Fagstein’s 2012-13 guide to holiday transit

As I have in previous years, I ask that you have some sympathy for the bus, metro or train driver, station attendant or other employee who has to work during the holidays – some on Christmas morning, some through midnight on New Year’s Eve – just so that you can get you from point A to point B in the dark, wet, snowy mess that is the last week of the year.

Here’s what there is to expect as far as schedule changes this weekend and next:

STM (Montreal, including the entire metro)

Note that from Dec. 22 to Jan. 6, the STM offers its Family Outings plan, which allows an adult to bring up to five children under 12 to ride for free with a fare-paying adult. (Normally this is allowed only during weekends and statutory holidays.) This does not apply to the 747 bus.

  • Monday, Dec. 24:
    • Buses and metro service will follow a regular Monday schedule.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25:
    • Most bus routes will run on a Sunday schedule.
    • Metro trains will pass about every 10-12 minutes on the green line and every 10 minutes on the other lines.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 26:
    • Most bus routes will run on a Saturday schedule.
    • Metro service will run on a special schedule, with additional trains added to the Orange and Green lines to accommodate rabid Boxing Day shoppers.
    • Monday to Friday shared taxi service will not be in operation.
  • Dec. 27-30: Normal schedules for all services.
  • Monday, Dec. 31:
    • Buses, metro and taxi service will follow a regular Saturday schedule.
    • As usual, there’s no extension of metro service despite how many people are out celebrating New Year’s Eve. Last trains of the night leave the two blue line terminuses at 12:15am, in all five directions from Berri at 1:00am and from Longueuil at 1:00am.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1:
    • Most bus routes will follow Sunday schedules..
    • Metro trains will pass about every 10-12 minutes on the green line and every 10 minutes on the other lines.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 2:
    • Most bus routes and metro trains will follow a Saturday schedule.

Note that Opus cards can be recharged at any point after Dec. 20.

STL (Laval)

As usual, the STL offers free transit on its buses on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Holiday schedules based on their online flyer:

  • Monday, Dec. 24: Saturday schedule. Free service on all routes.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25:
    • Sunday schedule for all routes.
    • The following will only have service from 11am to 9pm: 12, 20, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 37, 39, 40, 45, 46, 58, 61, 63, 65, 66, 74, 144, 804 and 903.
    • All other routes will have full regular Sunday service.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 26: Saturday schedules in effect for all routes.
  • Dec. 27-30: Regular schedules for all routes according to the day of the week.
  • Monday, Dec. 31: Saturday schedule. Free service on all routes.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1:
    • Sunday schedule for all routes.
    • The following will only have service from 11am to 9pm: 12, 20, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 37, 39, 40, 45, 46, 58, 61, 63, 65, 66, 74, 144, 804 and 903.
    • All other routes will have full regular Sunday service.
  • Wednesday, Jan 2: Saturday schedule for all routes.

RTL (Longueuil)

Like the STL, the RTL is offering free service for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and is asking for donations in lieu of fares.

From their PDF guide:

  • Monday, Dec. 24 (free service): Saturday schedule for most routes, except:
    • Additional departures will be added to the following routes: 8, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 32, 35, 42, 44, 45, 47, 54, 73, 77, 80, 81, 83, 99, 123.
    • Regular weekday service or 91, 92, T22, T23 and T89.
    • The 177 will not run, replaced by the 77 and T77 which will offer weekday service every 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25: Sunday schedule for all routes
  • Wednesday, Dec. 26:
    • Saturday schedules for most routes, except:
    • Saturday schedule with additional departures on lines 35, 45, 80.
    • A modified schedule for the 8.
    • Weekday schedule for taxi lines T22 and T89.
  • Dec. 27-30: Regular service for all routes according to the day of the week
  • Monday, Dec. 31 (free service): Saturday schedule for all routes, except:
    • Additional departures will be added to the following routes: 8, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 32, 35, 42, 44, 45, 47, 54, 73, 77, 80, 81, 83, 99, 123.
    • Regular weekday service or 91, 92, T22, T23 and T89.
    • The 177 will not run, replaced by the 77 and T77 which will offer weekday service every 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1:
    • Sunday schedule for all routes
  • Wednesday, Jan. 2:
    • Saturday schedules for all routes, with additional departures on lines 35, 45, 80.

