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  • Kate 17:39 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

    The woman whose baby drowned in the Mille‑Îles river after her car plunged in last weekend has died in hospital. The only survivor of the incident is her other child, a four‑year‑old girl.

    • Kate 17:36 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

      A police intervention closed two of the three outbound lanes on the Jacques‑Cartier on Friday afternoon, but they reopened as rush hour began.

      What happened on the bridge to call out police and firefighters is not explained.

      • Kate 09:13 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Here are your weekend driving crises.

        • Kate 09:09 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

          Metro cop tries to stop a man who didn’t pay, two metro cops jump the guy and he hits one of them. Now he may be charged with assault.

          Is it really good sense for two men to dogpile on a guy over a $3.50 fare?

          In the brief video I also enjoyed seeing other passengers calmly pass by the fracas, clearly intent on their plans and not in the least bothered by the ruckus.

          • Spi 09:23 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            Unfortunately without the realistic threat of cohersive measures when applying the law many more would just choose not to pay their fare. If the calculus becomes “can this person be detained without too much physical force or possible altercation” then you inevitably end up ticketing women disproportionately even though they’re probably least likely to be evading fares in the first place.

          • SMD 10:37 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            Just make transit free already.

          • Blork 10:42 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            It could be argued that the dogpile is not over the $3.50 fare but over resisting the cops. As in, if the guy just said “OK, you caught me!” and offered to either pay or to leave, then there probably wouldn’t be a dogpile. It’s the “fuck you” to the cops that provokes the dogpile.

            Unfortunately world is full of assholes and idiots. If it becomes known that laws and rules are just suggestions, and all you have to do to avoid arrest is walk away, then those laws and rules basically cease to exist. I would not look forward to the resulting chaos.

          • MarcG 10:57 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

          • Ephraim 11:12 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            We were in several systems where they had inspectors in Europe. There was NONE of this strong man tactics. They just checked and handed you a fine if you hadn’t paid. And that was the end of it. No guns. No bullying. In most cases just a single transit cop (m or f). But it was also a LOT easier to pay, using your phone. You tapped your phone in at a post… unless you were on a tourist ticket, whereupon you just had to have it on hand. Oh… and there were no turnstiles at all. You just walked into the station and tapped yourself in and out of the system. Here is a picture of the system in Copenhagen… https://payspacemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/validate1.jpg but they had similar systems in the buses.

            @Blork – The transit cops in Montreal are fairly aggressive and “hands-on” when they should be entirely passive. Just hand out the ticket and move on. It’s not worth the effort.

          • Blork 11:16 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            Ephraim, I agree that the transit cops tend to behave like goons. And “Just hand out the ticket and move on” is the same as what I suggested when I said “if the guy just said…” But what if the guy runs away? Or what if he refuses to stand still and identify himself and take the ticket? If a cop holds out a ticket and it just falls to the floor then he hasn’t really handed out the ticket. I suspect that’s what happened here; the “perp” walked or ran away and would not cooperate.

          • Spi 11:54 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @Ephraim implicit in your comparison is an assumption that the people dodging fares in the STM are the same profile as those in Europe, which I wouldn’t be so quick to assume; meaning the same type of people or tactics could be employed in both instances. In addition the security apparatus in Europe in public spaces and on transit is much greater than here, due to the many attacks they’ve had. Heavily armed police, if not military patrolling ready to be called in. Unless there’s a direct intervention involving the police you almost never see them in the metro or at stations. In montreal we’ve chosen to delegate those responsibilities to the STM special constables with a tiny number of police officers to support them. Would you hire 5foot3 Chantal to provide security in the metro? that’s as much part of the job as handing out tickets.

            Copenhagen and the rest of scandinavia are relatively quiet places so that might not have been the situation there.

          • denpanosekai 13:18 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            God damn they were 2 feet from the tracks! That could have been so much worse for everyone! The rentacops are goons but the guy resisted arrest is the biggest idiot.

            Unrelated but I broke but back falling down these exact sets of stairs 5 years ago and I never fully recovered…

          • Chris 13:45 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            >Just make transit free already.

            Cut the STM’s revenue in half you mean? That won’t result in better public transit. And transit cost is not the main reason people prefer private automobiles, which after all cost people even more than transit does. Transit’s problem is speed, frequency, comfort, etc. none of which will be ameliorated by losing half their revenue.

