Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:27 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Customers of Exo trains are angry about the “let them eat cake” response of one honcho in the organization, who suggested such things as hiring domestic help or bringing children to work, to offset the time loss that will follow the closure of the Mount Royal tunnel for hundreds of commuters. They’d like to see her fired.

    • Stoic 13:48 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Maybe they can pay for the extra help by borrowing against the future increase in the value of their property because of the REM. People choose to live out in the middle of nowhere and whine about disruptions cause by bringing in a service that will benefit them most.

    • Kate 14:01 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      “Whine” is a prohibited word on this blog. It’s always used to dismiss the complaints or difficulties of people the writer doesn’t care about.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people who chose to live near a convenient commuter train line, were told the tunnel would close for a few days for REM construction, and are now facing a closure that will disrupt their lives for a long time, to be angry about this.

    • Jonathan 14:39 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Hmm. I watched the video. I don’t think it’s too condescending. I think she’s just asking people to be creative. There are measures in place to accomodate the displaced train riders, and people may need to drive to work more often or carpool or ask employers to be more flexible (what Josée mentions), or push for some daycare facilities at workplaces, etc. We can’t expect it to be as direct or timely as the train… I think I have a problem with people who move into the suburbs and feel entitled. Whining maybe isn’t the right word, but I think we shouldn’t try and dismiss the idea that it’s unfair to make costly accommodations to people in deux montagne when there are more pressing transit needs (like people who bus into town from Montreal Nord for their badly paid retail jobs that nobody else would want.

      I’m unfairly categorizing people from both MTL Nord and Deux Montagne, but to prove what is hopefully seen as a valid point.

    • Blork 14:42 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      All this hate on people who “move to the suburbs” ignores the fact that many of those people were born and raised there. It’s home for them; their community. It’s not just a cheap bedroom.

    • Blork 14:48 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      …particularly ironic given the thread below this about the STM bus shortages. Well heck, as a former Plateau resident I have no sympathy for people who move out to ParkEx or NDG or Rosemont and now feel “entitled” to have buses available to take them to work in the morning. [sarcasm]

    • Jonathan 17:33 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      I was born and raised in the suburbs, and on the rive nord next to Deux Montagnes. I want to see better transit to those areas, as I experienced how isolating it can be to lack mobility. I just want people to put the money where their mouth is. I literally LOLed reading Blork’s bit about suburban community. My extended family, and some high school friends all still live in the suburbs, and I can attest that they have almost no clue who their neighbours are, don’t care, and would never call their neighbourhood a ‘community’. This is anecdotal of course.

      Blork, your sarcasm actually makes a great segue into the idea of governance. The people in Park Ex, NDG and RPP do have an entitlement to good public transit because they pay taxes to the City of Montreal. That city pays for a majority of the operating budget of the STM. Unfortunately the high cost of providing transit to (mostly) low density and commuter areas, and the resistance of these municipalities to raise property taxes to pay for improved transit means that the residents of the City of Montreal are disportionately paying for transit that people living in suburban communities use. Let’s not even talk about the roads, social services, etc. The current system of municipal governance is a governance failure… and it isn’t likely to be fixed because the political system benefits from this, as does the majority of people who hold the power and have the voice in Quebec.

      I would suggest, Blork, for you to take a deep look at the municipal governance system. Rather than feel entitled, people in RPP, NDG, Montreal Nord and Park Ex actually have entitlements that they would like to cash in on…

    • Tim S. 17:47 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Nah, the video is pretty bad. It’s “we all have to come up with solutions”, meaning you have to change your lives because we broke something, which may or may not benefit you. Let’s remember that most people don’t work for fun, but because they have to, and unaccountable organizations throwing obstacles in their way while they try to get to their jobs, while lecturing them on their responsibility for overcoming the obstacle, well, I have a hunch that it’s stuff like this that leads to them voting for populist, anti-elite blowhards.

    • Uatu 18:01 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Anything (homes and businesses alike) within 1km of REM stations will pay an increase in property tax so they’re already paying for the increase in property values. Also let’s call the REM what it is: a haphazardly planned means of daisy chaining real estate developments. If it were a properly planned transport system then no one would be spitballing ideas like they’re onstage at improv night and there would be a link to the airport like they have at O’Hare. Instead it’s all about new condo cities around the dix30 etc.

    • Filp 18:11 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Uatu, the REM already has a connection to the airport. It’s one of the project’s selling points. Unless you mean a better connection. Is there something particular about the blue line to O’Hare?

