Well, kind of, anyway.
What they’re actually doing is discounting the price of March, April and May TRAM passes for people who take the Deux Montagnes and Dorion/Rigaud lines. (The discounts are steep too, 50% for March, and 25% for the other months – though those are just for Deux Montagnes users.)
And how are they going to determine who uses these lines? Well, the brilliant strategists at the AMT have come up with this:
Un coupon de compensation sera distribué le mercredi 18 février en pointe du matin à l’embarquement dans toutes les gares des lignes Montréal/Deux-Montagnes et Montréal/Dorion-Rigaud.
In other words, they’re handing out coupons to people taking the train the morning of the 18th, and anyone who has the coupon can get the discount (but only if they get their passes at Central Station, Lucien L’Allier station or Vendôme station). There is no way to get the coupon other than using the train during morning rush hour on Feb. 18 (and then you have to repeat the process on March 18 and April 16 for the April and May passes).
UPDATE: The AMT has added Feb. 19 and 20 after complaints from transit users.
I can’t begin to describe how stupid this is. But I’ll take my best shot:
- Not everyone who was inconvenienced is going to take the train on these days, and are going to get really pissed off that they can’t get a coupon any other way
- Not everyone taking the train on these mornings will have been inconvenienced by the train breakdowns. And considering that a 50% reduction of the cost of a pass is a huge savings for people living far away (up to $100), some will probably go out of their way to take the morning train that day, making that particular morning commute even more unbearable.
- This system offers no compensation for those who use tickets instead of a pass, or who don’t plan on using the train in March, April or May.
- Most importantly, the people who were inconvenienced by the train breakdowns don’t care as much about compensation as they do fixing the problem and getting to work on time. This doesn’t do anything to fix that.
AMT’s train solution: Take the bus
Among the other things contained in the announcement, the AMT is reducing the capacity of trains on the Deux Montagnes line during rush hour, going from 10 cars to eight, so that repairs can be made. Since these cars are already overfilled, they’re setting up special buses to shuttle people between train stations and metro stations near the Deux Montagnes line. The STL is also increasing service to bus #26, which goes between the Ste. Dorothée station and Montmorency metro.
Back from the future
Another measure being taken is reversing schedule changes that were made earlier in the year on the Deux Montagnes line. The morning rush hour schedule, which involved more trains departing from Deux Montagnes, will be reverted to the 2008 schedule starting Feb. 16, since the rolling stock will be unable to handle the increased number of passengers and the increased hours of service.
No information available
Finally, the AMT put on its website a page which gives real-time information about train service.