In my opinion, riding the metro isn't that difficult of a concept to grasp. However, some people really don't seem to understand that there are some things that you just don't do when you ride the metro. There is an unspoken etiquette. Well, unspoken until now. Because I'm going to spell out the ten commandments of the STM right now. Take note friends.
1. Thou Shalt Not Lean On The Poles
There isn't all that much to hold onto. And when you're that person who decided to take up an entire pole with your entitled back, I hope you know that you're leaving three to five people stranded and vulnerable to the jerks of the train.
2. Thou Shalt Be Prompt When Buying Thine OPUS Card
You wanna get in and get out. If it's the first of the month you're going to be part of a huge lineup of people trying to refill their own cards. Don't waste time talking on the phone, or buying some extra tickets just in case. Do your business and then leave. We've all got places to be.
Or a cigarette for that matter. It's just stupid and disrespectful. But as you can see, it happens.
4. Thou Shalt Let People Get Off Before You Get On
This is just common sense people. I'm talking to all you folks at Place Des Arts who don't seem to understand this. I'm telling you now, if you try to get on the train before I've exited, I will push you out of the way. Don't act surprised, you brought this on yourself.
5. Thou Shalt Not Try To Sell Things On The Train
I'm sure you're the next Celine Dion or Jay Z or whatever. But I'm not going to buy your CD. My $10 is reserved for a much needed cup of coffee and a muffin. If you're going to heckle me, please do it on the street like a normal person.
6. Thou Shalt Not Take Up The Whole Bench Area
Excluding homeless people because they've gotta sleep. But if you're hanging out with your friends and putting your feet up on the bench to make yourself look cool, stop. I will give you the stink eye if this happens.
8. Thou Shalt Not Attempt To Convert Me To Thine Religion
It's great that you've found inner peace, however it's 8AM, I'm late for class, and you're trying to convince me to buy a $15 book I'm never going to read. Needless to say, you're pulling on my last nerve.
9. Thou Shalt Take Off Your Coat Before You Get On The Train
The metro is hot in the winter. Do yourself a favour and take your jacket off before you get on the train. Rather than sweating through four stops, and awkwardly taking it off in a crowd of people.
10. Thou Shalt Not Sit Down If You Have Less Than Three Stops To Go
I get you're tired, but sitting down for thee stops and having to get back up again is just an unnecessary hassle. Give your seat up to someone who's probably equally as tired and has 10 more stops to go. It's the right thing to do.
Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.
As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.
A December report from Kijiji Autos analyzed green transport options in Canada's most populated cities, evaluating their use of electric cars, bikes, scooters, and the number of electric charging stations.
With its metro and bus systems, BIXI rentals, bike lanes, and availability of electric cars, Montreal found itself in third place among Canadian cities that offer the greenest transport with a score of 5.5/10.
Although Vancouver and Ottawa/Gatineau snagged the top two spots, Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America, with a total of 2,163 bicycle paths, says the Copenhagenize Index.
Montreal's third-place ranking is encouraging news, said McGill University Assistant Professor of Geography, Grant McKenzie, who specifically boasted about Montreal's metro system, "especially compared to other Canadian cities," as well as its "substantial investment towards electric buses."
While McKenzie said "we can always do better" and bemoaned the city's ban on e-scooters, he called the popularity of the BIXI and the inclusion of electric bikes in its fleet an "excellent move in the right direction."
As for electric cars, Kijiji Autos looked at new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, as well as total charging stations. Montreal landed second to Toronto with a total of 3,633 new registered electric cars, and 1,258 electric charging stations throughout the city.
Kijiji Autos also looked at the number of hybrids and electric vehicles for sale on their platform. Montreal led the way with 1,063 hybrid vehicles and 375 electric vehicles, states the report.
With the province of Quebec offering residents a rebate for the purchase or lease of electric cars, Quebec estimates that there will be 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
The Quebec government is going to pump a ton of cash into Montreal-area public transit authorities in an effort to, hopefully, make your transit commute better. Chantal Rouleau, Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Metropolitan Area and the Montreal Region, announced a $24.8 million financial contribution for mitigation measures in public and active transportation.
"Because public transit is a sustainable solution to road congestion, it is essential for us to maintain the mitigation measures that have been implemented and that have proven their worth," Rouleau said in a press release.
According to the government's plan, the funding is a concrete measure to implement "sustainable mobility solutions to limit the impact of roadwork on traffic in the metropolitan region."
While short on details, the contribution will be paid directly to the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the metropolitan transit authority.
Much of the funding will be to "support measures currently in effect, such as service improvements on the networks of exo, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL), the Société de transport de Laval (STL) and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), or the addition of incentive parking spaces," according to the government's announcement.
"These measures are in addition to the daily efforts of Mobilité Montréal's partners to coordinate construction-related obstacles and limit their number and impact on traffic," Rouleau explained.
The province has invested $443.8 million into public transit mitigation measures since 2011.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
But those who prefer to use cash shouldn't fret. The STM isn't doing away with cash payments altogether. Automatic ticket machines, the STM's network of 350 ticket retailers, and buses will continue to accept the payment.
"This decision follows the evolution of customer needs," reads an STM press release issued Monday.
Since the STM finished equipping its ticket booths with contactless debit-credit payment in December 2020, it said the option is "gaining in popularity and now represents the majority of booth sales."
The STM also said it could see recurring savings of more than $1 million with this move "by optimizing and simplifying various operational processes."
In the fall of 2020, the STM surveyed its customers and said it found that only a minority preferred cash over cards.
"A minority of customers saw a negative impact with the removal of cash, primarily for reasons of desired flexibility, without even considering that the cash option remains available elsewhere," it said.
That said, the STM is aware that some customers may not adapt easily to this change. It said it knows some Montrealers require a human touch when it comes to buying tickets. With that in mind, the STM made it clear that it'll increase the presence of agents and station managers on the floor to help customers purchase tickets.
An information campaign is also in the works to educate customers on the upcoming changes, the STM said.
Prior to this announcement, the STM was already in the process of adding new features to facilitate card-based fare purchases. In November, it introduced an OPUS card scanning feature on the Chrono app, which you can use to see how many fares you have left, and you may soon be able to use it to add fares with your phone.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.