          • Ephraim 13:53 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @Spi – Rationally, what’s the actual income/expense from these aggressive cops? That’s the point. I doubt that there is much income from the fines and lots of expense from these cops, including payouts for their abuse. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. These guys have too much power and it shows.

          • MarcG 14:24 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @Chris: No one would suggest cutting the STM’s budget in half. There are other ways to fund it aside from fares.

          • walkerp 16:33 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            How much are we as a society spending on these security forces versus how much would be lost if some people didn’t pay the fees?
            This guy gets beat down by a couple of official thugs because some people in suburbia don’t want to feel like their taxes are being used by people who didn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

          • PO 17:09 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @walkerp why does it always devolve into making assumptions about suburbanites?

            The subjects at hand are fare jumpers, police enforcement tactics, and transit fares/funding… in Montreal.

            Where does suburbia come in? Are they the only people in the world that would possibly be annoyed by fare jumpers? I seriously want to know. Despite the million(s) of Montreal residents who pay a fare to ride the metro, it’s the suburb folks who are the reason we have enforcement?

            “How much are we as a society spending on these security forces versus how much would be lost if some people didn’t pay the fees?”

            If you don’t enforce fee collection, people will stop paying them. Either shift the way the STM is funded and make the fare free, or enforce fare collection. Not necessarily by brute force. But no exceptions. If you don’t enforce laws, then it’s pointless. That’s not a suburban point of view. That’s how society works.

          • Chris 17:11 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @MarcG and ‘other ways of funding it’ are not mutually exclusive to maintaining fares. Indeed increasing the subsidies *and* maintaining fares would maximize STM revenue thus allowing further service improvements.

          • Spi 18:10 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @PO it’s just a convenient narrative to fall back on. Blame the outside/out group for all your troubles. It’s just all too convenient to blame anything car or transit related on suburbanites. Crazy to think when you look out your window on a Tuesday night all those cars parked on your residential street are people from the suburbs.

          • dhomas 18:18 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            If there were no fares, we would probably need far fewer ̶g̶o̶o̶n̶s̶ “special constables”, if any at all. Do the fares cover much more than the fare takers, constables, fare equipment capital costs and maintenance fees? I’m truly curious to know if it might actually be cheaper to abolish fares altogether, given all the other expenses that would disappear with them.

          • MarcG 18:49 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @dhomas: That’s a study I want to see. Whoever’s behind the dumpster fire called Opus is surely charging them an arm and a leg.

          • Spi 19:10 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @dhomas it wouldn’t be cheaper. People often forget that making it free would lead to a skyrocketing in demand, because shockingly … people love free stuff. That means more bus drivers, metro operators, extended “peak hours”, rolling stock and infrastructure degrading faster because of heavier usage.

            There’s a whole slew of implication associated with free public transit beyond just plugging the revenue gap that fare intake used to account for.

          • Kate 19:21 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            Spi, but would it? It seems to me the usual objections to public transit would remain, even if it were free: you have to get yourself to and from the transit stop or station, you usually have to wait, and when using it you’re exposed to other people, their germs and sometimes their bad behaviour (and now, on the metro, their dogs). I don’t think it’s the $3.50 ticket that keeps most people from taking the bus or metro.

          • Spi 19:45 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @Kate you severely underestimate the lengths people will go to for free stuff. It borders on irrational. The unitary cost of a single trip isn’t the measuring stick, it’s a $100 monthly pass or $1200 a year.

            Just think of all the people that already trade in their monthly metro pass for a bixi membership or their own bikes in the warmer months. I know several people that do.

          • walkerp 20:17 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            The suburban vote is what gets people like Legault in power. Yes, I am generalizing but broadly speaking, it is a community that is not only car-dependent, but also thinks it is their right to have individual vehicles and a society and infrastructure constructed entirely around that right. And along with that goes the anger against the artificial notion that somebody undeserving is getting something for free.

          • Ian 21:10 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

            @Spi if making transit free encourages use, that would also encourage funding – the main reason we have suffered cutbacks to service for ages is the notion that use is down. This has to go both ways. Even under the current system of funding, before Covid the rush hour buses downtown used to come every 5 minutes. Now they come maybe every 10-15 and the tracker app is no longer effective. Guess what that does to ridership? And of course with even more decreased ridership defunding continues apace. This of course leads conservative politicians to advocate for private funding which makes the situation even worse because now it contractually has to be profitable even if it means cutting publicly funded services.

