Yesterday the Internet lost their minds after the STM decided to install some arm rests on the benches at the Beaubien station. Immediately people jumped the gun and assumed the STM had some sinister motives.
Many people were commenting that these arm rests were secretly meant to serve the same purpose as the anti-homeless spikes the city of Montreal installed a few years back.
— Daphnée Hacker-B. (@daphneehackerb) September 17, 2015
"They're not homeless spikes but the idea remains the same."
All these "concerned" individuals needs to calm the fuck down (with all due respect). First of all, these are benches, not beds so the STM isn't doing anything wrong. Second, If the STM wanted to stop homeless people from sleeping in metros, they would just sent a security guard every hour to kick them out. Plus we constantly hear people complaining about homeless peeing, fighting or even having sex in the metro. So if the STM was trying to discourage the homeless from hanging out there, you can't really blame them, they're just listening to the complaints of the public.
La STM-Coderre rénove ses stations en intégrant des bancs anti-itinérants #Inacceptable #InnoverCommeLaSTM #polmtl pic.twitter.com/bJyH1zHBaS — Guillaume Lavoie (@glavoie_mtl) September 17, 2015
The truth is these aren't anti-homeless arm rests. They're just arm rests that were installed to help people with reduced mobility. And if you aren't part of that demographic, then you have no idea how difficult it can be to get up from a bench without any arm rests.
Additionally the STM is helping the homeless, and their doing something a lot better than simply ignoring the problem and letting homeless people sleep in the metro. They've recently announced the installation of 5 special service points inside certain metro stations to provide services and assistance to the homeless.