    • Uatu 18:35 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Oops. I got mixed up with the airport train station and it not being connected to the Dorval train station. The image of O’Hare was just the 1st thing that came to mind

    • Faiz Imam 18:52 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      @Jonathan or anyone else, do you have a feeling as to how much time getting off bois franc and taking a bus to côte Vertu will take?

      Because I’ve traced the route on a map and it seems like a pretty inoffensive detour. Maybe 15-20 mins?

      Not nothing and people will have to expect congestion, but the link is still there.

      I think the real trouble will be after 2022(Ish) when the REM opens till bois franc and the end of the line shuts down.

      That’s probably going to Suck, but that’s not what people are talking about now I think.

      Leaving aside the broken promises by cdpq, Are the current alternatives not adequate?

    • Kevin 19:59 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      My favourite suggestion from the REM about dealing with the tunnel closure has to be: renegotiate union contracts so employees can stagger their hours or work from home.

      It has the virtue of admitting there is no way around several years of absolute disruption and pain.

    • Jonathan 15:05 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

      @Faiz, i haven’t. But 20 minutes is about the amount of time my own travel to work is extended because the orange line train at Jarry is filled with Laval people.

      ps @Uatu, the current tax levy is a development tax. So it’s only realized when there is a permit for construction. And it doesn’t go to the operations but is given to CDPQ as profit. It’s very different, and also really a big problem for a whole other discussion!

  • Kate 13:22 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The Teamsters are warning that Montreal is about to lose 100 CN Rail jobs to Edmonton. CN maintains that no more than 15 jobs are being transferred.

    • Kate 09:57 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

      We’ve all seen news that the STM is short of buses, but I’ve seen no explanations how they decide where to distribute the shortages. Do they cancel departures on different routes in turn? (My customary 55 bus has vanished this week, for example. I’m blogging from a bus stop after Transit told me to expect a 17-minute wait, which has already elapsed.)

      • brett 10:40 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Ugh, the buses are terrible. I waited in vain on Wednesday for the 110 to show up at Angrignon station at 14:44 – and this is a bus that comes every half an hour! Just imagine the size of the lineup..

        Out of curiosity, does anyone fill out the complaints form for no-show buses on the STM website?

      • dhomas 10:42 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        My bus used to pass every 6 (or maybe 10) minutes during rush hour when I moved in here, The other day, there was 24 minutes between buses. Not impressed. Luckily, I live 2 stops away from the metro , so it’s only about a 7 minute walk, but on cold days it’s nice to have the bus available.

      • Daniel 10:55 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        We’re half a block from a bus stop where, depending on the time of day, the bus is supposed to come every 30 minutes. The other day we checked what is supposedly the live bus tracker on the STM website and then shot out the door to wait a minute or two for the next bus. We ended up waiting 15 to 20 minutes.

        I was trying to do everything right! We can often be flexible with timing, but it would be nice to avoid standing around in the cold for no reason when our warm home is just steps away.

      • Spi 11:39 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Aren’t buses and bus routes assigned to certain bus depots? So if your bus depot has a deficit of buses then you’d be chronically short, it would be more logical to have planned reduction (not announce it or acknowledge it) in services given a reduced fleet size than rotating cuts to lines.

      • Meezly 12:27 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Since Transit is unreliable, I always cross-reference with the STM bus schedule website via my phone. I learned the hard way that my 8:47 bus is sometimes removed from the schedule on Thursday and/or Friday. So a scheduled bus can vary throughout the week.

        @brett, I always try to send a complaint to STM after a schedules bus is MIA, or if the driver drives by a queue of passengers at the bus stop if their bus was full (or not even that full). They actually responded (eventually) to a few of my many complaints. Once, they replied apologetically to say that a bus didn’t arrive because it had broken down.

        I even wrote to them about why buses are designed to always end at a metro station which creates fragmented bus routes instead of continuous ones. A few weeks later, one of the STM bus planners phoned me to provide an explanation! It was completely unexpected. But we had a good conversation.

        The STM system is definitely flawed, but it seems that they are trying to make an effort. The planner explained that in the new year the STM will be organizing public consultations, and the planner encouraged me to attend if I have concerns.

      • jeather 13:35 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        I’ve never found the website to be particularly accurate, when I take the 24 the numbers on the “next bus in x minutes” seem to be random and uncorrelated with the actual wait time. (No idea about the 165, which leaves so often it doesn’t matter.)

      • CE 14:43 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        The 80 is the bus I take the most and it’s been bad. Just yesterday, a bus don’t show up and when the next scheduled one arrived, it was a regular sized bus full of two articulated busloads of passengers. It was cramped to say the least.

