Like many Montrealers, I just doled out mad cash money for my OPUS card subscription. When I was a student, the roughly $40/month wasn’t too bad. Especially because I was suckling off the teeth of my parent's bank account. But now that I’m a real person, $77 a month for access to the STM leaves a gaping hole in my pocket. I can still feel the loonies trickling out…
Mind you this is $77 for a system that breaks down on the regular! I’ve already voiced my opinion on this, but it needs to be said again. A system that is used by millions of commuters every day needs to be reliable. Montreal residents pay taxes and that precious $77 for access to buses and trains they expect to take them to work on time in the morning. We pay for this shit, so it best work properly. Do not make us have to have a backup-plan every morning .
I can already hear the naysayers saying, “well then take the bus, you lazy [expletive deleted]” Here’s my problem with the bus: there is no telling when it will show up. The schedule seems to be a loose suggestion of when the bus might decide to roll up. I personally don’t want to wait half an hour in the cold for a bus that may or may not come. When it actually does come, who knows how long it’s going to take you to wherever you’re going. In the winter the bus moves about 1 km/hr in the snow. If it’s summer, there is probably construction going on and the bus route is congested with traffic. It once took me an hour and a half to get from Westmount to the Plateau. That should be a half-hour bus ride! F*ck that tardy bullshit.
My other problem with the bus is the fact that you have to pay in exact change if you don’t have a charged OPUS card. Never mind the fact that $3 per trip is ridiculously high. Who the hell always has a three dollars jingling around in their pockets? I visited Berlin a few years ago and took the bus from the train station to my hostel. You know how they combat paying for your fare with big bills? They have change. Can STM bus drivers not count? Then get a goddamned automated machine. Let’s take a leaf out of the German's books as they are one of the most efficient countries in the world and try to make our own city a bit less dysfunctional.
What's more to say than that is the fact although the STM sucks, we can't do anything about it. And they know it. We need them. We rely on them. We're slaves to the unjust power they wield over our heads. They have our pedestrian balls in the palm of their hands, and they don't hesitate to give a little twist now and then.
There is one jokes (but barely redeemable) aspect of riding the metro:
Have you ever taken a look at the STM driver when two trains pass each other? Drivers have a pretty hilarious way of greeting each other. I’ve seen them give each other a friendly peace sign, a casual head nod, and even exchange a suggestive wink while they pass. Keep in mind that a majority of the people who drive these trains are old, overweight women who rock permed white hair. Swagger.
What do you think, Montreal? Am I overreacting or is the STM ripping us off? Voice your opinion in the comments.