AMT (commuter trains)

The AMT offers free trips on the two lines that operate on Christmas and New Year’s – Vaudreuil/Hudson and Deux-Montagnes.

From their website:

  • Monday, Dec. 24: Regular weekday service on all lines
  • Tuesday, Dec. 25:
    • Sunday service on Montreal/Deux-Montagnes and Montreal/Vaudreuil (all trips are free)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 26:
    • Saturday service on Montreal/Deux-Montagnes
    • Sunday service on Montreal/Vaudreuil
    • No service on other lines
  • Dec. 27-30: Regular service on all lines according to the day of the week
  • Monday, Dec. 31: Regular weekday service on all lines
  • Tuesday, Jan. 1:
    • Sunday service on Montreal/Deux-Montagnes and Montreal/Vaudreuil (all trips are free)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 2:
    • Saturday service on Montreal/Deux-Montagnes
    • Sunday service on Montreal/Vaudreuil
    • No service on other lines

Customer service at the AMT will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

12 thoughts on “Fagstein’s 2012-13 guide to holiday transit

  1. Apple IIGS

    So once again, Montrea’s STM is likely **THE ONLY** transit system in North America not to provide extended hours or free service on New Year’s Eve. Why do other transit agencies do this? For the safety and well being of human lives!

    FACT — People get drunk on New Year’s Eve.
    FACT — If there’s no public transportation after midnight, drunk people can and will be out on the roads.
    FACT — Drunk people can seriously injure or kill driving while impaired, not just themselves, but others.

    Well, what can you expect from an organization that physically assaults and beats up customers who speak English. Who displays racist and xenophobia signs in ticket booths. Who harass 12 year old children and have police remove them from a bus because of the color of their skin. Who tells customers they do not serve “Les Anglophone”. Who have “security” thugs racially profiling and assaulting visible minorities on a daily basis. Or routinely fining people +$500 for throwing away their tickets (i.e. can you say unfair cash grab?). Or calling the police because someone asks “What time is it?” in gasp….ENGLISH.

    The STM obviously does not care about human lives or the well being of others. I’m not talking tongue in cheek here, I really think that little of the STM as an organization. The sad thing is they represent the city when tourists come to visit, makes for a poor impression, doesn’t it.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Well, what can you expect from an organization that physically assaults and beats up customers who speak English. Who displays racist and xenophobia signs in ticket booths. Who harass 12 year old children and have police remove them from a bus because of the color of their skin. Who tells customers they do not serve “Les Anglophone”.

      You state these things based on reports of single incidents, yet you do so with plural language. Do you have evidence that there have been multiple assaults on anglophones? Multiple “racist” signs in ticket booths? Multiple 12-year-old children forcibly removed from buses?

      I’m not saying things like this don’t happen. But assuming they’re widespread based on one-sided reports of extreme cases seems a bit much. Even based on what we know so far, the “physical assault” of the anglophone happened after a heated argument in which both sides escalated things too far. The “racist” sign said that things here happen in French, and it was something the STM said it would not tolerate.

      Or routinely fining people +$500 for throwing away their tickets (i.e. can you say unfair cash grab?). Or calling the police because someone asks “What time is it?” in gasp….ENGLISH.

      The “throwing away their tickets” fine has nothing to do with language, of course. It’s because the STM has moved to a proof-of-payment system but hasn’t properly educated its users about it. That’s an organizational thing, and I don’t see why it’s being listed along with a bunch of reports of incidents of alleged anti-English behaviour by individual STM employees.

      The STM obviously does not care about human lives or the well being of others.

      That’s ridiculous and you know it. Nothing you’ve said suggests the STM as an organization has in any way knowingly put anyone’s life in danger.

      Reply
  2. Alex T.

    An interesting fact about the STL buses in operation from 11:00 to 21:00: It’s the time at the first stop that counts, so if the bus is scheduled at 20:59 it will run it’s entire length but if it’s scheduled at 21:01 it will not run.

