Come next year, it will be out with the old and in with the new, at least in the metro. By early 2016, the STM plans to get rid of the outdated MR-63 cars and replace them (finally) with the much-anticipated Azur models. There's just one hitch: the STM doesn't quite know what to do with the old metro cars.
Not wanting to simply dump the old cars in some gigantic trash can, the STM is seeking out a way in which the MR-63 metro cars can be recycled and preserved, rather than just destroyed. Ideally, the STM is hoping to find a company with a repurposing plan that will honor the metro cars that have been carrying Montrealers to their destinations since 1966, that is also eco-friendly, reports Métro.
In total, 336 MR-63 metro cars are going to be recycled, the number that will be replaced by the new 468 AZUR cars. The only recycling plans the STM has right now are to give a single train to a railway museum located in Saint-Constant, while an undisclosed amount will be kept by the STM. As for the other 300-ish cars, well, that's where you come in.
When January dawns, the STM will be launching a call for projects and proposals concerning the future of the old metro cars, where companies can submit their recycling ideas. Certain criteria will need to be met and projects will be judged by a committee to deem their feasibility. Any cars left after all the projects have been submitted, reviewed, and approved, will then just be recycled. Sucks to be them.
If you're already feeling nostalgic for the classic Canadian Vickers MR-63 cars, don't be, because their removal is going to take a hot bit. After the new year, the old cars will only be replaced by the new Azur models at a rate of about one or two trains for every thirty days.
What could the old metro cars be remade into? Well, we're not going to try and influence your ideas, but what about a party train? Or a community library? Or a street-side terrasse? The possibilities are endless people, so get creative and lets keep Montreal history alive.
A few lucky Montreal-area residents will be able to test refilling their OPUS cards from their phones this fall and winter.
"During the experiment, which will run from September 14 to December 31, 2021, citizens will be invited to try out and comment on a function under development for reloading the OPUS card from a smartphone," the metro area's transit authority, the ARTM, said in a press release.
"Eventually," it continues, "this innovative and user-friendly feature will allow public transit users to consult the contents of their OPUS card, purchase tickets and add them to the card in a few moments from their smartphone."
The pre-pandemic monthly struggle of waiting in long lines to refill your OPUS card is all too familiar to Montreal transit riders.
We dare say there is NOTHING worse than forgetting to renew your monthly fare ahead of time and only realizing your mistake when you're late for work and come across the long line in your metro station.
STM, RTL, STL and exo riders can apply to participate in the experiment online. The lucky chosen ones will also have a chance to win one of five $100 prizes.
Montreal's Plaza Saint-Hubert is getting two self-driving buses that the public can ride for free as part of a pilot project that will be on from October to December 2021 and May to July 2022.
The two electric minibuses from the company Keolis will operate along a 2-kilometre loop between rues Saint-Hubert and Saint-André, and rues Beaubien and Jean-Talon.
There will be seven stops and the buses will reach a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Even though they're self-driving, an operator will still be aboard.
According to the city, the pilot project will study the "integration of this technology into the urban fabric" and will make possible the "cohabitation of autonomous shuttles with other means of transportation."
The buses will run "out of sync with the Line 30 buses in order to improve the population's active travel options."
There's enough room for 15 people aboard each bus, but, because of the current public health context, the city says only five will be allowed for the time being.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The STM has unveiled its new plan to build more reserved bus lanes by 2025.
A collaboration with the City of Montreal, the plan will "translate into a series of measures to improve bus service on strategic axes of the Island of Montreal over the coming years," according to a press release.
Vision 2025 : un nouveau réseau structurant, fort et fiable
"We want Montrealers everywhere to have access to efficient, fast and frequent transportation services a few steps from their home or place of work," Mayor Valérie Plante said in the release.
"This strategy, which aims to increase the number of buses, reserved lanes and preferential measures for buses, will ensure smoother, faster and more reliable journeys by 2025."
The action plan is split into two parts: "improvement of the regular network" and "implementation of specific measures on targeted structuring axes," the STM says.
First, the STM will continue improving its existing structures by adding more reserved lanes and priority traffic lights "in sensitive sectors during peak periods."
"The emphasis will be placed on the establishment of reserved lanes on strategic axes in order to support employment sectors, developing sectors, the reduction of overcrowding and mitigation measures during major works," the company explained.
Finally, the STM will explore ways to develop more reserved lanes in targeted sectors. Intended to be complementary to the metro, these reserved lanes will be distinctive and provide reserved bus service 24/7.
"These scalable measures may not only include the establishment of reserved lanes with extended off-peak time slots, but also the development of RBS [rapid bus service] type infrastructure."
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.