        That being said, I’d rather they cut buses from a line like the 80 that comes often than from one where the bus only comes once every 20 minutes or half an hour. If one of those buses doesn’t arrive, it can really mess up a lot of people’s days!

      • Meezly 15:49 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        I mostly complain about the 35 or 168. And the 35 I take at the start of the route, so it’s easy to tell if the bus should arrive on time or not.

        I also take the 80 regularly, but don’t tend to complain since it tends to run regularly enough. I have noticed that there have been more regular sized buses in lieu of the articulated ones, and I’m wondering if it’s because the articulated busses are getting long in the tooth and are requiring more repairs, breaking down more, etc.

      • Joey 19:15 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        A related problem with ghost buses is the fact that the next bus has to take on twice as many people, and since we don’t yet have rear boarding at every stop, it takes considerably longer at every stop, meaning the ghost bus is followed by a slow bus. The subsequent buses wind up moving too quickly, as they wind up catching up with the slow bus. By the time the slow bus is halfway down the route, there can be one or two half-empty buses right behind. Miss one of those (Murphy’s Law says the bus you need will go through a yellow while you’re waiting to cross from the other side of the street) and you’ll be out in the cold for a disproportionately long time. So one bus every X minutes can really mean three buses every 3X minutes, but they’re all clustered together so the wait is considerably longer.

        Maybe routes like the 80 should have express buses that don’t stop at every block? My guess is this idea works better in theory than in practice, especially since the “local” and “express” buses would have to share the same reserved lane.

      • denpanosekai 20:15 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Yeah fuck the buses. I just walk to the metro now.

      • Meezly 10:56 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

        @denpanosekai, would love to, but I don’t live nor work near a metro stop.

        @Joey, I had also brought up the timing thing when the STM planner called me, and he said that drivers are supposed to drive by bus stops if their bus is getting full and they know that there is an emptier bus close behind them, in order to space out the buses and catch up on their schedule if they’re running behind.

        But obviously, not every driver does this. Certainly something worth complaining about to the STM.

      • EmilyG 11:22 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

        The 470 is supposed to be an accordion bus, but yesterday it was a standard-length one.

      • TC 22:40 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

        What’s up with Valerie Plante’s plan to increase the number of buses and improve bus service overall? If I remember correctly, the city approved the purchase of around 1000 new buses, split about 50/50 between replacing some of the current fleet and adding to it. When she proposed it during her campaign, I was impressed with the plan, hope it’s happening.

    • Kate 08:45 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Brendan Kelly writes in the Gazette about the demise of our white Christmas, kindly reminding us it was a song sung by Bing Crosby.

      • dwgs 09:39 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Brendan Kelly always seems to think he’s the smartest guy in the room

      • Jack 10:58 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        I went to High School with him, he was.

      • Kate 13:37 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        The smartest guy, Jack? Or the one who thought he was?

      • Chris 21:22 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Or both? 😉

      • EmilyG 11:23 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

        It’s hard to listen to him on the radio. “I mean, you know, I mean, it was really sort of…” and so on.

      • Jack 11:58 on 2019-12-14 Permalink

        No he was smart and hip. That was however 42 years ago, maybe he has changed.

    • Kate 08:40 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

      It was only a couple of weeks ago the city bought some land for its big western park, but it has now added another 140 hectares to the collection. The map is still a little patchworky but it’s coming together.

      • qatzelok 10:39 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        Most of the waterfront of this new park – like the rest of the West Island – is covered in McMansions and bungalows, and this is the most beautiful part of most partks – their waterfront. Perhaps flooding will eventually remedy this.

      • mk 15:21 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        @qatzelok jeez that’s dark…

      • Faiz Imam 18:56 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

        But not wrong, we should expect a repeat of the recent floods quite regularly in the years ahead. I think many of those folks will be ready to sell to the city before too long.

        That issue aside, I’m really shocked this happened as fast as it did. I figured this would take years of negotiations and litigation. But after only a few months à enormous area of nature on this island has been preserved for good.

        We can’t control the exurbs, but the efforts the core is doing to limit suburban sprawl is real and admirable.

    • Kate 08:36 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Layoffs decreed by Molson Coors mean the departure of workers from the old Molson brewery by the end of the year, as the company centralizes itself in Chicago. The new local brewery will open on the south shore in 2021 with a smaller workforce.

      • Kate 08:29 on 2019-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

        The Plante administration has plans to revive Notre-Dame East from downtown out to the tip of the island with either a tram or a branch of the REM. The bus lane being built on Pie-IX is now meant to connect to this new route.

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