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?
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.