            We will never be able to argue for improved public transit from RDP to Ste Anne let alone the rapidly expanding burbs if there is this notion that transit is somehow a privilege. It’s part of why Asia and Europe are so far ahead of us in this context. Everything has to be about profit and not public good. This is part of why the new train is going in North of the 40 after St Jean – it’s to encourage development and create tax revenues. Public transit is a secondary concern in this sense, and we will suffer for it for decades.

            In the meantime, everyone that can afford to will find another way to get to and from work reliably, and if you live too far to bike or walk (especially in winter) then yeah, it’s cars, cars, cars. If you already have a car, taking barely-there transit outside rush hour or going off the main beaten paths is going to be a no-brainer, hop in the car, let’s go.

            I specifically bought my first car ever because I couldn’t reliably get to and from work on-island in less than 2 hours door-to-door each way, often longer. Sometimes for a shift that was shorter than my combined commute. On average it’s a 35-45 minute drive, longest has been 1 hour 20 minutes. Still faster than even the fastest time the STM can give.

            I have to admit I don’t miss waiting at the last stop in a blizzard at 10:50 at night while the driver sits in his bus and stares at me for 15 minutes, or for that matter at 5:15 in the morning for a bus that may or may not come on time which affects whether I catch my connecting bus – if it comes on time either.

            Regular, reliable transit is the only way to increase ridership, and improving ridership by reducing or eliminating fares is the easiest way to achieve that.

          • Blork 00:11 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

            I’m not sure where I stand on free transit. Ideally, yes, but I’m not sure how feasible it really is.

            That said, I have no doubt that free public transit would boost ridership. There’s no doubt about that. Kate was doubting whether the $3.50 ticket was really what kept people away, but I think you need to look beyond the individual ticket price. Someone in my neighborhood FB group the other day was complaining that they went into the city from Longueuil to show their kid around a CEGEP. They thought they’d be responsible and go by public transit. It cost about $30 for the three of them, more than double what it would have cost in gas and parking, and with less flexibility. (Had they gone to more than one CEGEP it would have cost more.)

            Point being, it’s not just the occasional $3.50 ticket. It the death by 1000 cuts when you have several people taking multiple rides to get the thing done. The idea of spending $14 (2 people) and 90 minutes to do what you could do for $3 in 20 minutes if you just took the car.

          • jeather 08:38 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

            It’s pretty expensive to be an occasional user of transit. It’s fine if you use it daily, but if you just want to take it now and then, and you have access to a car, it’s often much more expensive to take a bus. Lots of people don’t mind the parts that are less convenient (other parts are more convenient) but just feel the extra cost for a return ticket is not worthwhile. I’d take it a lot more if it were free.

          • Spi 09:44 on 2022-11-05 Permalink


            To begin with, the REM going north of the 40 is mostly because of the existing right of way from the Downey Spur (Requiring fewer expropriations) and it fitting nicely into the path for an airport track no need to twist the facts to fit your for profit argument.

            Operating a transport agency is much more about balancing service with limited resources than it is simply pushing out busses out the door. Sure public transit is underfunded but it’s a common gripe from users and citizens in the western world even in European cities with enviable transit networks they still complain that service isn’t good enough. It’s not a particularly interesting aspect to point out.

            It’s all too easy to point to underfunding as the reason why service is poor because we can’t see the operational failings behind the scenes. There’s no good reason why busses can’t keep a schedule, that they can’t be tracked in real time through GPS, that’s STM’s not meeting their own service offering not because they aren’t offering enough.

        • Kate 09:04 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

          Shots were fired early Friday at a building in Park Extension but nobody was hurt and no arrests have been made.

          • Kate 08:04 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

            Another firebombing of parked cars was put out Friday morning in Lachine, but not before the flames also reached an adjoining building. There have been a lot of torched vehicles lately.

            • Kate 08:02 on 2022-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

              Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital, which has needed upgrades for years, is now doing surgeries in a brand new operating suite built via PPP. It will be useful, but it’s an element of the CAQ’s intention to involve more private investment into our public health.

              • MarcG 10:16 on 2022-11-04 Permalink

                Sounds like they’ve been hiring McKinsey for more than just pandemic response.

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