Posted in Montreal, Public transit

More service on STM routes 80, 120, 165, 470 and 747

(Updated with changes to route 120)

The STM’s summer schedules are out, and very little is changing on June 21 (except for the new No. 19 bus, which I’ve written about separately).

Otherwise, there are a three schedule changes and one route change worth noting:

80, 165 to run concurrently with 535: The Parc and Côte des Neiges buses currently stop running during rush hour, making room for the 535 reserved-lane bus, which makes a giant U around the mountain and runs along both axes. I’ve always found this a bit bizarre, because it means a long time between driver breaks, and nobody is realistically going to travel down one and up the other. The stretch along René-Lévesque Blvd. connecting the two is filled with mostly empty buses even at the height of rush hour, which empty and fill up at the Guy-Concordia and Place des Arts metro stations.

The STM is helping to alleviate this by having the 80 and 165 buses run during rush hour along their 535 counterparts. This means they can maintain the same level of service along the heavy-use axes (the STM even says service will improve), while cutting down on all those empty buses along René-Lévesque. Those who use the 535 along René-Lévesque or otherwise make use of the 535 between the two metro stations can still do so, and buses will still run every six minutes or less.

120 extended to Dorval station: The 120 Lachine/LaSalle, a recently introduced bus connecting Angrignon metro to Lachine, has been extended westward to terminate at the Dorval train station instead of 55th Ave.

470 to run until 1am: This one is as predictable as it is long past due. The agonizingly slow progression of service on the 470 Express Pierrefonds will finally be complete as late-night departures are added, meaning the route will run past midnight seven days a week. Despite Marvin Rotrand using every excuse to call this route a “home run”, it’s taken more than five years from its launch in 2005 as a rush-hour-only route until it finally got all-day service. Midday service was added in 2007, then service was extended to 9pm weekdays in 2008, then weekend service was added a few months later.

Currently, the final departures are about 9pm weekdays and about 6:30pm weekends in both directions. Starting June 21, final departures from Côte-Vertu metro westbound will be 1:58am on Saturday nights (Sunday mornings) and 1:30am all other days, to coincide with the last metro trains arriving at Côte-Vertu. Eastbound, the final departures will arrive at Côte-Vertu around 12:30am Saturdays and midnight on other days.

A few weeks ago, on a trip to Pierrefonds, I had to take the 64 bus from Côte-Vertu and transfer to the 68 in Cartierville. I noticed about a dozen people making the same transfer, even though it was about midnight on a weeknight. Many of those people will be better served by this service, as will many who now drive, take commuter trains or don’t travel at all because they can’t take the two-hour trip.

On a side note, this will extend the hours of the Fairview bus terminal by an hour (from 1:20am to 2:20am) on Saturdays and half an hour (1:20am to 1:50am) on other days. Currently the 207 bus is the only one with a departure after 12:35am. Its 1:20am departure takes transfers from the last westbound 215 bus, which leaves Côte-Vertu at 12:40am (in fact, the STM has the same bus and driver do both departures). People who live in the middle of the West Island will be able to leave almost an hour later and still get home.

UPDATE (June 23): The STM’s press release about the 470 also says that starting August 30 the first departure will be timed to meet the first metro train at 5:30am. This will mean at no time will there be a metro that is not met by a 470 bus.

747 service every 10-12 minutes: The runaway success of the 747 airport express bus, which is pleasing everyone but cab drivers, has convinced the STM to boost its service during the day. During the day between 8am and 8pm, service intervals will be 10-12 minutes instead of 15-30 minutes, in both directions, seven days a week. Early morning, late night and overnight schedules are unchanged.

The STM says it will also be installing more fare machines at the airport, at Station Centrale and other touristy locations that dispense proper fares for the 747. Passengers can pay the $7 fare on the bus, but the fact that the machine doesn’t accept bills or give change makes it incredibly inconvenient for many travellers.

The STM says machines at “a dozen or so” metro stations will also be able to give out the fare, which works as a 24-hour pass for the entire STM system. I’m not sure why they can’t just have all machines give this out. Not only can a trip to the airport start from anywhere, but a $7 day pass can be useful for people who have no intention of using the 747. A couple of weeks ago, some out-of-town friends came by for a day trip, and were told by a metro attendant that to get the $7 day pass they had to buy (each) a $3.50 Opus card (the old scratch-style tourist passes are no longer being sold). It’s silly to ask a tourist to buy a smart card they might use once or twice when the 747 bus hands out disposable cards that do the same thing at no extra cost.

Other changes, like the creation of a new bus (No. 19) that serves Marché Central, will have to wait until the fall, it seems. Turns out the 19 is launching this summer after all.

21 thoughts on “More service on STM routes 80, 120, 165, 470 and 747

  1. Zain

    Just to add a bit here, the reason only a few machines will sell day passes is because they each have to be converted for a new kind of ticket (resembling an AMT “solo” ticket), and it would be unreasonable to have them in every station right this instant.

    Secondly, the scratch-style tickets are still being sold, but only in some stations, as they have been for the past few years. Peel, McGill, Berri-UQAM, Champ-de-Mars, Place-d’Armes, Jean-Drapeau and a couple others I don’t remember all have them.

    Reply
    1. telso

      This is why having “tickets” as your stored value is so ridiculous. If instead we used money (like London, Boston, D.C., San Francisco, Hong Kong, and every other place I can think of that uses multi-use (usually RFID) cards), then the machines we use to put money on the card would only need to be able to do one thing (add money), the cards would only need to store one thing (current balance, though you might need previous use if bus fare stations weren’t hooked up to the network) and the fare stations could be equipped with the info needed for that trip. Then, each transit system could decide the cost of their tickets, depending on mode of transportation, distance travelled, time of use, number of trips taken in a certain amount of time (bundling) and other factors and the user wouldn’t have to figure out which ticket to buy (or which machine to buy it from): you just add money and go.

