The nightlife in Montreal is pretty great as it is. Whether you find yourself stumbling down St. Laurent, raging at a house party, or hanging out somewhere totally different, there’s always something fun to do in the city.
Unfortunately, there’s a big inhibitor keeping the fun from achieving its full potential: the limited metro service. Trying to party past 1:30 on a Saturday night? Well, good luck doing it if you’re further than walking distance from your house, unable to catch one of the 24 hour buses, or too broke for a cab. Even if you have a car, you probably shouldn’t be driving if you’re out and about at that time, so that’s not a particularly viable option, either.
Hence, here’s a solution all Montrealers can get behind: a 24 hour metro. It works in Copenhagen and New York, so why can’t it work here? We’re a city of late-nighters, and we need public transportation that reflects it. The STM cites logistical and financial reasons for the limited hours, but a boost to the city’s finances could help provide the necessary cash for such a system.
Having a 24 hour metro would also be financially beneficial for business in the city. Partiers who end their nights early because they’re afraid of not being able to get home would be able to keep hanging out at bars and spending money. You’ve seen the lines at 4 am outside 2 Chow and La Banquise—just imagine what they’d be like if people didn’t have to worry about getting home before their stomachs started punishing them for their iniquities.
Not only would it make nightlife in the city more fun and profitable, but it’d make the streets safer places to be. Enabling people to take the metro would discourage potential drunk drivers, since they’d have an affordable, safe, and viable option for getting home.
It’s not just partiers who’d do well from being able to take the metro late—workers would also benefit. Think of all the bartenders, short order cooks, bouncers, and others whose jobs require them to be out until the wee hours: shouldn’t we help them get to and from their jobs?
In just a few weeks, we’ll be seeing proof that Montreal’s infrastructure can handle 24 hour service: at Nuit Blanche. For over 10 years, one night a year, Montrealers have been able to traverse the city all night long, heading around from venue to venue until whenever they damn well please. It’s one of the most fun (and, for businesses, profitable) nights of the year, and it’d be nice to see its benefits replicated on a more regular basis.
Such replication would help Montreal nightlife to function at the highest level it possibly can. Montrealers need an easy way to get around if they’re going to stay out late en masse, and they don’t have one right now. It’s remarkable that the city’s scene has been able to be what it is without a solid late-night transportation system, but it could be so much more, and having a 24 hour metro system would help move that process along.