    Reply
  3. Apple IIGS

    You state these things based on reports of single incidents, yet you do so with plural language. Do you have evidence that there have been multiple assaults on anglophones? Multiple “racist” signs in ticket booths? Multiple 12-year-old children forcibly removed from buses?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/07/12/montreal-stm-english-stm-metro-service.html
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2012/06/20/sp-soccer-mls-miguel-montano-montreal-impact-montreal-transit-authority.html
    http://www.globalmontreal.com/no+answers+from+stm+on+cops+forcing+12-year-old+girl+off+bus/6442661685/story.html
    http://mcgilltribune.com/mcgill-student-kicked-off-stm-bus-for-speaking-english/

    Then there’s the case of the 12 year old boy who was coming home from school, tried to pay the STM ticket-booth agent in coins. The STM employee got into a spat about the coins, then that the child was speaking English and threatened to call the police. Father had to come running to the station and console the crying boy. There was an article in the Gazette and CJAD, I’ll dig it up…

    And how many such incidents go unreported…?

    I’m not saying things like this don’t happen. But assuming they’re widespread based on one-sided reports of extreme cases seems a bit much. Even based on what we know so far, the “physical assault” of the anglophone happened after a heated argument in which both sides escalated things too far.

    Never mind just Anglophones, there’s been *multiple* assaults on black people by STM security agents for no apparent reason other than racial profiling. A check of the Suburban paper will asset to that.

    The “racist” sign said that things here happen in French, and it was something the STM said it would not tolerate

    . So you believe that sign was acceptable, as if it states some truth? It may as well have read “Only whites served here”. The STM said it would not tolerate signs, nothing about said sign stating racist and xenophobic propaganda. The sign may as well have said Car for sale….they only addressed the concept of a personal sign, not the message itself.

    How often do you see such signs posted by TTC employees, or any transit employees for that matter? If you can, by chance, you can bet they were fired on the spot. Only in Quebec is that kind of behavior tolerated.

    The “throwing away their tickets” fine has nothing to do with language, of course. It’s because the STM has moved to a proof-of-payment system but hasn’t properly educated its users about it. That’s an organizational thing, and I don’t see why it’s being listed along with a bunch of reports of incidents of alleged anti-English behaviour by individual STM employees.

    Again, I’ve seen ticket-verification used as an excuse for racial profiling. Go read some of the recent articles in the Suburban (I’ll link them shortly). Just trying to show there is a growing problem with STM employees signaling out persons over language or ethnicity. It is not isolated, and worse, none of these employees are fired or even reprimanded.

    That’s ridiculous and you know it. Nothing you’ve said suggests the STM as an organization has in any way knowingly put anyone’s life in danger.

    What about my original beef, about not extending hours on New Year’s Eve or offering free service? All other transit systems, including even Laval, are doing their part to keep drunk drivers off the road. Just NOT the STM. How is that not endangering lives?

    A bit on a tangent, but using subway car that are close to 50 years old (MR-63’s are the oldest subway rolling stock in North American) may people’s lives in danger. They’re long past their life span. Yep, they’re finally going to be replaced, but it shouldn’t have taken this long.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Your links point to incidents about disputes over language. I’m willing to concede that there are a number of STM employees who don’t (or choose not to) speak English and are rude about it. Just as there are many people who don’t work for the STM who don’t (or choose not to) speak English and are rude about it. The STM’s official policy is that while there’s no requirement for employees to speak English, there is a requirement that they be polite and find a way to communicate.

      And how many such incidents go unreported…?

      I have no idea. And I’m not going to extrapolate based on a few extreme cases being reported.

      Never mind just Anglophones, there’s been *multiple* assaults on black people by STM security agents for no apparent reason other than racial profiling.

      How do you define “assaults” here? Police officers beating up black people, or pushing them around?

      So you believe that sign was acceptable, as if it states some truth?

      No.

      Again, I’ve seen ticket-verification used as an excuse for racial profiling.

      I’ve only experienced this on the bus, so maybe it’s different on the metro, but ticket verification involves checking every single person’s ticket or pass. Anyone without a valid proof of payment gets ticketed, no matter the colour of their skin or how many excuses they come up with (and since we’re on a bus, there’s no I-threw-away-my-ticket excuse).

      Just trying to show there is a growing problem with STM employees signaling out persons over language or ethnicity. It is not isolated, and worse, none of these employees are fired or even reprimanded.

      Actually, we don’t know if the employees in the language cases you cited were reprimanded or even fired. The frustrating thing about the STM’s internal discipline (and many other organizations) is that privacy laws prevent them from discussing personnel issues publicly.

