MONTREAL – While ridership on its buses continues to rise, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has not yet started the installation of protective barriers for drivers at the front of its buses.
Already, in early may, the STM wrote in internal correspondence that it was finalizing tests for the purchase of partitions of plastic to protect the jobs of its bus drivers. This measure is intended to reduce the risk of the spread of the COVID-19.
Nearly two months later, their installation has not started, confirms the carrier.
“We need to validate the resistance of the panel before beginning the installation to a larger scale,” explains a spokesperson for the STM’s Amélie Régis. The latter specifies that nine buses are equipped with protection panels in order to perform tests.
According to a document adopted at the meeting of the board of directors on Thursday evening, the STM figure to $ 2.7 Million in expenditures for the acquisition of materials necessary for the installation of partitions. The amount includes the purchase of 2430 installation kits, nine prototypes and the supply of spare parts.
Keep in mind that these physical barriers should be installed gradually in all the buses of the operator by the end of the month of August. This will allow users to board through the front door, and to validate their ticket.
For the moment, all the shipments are through the rear doors.
The MCS will communicate in time and place, the names of the bus lines where the boarding will be from the front.
Already installed elsewhere
The operator exo has already completed the installation of barriers of the type plexiglas to the front of its vehicles. Three-quarters of its buses have only one door and do not allow boarding from the rear, which explains the early introduction of physical barriers.
Since Wednesday, the exo has taken over gradually the perception of the securities of carriage on board his 241 bus lines on the northern and southern suburbs of Montreal.
For almost a month, space driver the bus from the Société de transport du Saguenay is equipped with walls for protection. Same thing on the side of Ottawa where such a device has been fitted to the front of every bus operator OC Transpo.
The installation of such barriers is consistent with the recommendations issued by the CNESST.