STM software change might explain late buses

The Gazette says the STM has a current usable bus shortage because of a new software package on the maintenance side. I use the bus and haven’t noticed any issues except the inevitable sluggishness that comes with the start of snow season: my main issues with buses this year have been detours.

This year, I haven’t even tried to keep track of the times I’ve found the bus stop I needed was cancelled (in one case, to a location at least 5 km from where I was standing, at 11 p.m.), or the times I was taken on a lengthy and unexpected detour (I’m looking at you, 55 south of de Castelnau).

Drivers used to be adaptable and, on a detour, would let passengers off where they requested. Some literal-minded bureaucrat at the STM must have given orders that once a bus leaves its usual route, no stops are to be made at all until it rejoins the route. At least twice over the summer I felt like a captive in a bus that was dragging me to a location I didn’t want to go to, with the driver stubbornly refusing to stop even when there were perfectly safe bus stops along the detour. This doesn’t help anybody, and if it’s a policy – and from the mutterings of the drivers I gathered it is a policy – it’s not a useful one.

And that has nothing to do with software. It has to do with human beings being boneheads.

In extension to this, I would add: if the STM wanted to mitigate some of this problem, they could keep their website (and info available to apps) truly updated with the latest detours, whether for festivals or construction or anything else. It’s the 21st century, this should be feasible – but it isn’t, and you can’t find out in a timely way if your bus is going to pick you up and drop you off at the locations you expect. That’s got to be fixed.