Montreal has a remarkable public transit network. Montrealers don't know how lucky they are to have an extensive metro system that is entirely underground, one free transfer between bus and train, and, compared to other North American cities, relativly cheap fare.
But the overburdened STM certainly has its shortcomings. While the agency tries its best to meet demand with limited resources, it will ultimately require radical investment in order to better serve the people of Montral.
That said, there is probably not a single STM rider that hasn't thought of ways to improve the transit system.
So to get a sense of what Montrealers want, and maybe even spur officials to make some concrete plans, we asked Montrealers on Twitter about their dreams for STM extensions and improvements.
TL;DR We asked Montrealers on Twitter to share their dreams and suggestions for the STM. Below are compiled 10 responses.
Hey Montreal! What are your dreams for public transit in the city? How can it improve? We want to hear all your wild, creative ideas! #MTLtalks— MTL Blog (@mtlblog) February 14, 2019
Here are their responses:
24/7 metro— Jorge E Dominguez (@JorgeDominguezT) February 14, 2019
Lower costs.— Lucas DP (@lucasdp8) February 14, 2019
These two suggestions seem incompatible, but both would go a long way toward making the STM more accessible for low-income Montrealers. Acces to public transit is often cited as the single greatest contributing factor to economic mobility. Lower costs and 24/7 metro service would enable populations typically excluded from economic opportunities and people who work at night to more easily reach centres of employment.
A metro line into Lachine— Frank O. (@frankorb) February 14, 2019
In addition to Montreal North, Lachine is one of the seemingly most underserved boroughs in Montreal. Far from the downtown, residents of Lachine must often seek more inconvenient modes of transport.
Pink Line Please.— Carrie Katz ★ (@carriekatzcoach) February 14, 2019
Stick to the pink line , it’s what we voted for.— Kaiser Wunderbar (@KaiserWunderbar) February 14, 2019
A new pink STM line was the core campaign promise of current Montreal mayor Valérie Plante. The "ligne diagonale" would address several issues in the Montreal transit system by:
– linking Montreal North and Lachine to the downtown
– relieving the orange line
– allowing passengers to bypass Berri-UQAM, the busiest station in the network
How about direct access to the PE Trudeau airport?✈️— saint.george21 (@George21Saint) February 14, 2019
Right now, Montrealers trying to get to the airport by public transit would have to take the 747 bus from Lionel-Groulx station.
The under-construction Réseau express métropolitain (REM) will finally link the airport and downtown via a new light-rail line. But it's not slated to be complete until well into the 2020s.
Light rail linking Atwater and the village and an airport link.— David Whitely 🛫 (@WhitelyDPM) February 14, 2019
Oh, and proper hover boards pic.twitter.com/bvZE7RSqPv
A light rail between Atwater station in the west and the Village in the east would provide commuters with an alternate route through the downtown core.
But can you imagine giving Montrealers hover boards? People in Montreal can barely drive properly. We should probably keep them from flying at all cost.
How about a metro that does not require the blessing of the control center 20 times a day?— Nay Maalouf (@naymaalouf) February 14, 2019
This suggestion points to the common understanding of the STM as overly bureaucratic. In fact, it takes hundreds of people and carefully-calculated logistics to keep the system running as efficiently as it does.
Still, metro delays relating to witheld "control centre authorization to proceed" are painfully common.
Give a pay rise to the guy who sings when he announces each metro station... or a knighthood (does Canada do knighthoods?) Namur entre les murs 🎵— Jenna Draper (@jennadraper) February 14, 2019
Last month, an orange line train operator went viral for his fun announcements and songs. Passengers yearn for a more human face on the STM, which can often seem like a corporate monolith. Perhaps a friendlier vibe would encourage people to stop vanadalizing metro signs.
Automatic electric zap for whole-body pole leaners #poledancinginthemetro— Santa Di Stefano (@SantaBaby52) February 14, 2019
Listen up, leaning your whole body against a pole on the metro, so as to prevent other people from grabbing hold, is simply rude. Avoid it if you can.
Montreal could use a crash course in metro etiquette. Another big rule that should always be followed: allow passengers to exit before you shove your way into the train.
FITS THE FUCKING POTHOLES AND REMOVE ALL THAT ICE ON THE FUCKING SIDEWALKS, THAT'S HOW YOU IMPROVE PUBLIC TRANSIT— DICK GOESINU (@mtlguy67) February 14, 2019
This suggestion is likely on everybody's mind. Slippery sidewalks can make it difficult for seniors and people with disabilities to move through the city safely and acces public transit at all. This winter, the sidewalk situation seems particularly bad and Montrealers are speaking out about the dangers of un-plowed walking paths.
While the city is responsible for snow removal, Montrealers should take it upon themselves to do a little extra shovelling just to ensure the safe passage of their neighbours.
Do you have any more suggestions or dreams for the STM?