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Projet Montréal, McQueen want answers from STM

Projet Montréal believes Montrealers deserve answers from the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) regarding recent citywide breakdowns.

In a press conference held on May 23, leader Richard Bergeron said that the number of metro failures has become much too high, and that residents deserve better service.
“Metro failures have almost become daily events,” he said.

“It’s gotten to a point where you have to ask yourself if there will be a problem almost every time you use the metro. It is totally unacceptable that thousands of Montrealers repeatedly arrive late for work or can’t get their children to daycare on time because of this.”

In Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce there are currently 10 metro stations and many thousands of residents rely on the system. In an interview, NDG councillor Peter McQueen echoed Bergeron.

“It’s concerning, worrisome, that there are so many breakdowns in a row, and of course people here in the borough are completely dependent on the metro,” he said.

McQueen added that though the STM has had a good record over the years, but he would like to know why 2013 has been such a struggle so far.

“I think it’s obvious that the entire elected city council, and ordinary residents, should be made aware of what’s going on,” he said.

“If we need to make further investments in public transit we’re going to vote for it, so we’d like to know.”

In the past year there have been eight major system-wide breakdowns, including the two latest ones that brought the metro to a halt during rush hour.

In a statement the STM said that it was once again due to a computer malfunction, the same reason mentioned numerous times over the last year.

“Projet Montréal is starting to ask some questions,” said McQueen.

“Specifically I think it’s time for the STM to release a statement telling us why there have been more breakdowns this year. It’s no longer enough to just explain them on a one-by-one basis. We need a more systematic explanation of why this is happening so often,” he added.

Despite its recent troubles with the metro system, the STM was recently honoured by the World Congress of the International Union of Public Transport.

Marvin Rotrand, Snowdon councillor and STM vice-president since 2002, explained that the STM won an award in the North American category for sharing productivity gains with maintenance workers.

On May 27 the STM unveiled its second sustainable development plan, which will be in effect until 2020. The plan promises improved service and targets a 40 per cent increase in ridership by 2020, with an additional $87 million being invested in the bus and metro system.

Jesse Feith

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