Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Dear STM*

I just recently saw a big sign at the 51 bus stop crowing that you had added 14% more buses on that line at peak hours. Wow. Impressive. Though as a user of the 51 bus (the last leg of the annoying journey home) I haven't noticed a bit of difference.

Nevertheless, I now know where all those mythical extra buses come from!!!

Obviously from the #90 bus line where I waited in the driving rain for over 20 minutes for those four buses which, according to the schedule posted right there at the bus stop, should have come pootling by every five minutes or so at rush hour.

They didn't. I suppose they were busy ferrying commuters on the 51 line.

Finally, a bus did come. Jam packed of course. Sardines have more space in their oily little cans than we did in that bus.

That poor bus driver. It wasn't his fault and yet he had to endure the ill humour of edgy, obnoxious people. The lady in front of me pretty much shook her umbrella out on him. Nasty bitch deserved to be slapped. Instead he was nice and simply rolled his eyes. Me? I would've punched her out and sent you the hospital bill.

Over and over again from the STM we hear:  "Take the bus! It's a great alternative to being stuck in traffic!" 

Newsflash guys! You want people to take the bus?  Well then provide commuters with a minium of service first. Why on earth would anyone want to take the fucking bus knowing they'll be stuck waiting 20 odd minutes for a bus that should be passing by every five minutes. It's obvious why people always look pissed of on public transit in Montreal. Because they are.

How about you save yourselves a lot of money (and perhaps upgrade service with it) and stop printing schedules you don't stick to, giving people hope that yes, the bus is coming. Eventually. Maybe. If we're lucky. 'Cause it says so right there, see? right there!!  Just do the right thing and extinguish all hope from the get go. Seriously. Please.

Really why would anyone voluntarily take the bus in Montreal? WHY?!?!?!

You really really make me want to buy a car. The expense would almost be worth it.



Société de transport métropolitaine, the Montreal transport authority.


Big Brother said...

It’s a chicken or the egg thing. The problem is that Montreal and the provincial politicos believe that a good transit system will not only pay for itself but will generate profits.. I hate to tell them, but a public transit system will NEVER break even much less generate profits. Just look at Paris, London and other cities where they have a good and pretty cheap public transit... they are always in the red and the central government pretty much pays for it.
Just look at the ridiculousness of our situation. I live on the west island where the schedules of train buses are not even synchronized with the departure of the trains. We live on the island of Montreal and pay taxes to the agglomeration council and yet they built the metro to Laval and the South shore (they also want to continue the metro from Longeuil southwards). At the metro station in Laval there is parking space for about 100 cars...
And they wonder why people drive...

geewits said...

Poor thing! I hate to think of you waiting in the rain.

Anonymous said...

maybe they're secretly trying to get people to do that public biking thing they started last year.

Anonymous said...

Like Big Brother said, they keep looking at public transit from the wrong angle. The purpose of public transit should be to move as many people around the city as efficiently and with the least expense to the user as possible. This makes for a thriving, bustling city; bring people into the city to live, shop, work and be entertained; cuts down on traffic congestion and reduces carbon emissions -- which in the long run is vitally important to the city and the province and the country. It should be subsidized and heavily subsidized - not make money. Once they wrap their heads around that, they can develop a good transit system. As long as they're looking at the bottom line all the time we'll have the shit we have to deal with now where only the desperate take public transit.

Joanie Hoffman said...

Nicely done, Jazz, as usual!
When I was a kid (many years ago), I used to hitchhike home from work rather than ride the crowded, smelly bus.
Happier days,

Suldog said...

Are there any bus schedules, anywhere in the world, that are correct? I hear the same complaints here in Boston, and have heard similar in other locales. Seriously - is there a bus schedule anywhere that is reliable?

Jocelyn said...

Instead of buying a car, why not quit work?

A girl can dream, anyhow.

e said...

I'm sorry to hear that your public transit is so badly run. Where I live, it is laughable and horribly inefficient. This is a great post. Apt and well put, as always.

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