MONTREAL – The users in the bus of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) are more than twice as many as during the worst weeks of the pandemic, has been reported to the company.
The STM has reported an average of 355 300 travel daily by bus in July, compared to 160 000 at the end of march/beginning of April.
These figures remain below those of last year. The MCS noted, dated as of July 15, a decrease of 45% of the users in Montreal, whereas it was 87% at the end of march/beginning of April.
Another sign of a return to normal, and the users of 41 lines of the STM serving primarily the city centre have once again started to climb aboard the bus by the front Monday. Clients are now required to validate their right-of-way at this location.
Some buses are now equipped with a protective panel for the driver, and posters explanatory to ease the traffic flow inside the bus towards the rear. An area has been shaded in yellow in order to avoid users to be, leaving a safe space for the driver.
Since the pandemic, the STM asked its users to use the back door for access to the bus. Now, the rear door is used only to exit the bus. For the 164 other lines, the gate at the front is expected by the end of July – beginning of August.
This change has caused confusion among some users, because some of them had, since the pandemic, the habit not to pay their right-of-way.
This is particularly the case of Sarah, a user of the bus line 30 is encountered by the 24 Hours on Monday. “I didn’t know today that the boarding was at the front. It’s been three months that I got in the back”, she said, adding that it has not paid its passages since the beginning of the pandemic.
The facts also noticed by a driver of buses. “It is true, because there are just two garages [sic] that have begun. There are some who have taken it for granted that it was free,” she noticed. This driver, who preferred to remain anonymous, authorized exceptionally on Monday people to climb on board without validating their right-of-way.
The syndicate of bus drivers of the STM has not reported “any aggression” related to the return of the validation of titles. The line spacing, the stop where you change transportation center, can bring “a bit of confusion among the customers, because there are some that are paid and others are not. But users may take it well”, a-t-is added.
Not less than 98% of users have paid their passage on Monday, compared to about 85% by day before, said the union.
By e-mail, the STM has indicated, however, that “the payment has never ceased, to the extent that the payment is on the honor has been in force throughout the duration of the boarding of customers through the back door”.