STM to introduce Old Port bus, 470 gets weekend service

At its board of directors’ meeting this week, the STM approved a handful of important changes to bus service on the island. They include:

  • The creation of a new bus route, 515 Vieux-Montréal/Vieux-Port, which will shuttle tourists between the Berri-UQAM metro station and Old Montreal destinations. This is a much-needed bus for tourists and residents alike. Old Montreal is not friendly to vehicular traffic, and sees relatively little bus service, especially outside rush hour, requiring people to walk from the Champ de Mars, Place d’Armes and Square Victoria metro stations to get there. The 500 number is because the route is expected to take advantage of new reserved bus lanes which the city will install in Old Montreal.
  • Adding weekend service to the 470 Express Pierrefonds route. Originally a rush-hour express bus, its runaway popularity convinced the STM to add midday departures in both directions last October, and then extend the schedule to 9pm on weekdays. Adding weekend service was an expected change, as part of an overall plan for West Island bus service.
  • A small route change for the 194 Métrobus Rivière des Prairies between rush hours (when it currently takes the AM route)
  • Extending the 268 Trainbus Pierrefonds to the Côte-Vertu metro station. The one-way rush-hour-only bus is designed to facilitate transfers to the Deux-Montagnes train line at Roxboro-Pierrefonds. Eastbound, it terminates where the 68 does at Grenet and Gouin. Westbound, it starts at the Roxboro-Pierrefonds train station about 10 minutes after the train’s scheduled arrivals. It’s unclear if the extension applies only to eastbound trips or if westbound trips will be extended as well (and if so, how synchronization with the train will be maintained).
  • Creation of a new 220 Kieran bus route in Saint-Laurent, as part of a corporate partnership agreement. Kieran is a tiny street in western Saint-Laurent on the southern side of the Bois de Liesse. Such partnership agreements are usually created to offer transit service to industrial areas for employees of a specific company.

Unfortunately, the meetings don’t provide much details into these kinds of things, so I don’t have any information beyond what you see above.

Expect the changes to take effect with the next schedule change at the end of June.

5 thoughts on “STM to introduce Old Port bus, 470 gets weekend service

  1. James Lawlor

    Is there any information about the 220 Kieran route? According to canada411.ca, there are only two companies on this street: Modungo-Hortibec and Procaps.

    There is already the rush hour 175 from du-college that terminates at the southern end of bois-de-liesse (not exactly an express though). The 215/225/213 (east bound only) all pass quite near to Kieran (700m or 1km)

    What portion of the How much is STM paying for this extra service. I hope 0%!

    I didn’t think that the STM had solved their bus shortage problem. When I speak (complain) to COs at metro stations they regularly tell me that they are missing buses from their service pattern. This is the reason why scheduled buses don’t show up at the stop!

    Won’t these announcements make the shortage worse? Most of the routes are off-peak service adjustments so they should not cause too much trouble.

    The 515 was tried in the past and was abandoned due to lack of ridership. Look at pages 56 and 57 of the AMT’s document from last year:
    http://www.amt.qc.ca/corpo/colloques/mercredisamt/docs/Systèmes%20légers%20sur%20rail%20-%2018%20avril%202007.pdf

    Reply
  2. Fagstein Post author

    Previous buses in the Old Montreal area have failed before due to low ridership (most notably the 19 bus). The problems are similar to what the 15 Sainte-Catherine currently experiences: high traffic, to the point where it’s easier to walk, and little maneuvrability. The reserved lanes should fix that somewhat.

    In addition, because the route would be structured more as a shuttle to the metro than as a local bus, the STM is betting that the demand from clientele will be larger, both in the summer during tourist season and in the winter when residents won’t want to walk as much.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    The 15 Sainte-Catherine has always struck me as a strange route. It only comes once every half hour and the Metro can get you anywhere the downtown portion could much faster (although, it’s along de Maisonneuve). I’ve always assumed they only keep it running for people who need to travel east-west through downtown but don’t want to take the Metro for whatever reason or for days when the Metro is down. I think the most people I’ve ever seen on that bus was about 6.

    Reply
  4. Fagstein Post author

    You kind of hit the nail on the head there. There are plenty of people (say, those with reduced mobility or who only want to travel a few blocks) who prefer to take the buses that travel along the metro routes (this also includes the 17 Decarie, 30/31 Saint-Denis, 34 Sainte-Catherine and 93 Jean-Talon, as well as parts of other routes).

    Reply

Leave a Reply