Dany Deslauriers uses the Beaudry Metro station a lot, which means he uses the moving sidewalk in the station often, or tries to.
“It’s always out, it’s always broken,” Deslauriers said. “I always ask myself questions, is it going to work this time or not— is it going to roll or not?”
Beaudry is the only station in the metro system with a moving sidewalk instead of an escalator.
Except the moving sidewalk in Beaudry is not moving — it's been stopped since the beginning of November.
Metro riders are forced to take the stairs, a climb that takes about a minute and a half, and leaves many people huffing and puffing.
“It’s not like it’s two stairs,” said Frances Roc. “It’s really long.”
The STM, Montreal’s transit corporation, told CBC's Daybreak that the sidewalk's moving surface has cracks in some of the 460 metal sheets that make it up. The STM said it didn’t know why the cracks appeared or when they would be fixed.
8 years of problems
The work was scheduled to last several months, but instead took almost three and a half years.
The moving sidewalk was finally completed in mid-2009, with grooves cut into the metal to prevent slips.
The STM started work in 2006 to replace the rubber-surfaced moving sidewalk with a metal one.
It promised the new surface would last longer and be easier to repair.
But when the metal device was put into service, the STM discovered a problem: it was too slippery.
It had to be shut down again.
The STM said the metal moving sidewalk cost $2.8 million, but it could not say how much the repairs have cost.
Officials said they hope to have the moving sidewalk working by the end of the week.