It’s About To Get Real Between Montrealers And The Transit System

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Commuters in Montreal sent out into the cold after yet another crash of the STM metro system. Photo – Jeromie Williams

Transit users in Montreal are having their last nerves worked over yet again by the STM after the entire metro system shut down for over an hour today leaving thousands of commuters stranded, delayed and cursing under their collective breath.

You’ll have to forgive my language, but I think I speak for most people who have gritted their teeth through the weekly and sometimes daily computer crashes that have immobilized either parts or the entire metro system since March when I say:  Get your shit together STM, this stopped being funny weeks ago.

As Montrealers go, we’re generally sympathetic to the occasional halting of the metro due to medical emergencies, student smoke bombers, teenage binge drinkers, and yes, the unfortunate few each month who use the metro platform as their lonely dive into the great beyond.  But when the STM cannot get their act together long enough to supply basic services to commuters who pay increasing fares for decreasing services, and offer only an automated “thank you for your cooperation” over the loud speakers as commuters disembark from the sardine can we’ve been trapped in for an hour – we then earn the right to ask the STM to put their money where their mouth is.

Read my interview with The Montreal Gazette about the STM HERE.

What exactly are we paying for when the metro service that over a million of us use each day keeps depositing us – in the cold I might add – halfway across the city from where we are trying to get to and not offering any type or rebate or refund on the tickets, passes and Opus cards we spend our money on.  We are required to pay the STM in advance for a public service that is failing us miserably and then expected to swallow the extra costs and lost time incurred when that service grinds to a halt.

They’ve already got your money, why do they have to care right?

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Hundreds of commuters stranded at Metro Vendome in Montreal as the STM metro system crashed on all lines. Photo – Jeromie Williams.

Well, they might want to care because commuters, the media and Montrealers of all stripes are now starting to speak out and making it very clear to the STM that the pitch forks are being sharpened and the torches are being passed out.  Just taking a look at the comments section in an article from CTV Montreal today, the sentiment being felt by Montreal commuters is starting to gel and it’s not looking good for the STM.

Cal: So fed up of them. Every year the service gets more and more expensive and every year it gets worst. Sorry but I didn’t see a single bus go by so not sure where they had them dispatched too .. New corruption case should be the STM offices for stealing our money.

JPVILLA: I don’t suppose that they’ll reimburse me for the ticket I just bought and lost? Ended up walking home – buses were full…

aj from Montreal: At least the Metro was not plagued by the ghost of Y2K bug! Ironically speaking, the STM chooses to hike our fares to have delayed services like these. A real inconvenience! Thanks alot STM for making pissing people off. Bravo!!

The same sentiment is being turned back at the STM on their Facebook page as well, with commuters taking out their frustrations through social media.

Jasmine Chang:  People are absolutely right and are not stupid. So much money increase EVERY YEAR and increasing trouble as well!!! Please do something. Or make compensation for people. Can’t believe it…

Damion Rowan:  Thank you for yet ANOTHER EPIC fail. You do not stop service for an HOUR during RUSH HOUR without showing respect to the passengers by giving detailed justification and not just “un incident.” I am sure the reason for me taking an 90 minutes to get home is pure and utter incompetence. Seriously. When will we start being rewarded every single time the STM fails so that MAYBE these “incidents” will finally STOP.

The fact that commuters are routinely subjected to these types of cascading halts in service, with a perceived lack of sympathy or care is turning a nasty tide against the STM that could see a wave of support for alternative methods of commuting or calls for public inquiries into the type of compensation that those affected by service disruptions feel they are entitled to.

So let’s make a deal here STM.  You promise to get your shit together, and myself and many other commuters promise we won’t turn in our Opus cards for Bixi keys this summer, because let’s face it, we all know Bixi is a government cash cow as well and you don’t want them chugging back your half of the gravy bowl now do you?

Sound off below – Do you feel the STM should be refunding or rebating commuters for the string of recent delays, or is this just part of using a public transportation system.

Jeromie Williams Eats The Internet For Breakfast

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11 thoughts on “It’s About To Get Real Between Montrealers And The Transit System

  1. Pingback: This is Marvin Lapointe. He Lives In Montreal. He Works For The STM. He Likes To Beat Up Old Men. | Jeromie Williams Eats The Internet For Breakfast

  2. 117, either comes 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late… EVERY FLIPPING TIME. I understand that the majority of people probably don’t take the 117 and it’s rarely, if ever, packed or even 50% packed… But come the fuck on.. Is it so hard for a bus that passes twice an hour be on time for it’s fucking stops?

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  3. STM needs to offer refunds and better services. Too many interruptions of service… just look down the page!! Offer free passes for a month for anyone who had one in the past 3-6 months, to encourage use of the metro and bus systems. Atrocious service like this warrants people boycotting the STM and carpooling, at cost to the environment because STM management seems to be doing a very poor job indeed. Shape up or lower your costs to what it’s worth! (probably 30-40$ per month, 15 for students..)

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    • EVERY other business will compensate or refund you for a single such inconvenience or lack of service. Not the STM though. Never should’ve been privatized.

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  4. First world problems ! I got home 1h15 later than usual, how many people died of starvation, how many women were raped, how many families lost a children in a freak accident during that 1h15, around the world ? Oh lord we were without public transit for 1h15, our lives truly suck ! *yawn*

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  5. The STM needs to improve actual problems, not make new fancy bus shelters or adding unnecessary new bus lines.

    The STM needs to budget their money better! Who the fuck controls this on their advisory board making these decisions? How can they justify increasing fares annually, without actually explaining where the fucking money goes? We demand answers!!

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  6. When the metro shut down yesterday, I had no other way of getting home. I had to walk for 40 minutes to get to a bus that would take me to station villa maria, and the second bus didn’t even come. Luckily, a nice bus driver pulled over, picked me up, and took me to the nearest metro so I could get on the metro again when it started working. Finally got home after 3 hours of bullshit. Get your shit together STM….I’m sick today.

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  7. I am absolutely fed-up. Its not just the Metro. Every morning I wait at the same bus stop to go to work on the corner of Pie-Ix and St-Catherine’s Street. The Bus Stop Proudly advertises that there is a bus every 10 minutes in rush hour. Well it seems to me 8:25am is rush hour, and the buss never passes until 8:40-8:45am. The only reason it does not come on time is because the buss is parked 100 meters away with the lazy mutherfucker of a unionized pussy fucker driver reading his newspaper and sipping his coffee. Every single morning they do this, they just sit there watching the cold desperate line of people getting longer and longer and when they feel like it, they start the route. This ensures that there is bottle necking at each bus stop on the way the way to the metro with a few dozen people lined up waiting at each stop. A 6 minute ride to the metro thus turns into a 15 minute ride to the metro and I am always late to work. + Then there is the joy to find out after that debacle of a commute to get to the metro that it is in fact not moving because of some mysterious incident, or passengers holding the doors as they say etc…. What a load of crap! Public transportation works better in third world countries than it does in this metropolitan. I am so disgusted that they keep wanting more and more money for the crap service. When are the commuters going to Strike? I am ready to strike, I will ride my bike, carpool, walk, taxi all summer long if I have to to strike. But Everyone else has to as well. This has to be all of us standing up and saying ENOUGH to the corruption and incompetence of the STM. We cannot allow them to continue holding our lives ans schedules hostage to their lazy whim.

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    • Have the same problem on Pie IX, but more north. Near Jarry…they say they will pass every 10 min tops during rush hour but it seems to be there later then that on most days.

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