from Montréal North, through the downtown, and into Lachine, there has been little progress on this front.
Though the extension of the blue line and the under-construction Réseau express métropolitain (REM) will create more options for riders, le Journal report continues, they may just draw riders to orange line.
But other, perhaps more critical work is also necessary on the Montreal network. About 70% of the metro infrastructure needs to be rebuilt, according to one report. Construction, of course, may only result in further crowding.
Montrealers may have to tolerate impossibly crowded metro cars for the foreseeable future.