Anyone who commutes during rush hour knows that the transit system has reached its saturation point. The orange line, for example, has seen a 5.5% increase in passengers in the last year, while the STM more generally has seen a 4.2% increase in passengers.
The orange and green lines of the metro surpass their 100% capacity rate. Many people now have to wait for one or more crowded metro trains to pass them by before they can get on.
In response, the STM has pleaded with the city to create the proposed 'pink line,' which would alleviate the throngs of people who frequent the metro at peak times, especially at Berri-UQAM station. Remember that the construction of the pink STM line was the core campaign promise of current Montreal mayor Valérie Plante.
TL;DR Toronto will deal with its overcrowded transit system with a new metro line, and Valérie Plante is jealous af.
Toronto faces similar crowding problems in their underground system. After much debate, the city has pushed forward construction of a new metro line, dubbed the 'Relief Line'.
Construction is set for 2025, with an opening date set for 2031. In sketches, the line is drawn in pink, which is reminiscent of the controversial plans for a 'pink line' in Montreal.
Valérie Plante has been the subject of both contempt and admiration for her own plans to construct a new metro line, which many claim are not feasable.
So the mayor is understandably perturbed by the advance of the Toronto transit project, according to La Presse.
She has even admitted, La Presse continues, that she is "jealous" of Toronto, the largest city in Canada and loving rival of Montreal:
Je suis jalouse. Notre situation ressemble en tout point à Toronto. On voit bien que Montréal se dirige vers une situation de plus en plus difficile.
"I'm jealous. Our situation is similar in every aspect to Toronto. We see clearly that Montreal is heading towards a situation that is more and more difficult."
But Montreal is taking other measures to alleviate the overcrowding of its transit system. The Azur metro wagons have a capactity that is 8% higher than the old trains. Two other heavy-duty measures, notably the expanded REM project and the expansion of the blue line, will hopefully declog the system during rush hour.
But the mayor has other ideas. Both projects, she claims, will actually bring more people to the overburdened STM system.
The future of the pink line is still uncertain, but it is clear that stronger action needs to be taken to deal with rush-hour traffic in Montreal's public transit system.