      For all the problems we’ve had with OPUS, this is the greatest design flaw, and given how non-replicated it is in other cities that implemented their systems well before our, is inexcusable.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        How would the concept of unlimited trips fit in with your money-only card? The vast majority of users have weekly or monthly passes and wouldn’t be crazy about being charged for every trip.

        Reply
        1. telso

          Fare capping. Charge $2.10 for the first trip, then $2.10 for the second, etc. On your 10th trip in a week, you get charged $1.60 (total $20.50), and on any trip after that, $0. Similarly, you get charged up till your 34th trip in a month, when you get charged $0.70 (total $70), and $0 after that. This helps people who are not sure at the beginning of the month if buying a pass will be worth it; those who use it more won’t see a difference. (And, of course, for a day, $2.10 three times, then $0.70, then $0.)

          Further, you can combine zones, so if you take trips from Laval metros (and already have had the $70 for a monthly pass deducted — or even not: they can go up in tandem) you’ll be charged in full for the first 14, then $2.50 for the next and $0 for the rest, maxing out at the zone 3 rate of $111.

          And, lastly, if they get “really” advanced (like the Octopus card) shops can install OPUS readers so we can use it like an Interac card to buy things, or to pay for parking, or Bixis, or whatever. When we’re storing tickets, all we can do with our card is use those tickets we’ve bought; when we’re storing money, we can buy anything a reader is willing to deduct for us to pay for.

          Regardless, it means those who care about checking every single purchase can, while everyone else can just make sure there’s enough money on the card for what they want to do and tap — the computer will figure out for you what to deduct (if anything). Every time. No problems. No worries. Maybe it’s a bit much expecting Quebec/Montreal to figure this out, but given that most of this was implemented in the wild before they even started designing the OPUS system, it really is nothing except inexcusable.

          Reply
          1. Tux

            Damn straight. It is clear that the STM brass had no real understanding of the technology, merely thinking of it as a “band-aid” for the problems with the old fare system. They had an awesome opportunity to do something great for Montreal commuters and they utterly botched it.

            They had to do something, because the companies that made their turnstiles, transfer dispensers, etc. were long out of business. The STM was having to machine their own parts in some cases. Clearly the system had to be replaced. Unfortunately, instead of doing the research, they probably just had a few meetings with vendors, and picked the one with the best powerpoint presentation. Remember when they were saying Opus would solve the fraud problem? Everyone on the internet said “um… how do smart cards stop turnstile hopping?” and when Opus, as expected, did nothing to solve the fraud problem, the STM hired a bunch of “inspecteur” bullies to intimidate people and check tickets. Oh, and remember how it was months before they started giving away plastic sleeves for Opus so it wouldn’t deactivate in your pocket? (Never had that problem with the magstripe cards) That is how the STM operates, they do something without thinking, and when it screws up, they spend our money to band-aid it, and next month they charge more for fares.

            Reply
  2. Marc

    If I recall, the 535 was originally just R-Bus du Parc. And there was the 545 R-Bus Cote des Neiges, which was abolished when they were linked up and the 535 renamed. Maybe they should go back to that setup if the buses aren’t much used along R-L.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      You’re correct, though both the 535 and 545 used René-Lévesque. The idea is to bring people who use Parc and CDN directly to and from their workplaces on René-Lévesque rather than have them crowd the metro.

      Reply
    2. Jason

      I use the 535 on Rene-Levesque every week day for the past 10 years. I take the train from the West Island and get off at Lucien-L’Allier. I then take the 535 from the train station to my work. I used to work on Guy, then I got a new job on Park Avenue. I am VERY happy with the route the 535 takes if anything, I wish they would extend the hours. There is no “fast” way of getting from Park Avenue to the train station after 6:30PM. Of course, I cannot expect the STM to extended the hours just for me…..

      In short, leave the 535 route alone!

      Reply
  3. SMS

    Your 470 comments unfortunately left out the following good news: early starts Monday to Friday. From the metro – 530 am (currently 610 am). From the west – 437 am which ought to meet the first metro at 530 am (currently 6 am).

    No news on the 120 which ostensibly should have a new western terminus…

    No new 747 PDF planibus…

    Hmm!!!

    Reply
  4. Maria Gatti

    How will the new Marché Central bus be different from the Chabanel bus, which runs to Marché Central? Will it have different stops around the sprawly Market?

    Reply
  5. Luc

    Was in Montréal last week. The attendant at Place-des-Arts told me I had to buy an OPUS for a 3-day pass. There’s a 25% surcharge I didn’t expect…

    Reply
  6. Joe

    I really like that they’re improving the 747. Certainly saves a lot of money not having to take a cab to the airport every time, especially when picking up friends. Now if only passengers in the metro wouldn’t stare at you anymore when you show up with luggage at Lionel-Groulx ;)

    In the end, I hope they build the train link. This should finally bring Montreal up to par with other major cities around the world.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: STM fall schedules: “10 minutes max” and a new seniors’ route – Fagstein

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I would like to see the 470 bus ,make a stop near Sources at the Galarie de Source.

      The 470 is purposefully non-stop between Fairview and Côte Vertu. I wouldn’t expect that to change. There are alternatives available, like the 72, 214, 216 and 225 buses.

      Reply
      1. Jason

        It could make a stop somewhere on the service road right under the overpass. You’d have to walk the rest of the way. It would be very unpleasant, but I think it could be done. It souldn’t take more than 1 min.

        Reply

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