But the one that got us really excited is the installation of USB charging ports on every bus.
Your phone will never die again.
That means you'll never have to overhear two strangers having an usually loud and conversation. You won't have to listen to that guy behind you coughing up a lung, and you'll never suffer through that fascinatingly terrible music the bus driver likes to play, ever again.
This morning, one of our readers got on a bus and spotted one of these new USB ports, that means it's only a matter of time before your bus comes equipped with one of these as well.
In other words, certain parts of train were too big to fit in the tunnel. But it looks like the problem has been resolved. The STM ended up having to replace the problematic pieces with parts from the old MR-73 trains.
The good news is the trains are already being deployed back on the tracks. As of this morning, the president of the STM announced that there are already 9 AZUR trains in service, and the remaining 6 will be back on the tracks by the end of the month.
This means that by April first, there will be 15 AZUR trains making their way through the metro tunnels of Montreal.
These screens indicate exactly what time the next bus is expected to show up. And when the bus gets close enough, it actually tells you how many minutes the bus will take to reach your stop.
No more waiting and wondering if the bus will be late, or if it will show up at all (which can be excruciating during the winter). Now you'll be able to look up at the sign and know down the exact minute how far your bus is.
So what happened? Was there a system malfunction? A death in the metro? A terrorist attack!?
Actually, it was a much, much dumber problem. The new AZUR trains don't actually fit in the tunnel.
It seems like everyone is aware of this problem, but no one want to actually come out and say it.
According toThe Montreal Gazette, the problem was because of : "an interaction between a contact shoe on an AZUR train and signalling equipment on the line". Then later, they say: "It's a matter of millimeters."
That's just another way of saying: The tunnel is few millimeters too small for the train to pass. It doesn't fit.
The STM claims that it’s too soon to say whether this problem is related to a defect with the AZUR trains. But that's bullshit. The STM was aware of this problem when they first introduced the AZUR cars.
They even announced that they needed to shave 200 meters off of some areas in the metro tunnel and reinforce the tracks.
"We finished shaving off the concrete for the needed sections (totaling 200 m or 0,3 % of the total tunnel length) in May 2013. The STM did not reinforce the tracks but we will test with a prototype and if some reinforcement is needed, it’s minor work. We used a laser-guided machine to validate all of the measures and needed adjustments." - STM
I guess they just didn't shave off enough tunnel.
People make mistakes, I get it. But at least acknowledge that you know exactly what the problem is, instead of just saying that it will be complicated to figure out the cause of the problem.
Whatever happens, I hope they fix the problem soon, considering there are 52 new AZUR trains that are supposed to hit the tracks by the end 2018.