Few moments in a commuter's life are as satisfying as getting off the metro right in front of the exit.

But perfecting the art of entering the right metro car takes trial and error and lots of experience.

Luckily for Montrealers, one man has taken the math out of the perfect exit strategy.

"Any commuter knows the feeling, that little extra joy of coming out right at the stairwell," said Nicolas Kruchten, a software engineer.

Inspired by information displays he saw while taking the train in Germany, Kruchten created Direction Angrigon, a map of all the Angrignon-bound metro platforms layered on top of each other.

"It's a little bit like a photo-collage," he told CBC Montreal's Homerun.

"So you could see if I get into a car near the second bench from the left at Pie IX, I can come out near the right escalator at Peel," he said.

direction angrignon map

Using his panoramic map, Kruchten can see that he needs to get on the metro at the left-end of the platform at Pie-IX station in order to get off in front of the stairwell at Peel station. (Direction Angrignon)

Thank the iPhone, not the STM

At first, Kruchten wanted to make a schematic version of the map, so he went to the most obvious source for help.

"I had reached out to the STM to see if they would let me look at the architectural drawings for all the stations but they declined to do so," he said, adding he was told it was a security risk.

In the end, Kruchten found a simpler way to reach his goal.

"I got into the last car, I sat in the rear-most seat and I basically pointed my iPhone at the window and took some video as the train left the station, which left me with these 18-second long videos," he said.

"Any commuter knows the feeling, that little extra joy of coming out right at the stairwell." - Nicolas Kruchten, Direction Angrignon creator

"Then I extracted all the frames of the video and kind of stitched them together like a panorama."

Kruchten acknowledged a Montreal app aimed at exit strategists already exists, though without Direction Angrignon's visual component.

Metroexit helps commuters exit the metro in front of stairwells, elevators and bus exits. It also includes schedules and estimated arrival times.

With Direction Angrignon, users can use an interactive map to compare two stations.

But just as the name suggests, Kuchten has only mapped-out the platforms on the westbound Green line — that's 27 platforms out of 146.

He hopes to get to the other metro lines in the coming weeks.


Try out Direction Angrignon here.

With files from CBC Homerun