Montreal

STM feeling pressure from increasing ride-share options

Montreal's public transit service is making improvements to lure back some riders who are opting for the convenience of car-sharing services.

STM chairman Philippe Schnobb says service making improvements to lure back riders

Philippe Schnobb told Daybreak Friday that the tweaks are aimed at improving satisfaction among riders. (Louis-André Bertrand/Radio-Canada)

Montreal's public transit brass have made tweaks designed to get you riding their buses and metros again. 

"There's a shift in our vision. It aims at increasing the satisfaction rate of our riders," STM chairman Philippe Schnobb told CBC Montreal's Daybreak Friday. 

The transit corporation is feeling pressure from ride-sharing alternatives that have threatened their ridership numbers, Schnobb admits.

 "More people are using [car-sharing services] Communauto or Car2go and [bike-sharing service] Bixi and other means of transportation that are not a solo car," said Schnobb.

He confesses that even he has been seduced, at least partially, by the lure of car-sharing.

"I did it myself a few weeks ago. I was waiting for a bus in the evening. I said there's a Communauto at the corner and I did my ride with it. We have to find a way to bring back people to our services. We have to improve," he said.

Changes include:

  • Passholders will be permitted to enter accordion buses from the back door.
  • 20 air-conditioned buses will be put on the roads.
  • Fares will not be hiked before June 2016.
  • 45,000 hours of bus service will be added.
  • Metro cars will come more frequently.
  • Elevators will be added at Snowdon and Rosemont Metro stations. 

The new Azure metro trains that have been teasing metro riders during test runs have been "rolling relatively well," said Schnobb. 

When they start welcoming passengers in early January, riders should notice improvements, Schnobb said.

"Azure will have eight per cent more capacity than the others. There's a limit, you can't have trains every 30 seconds, but the frequency will be better."

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