Friday, May 30, 2008

When Public Transportation Actually Sucks

Sometimes, when you look at some morons using Montreal's public transportation system, you often wish that you had a car.

Rest assured: although I spent a part of my childhood in the suburb of Laval, I do believe that public transportation has its place in Montreal. Since I don't have a car, I have to commute in order to go to school and my workplace above all. However, some Montrealer commuters' bad habits irk me a lot. Here are two examples taken from my daily life.

The escalator's left side

The first of these bad habits, and none the least, consists in blocking the escalator in the subway by standing on the left. Obviously, we're not talking about one or two people who can be politely asked to step on the right so that you can move. Indeed, in addition to all the people who stand on the escalator's right side, there's a herd of people standing still on the left. Thus, these people contribute to cause a congestion on the escalator.

Here's my word to the army of morons who like to stand still on the escalator's left side: haven't you figured out that an escalator works almost like a highway? The left side is for those who want to get past many people. If you don't want to move your ass, then keep right. Isn't that complicated? Well, common sense doesn't seem to be many people's forte...

Licence to squeeze you

Whether it's in the bus or in the subway trains, you always feel squeezed, especially during the morning (at seven in the morning) and the rush hour. Obviously, don't have the feeling that I'm not willing to share public transportation with Montrealers (also add to this suburbans). To be clear with you, I'm going to share with you my impression about being literally compressed in a bus.

Any Montrealers know what it's like to enter a bus. Trying to enter one is almost as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. Indeed, I don't understand why people (if you don't count those who have a seat) like to stand mostly in a bus's front part. Don't they notice that they make it harder for others to get in (or get off) the bus and even harder for us to move to the back?

Moreover, while thinking that you may get flattened in a manner of speaking (i.e. when moving is almost impossible), I don't understand why can't the Société des Transports de Montréal (STM) put more bus or subway trains at our disposal. Are they facing a shortage of money?

Some of you have probably never experienced this, but when a bus is really full, what often happens? Yes you imagined it: the bus driver often have to keep going even if it means getting past a bus stop that has people waiting. As a result of this, it infuriates many commuters who have to waste another (who knows) six, ten, twenty, thirty or even sixty minutes to wait! As for a subway train, I dare you to finish school during the rush hour and wait until the fourth train arrives in order to go home...

Partial observation

It's true that I always wish I had a car. However, unlike what you think, I'm not glamouring the idea of having one. Secondly, I don't need to be reminded by some self-righteous Montreal-centred prigs (who never spent their life outside the Island) about the environmental virtues of public transportation: the more people use it, the less car you should see on our municipal roads.

However, I sometimes don't have the feeling that I get the services that I'm entitled to deserve given the part of my taxes used to "improve" (as Quebecker and Montrealer politicians put it) Montreal's public transportation system. What do you think about Montreal's public transportation system? Does it often make you wish you had a car? Well, everybody, let's talk!

PS: I still use Montreal's public transportation.

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