      What about my original beef, about not extending hours on New Year’s Eve or offering free service?

      I agree with that. I think the transit agencies should get together and offer free service, say, from noon on New Year’s Eve to noon on New Year’s Day. And I think the metro should run all night that night (it already runs through midnight, so it’s not like many more employees will be working through that golden hour).

      But I think it’s unfair to say the STM is “endangering lives” by not offering free service. You could make that argument about charging for any night of the year, for one thing.

      A bit on a tangent, but using subway car that are close to 50 years old (MR-63’s are the oldest subway rolling stock in North American) may people’s lives in danger. They’re long past their life span.

      Sure, they’re old. But has even one person been killed or seriously injured because of that? People die on the metro because they throw themselves in front of trains, and that’s a problem whether the train is 50 years old or 50 days old.

      The MR-63s need to be replaced because it’s more and more difficult to find parts for them (and, in fact, the STM has to manufacture many of its own parts, which is an expensive process) and more space needs to be found for more passengers. But the trains still work, just like they did in the 60s. I don’t know of any safety issue related to the trains’ age, unless you consider some safety improvements in the new cars.

      Reply
      1. Apple IIGS

        Your links point to incidents about disputes over language. I’m willing to concede that there are a number of STM employees who don’t (or choose not to) speak English and are rude about it. Just as there are many people who don’t work for the STM who don’t (or choose not to) speak English and are rude about it. The STM’s official policy is that while there’s no requirement for employees to speak English, there is a requirement that they be polite and find a way to communicate.

        It is one thing to not be capable of speaking a language, it is an ENTIRELY different scenario when a person is fully capable but *refuses* to out of petty hatred for another culture. Especially when in a customer service position, where safety can be a concern. I’m sorry, that is not rude, that is an offense where an employee should be fired.

        Not with the STM however, someone fluently bilingual who refuses to speak English is labeled a hero in that organization. Or most of Quebec, see recent ambulance tech story and the chocking 2 year old girl.

        I have no idea. And I’m not going to extrapolate based on a few extreme cases being reported.

        So you believe these are isolated and extremely rare incidents?

        How do you define “assaults” here? Police officers beating up black people, or pushing them around?

        Physical assaults, nothing less. I invite you to read the article entitled “Victim describes STM cops as ‘real Gestapo'” from the Suburban. April 4, 2012 issue. Read what STM security officers did to a 65 year old disabled black man, or an overweight Haitian woman with medical condition. Both were stopped over proof of payment in regards to tickets, but even after showing VALID tickets they conditioned to harass and actually physical assault them. I’ve read at least a dozen similar stories regarding visible minorities and the STM in recent months. Enough to see there is clearly a problem and pattern here…

        Actually, we don’t know if the employees in the language cases you cited were reprimanded or even fired. The frustrating thing about the STM’s internal discipline (and many other organizations) is that privacy laws prevent them from discussing personnel issues publicly.

        Or they’re simply protected by their union. Do whatever the hell you want, even assaulting customers, your union will protect you.

        But I think it’s unfair to say the STM is “endangering lives” by not offering free service. You could make that argument about charging for any night of the year, for one thing.

        No, it’s different because New Year’s Eve is unlike any other night of the year. People go to parties on mass, consume lots of alcohol and–*THE* biggest issue, do not leave until the early AM hours (certainly after midnight!). All these drunk people need some way to get home, right? If they can’t take public transit back home because it’s shutdown at midnight, they’re likely to use their cars. By NOT offering free and extended public transit service, they damn well are endangering lives. Their inaction leads people to get into cars to drive home…. It’s a public responsibility to help keep these people off the roads.

        Why are they the ONLY transit agency in North American who is not doing this public service? Remember, it’s not to done to celebrate new year’s, it’s done for safety reasons.

        Sure, they’re old. But has even one person been killed or seriously injured because of that?

        Not yet, but that’s just plain luck. I can drive drunk, but it doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily kill or injure anyone… if I’m lucky. Guess that’s the STM’s logical, roll the dice on people’s lives.

        Even so, there’s an usual high number of train break downs because of the age of those MR-63’s and MR-73’s. They’re risking the safety of passengers running these trains WELL past their lifespan. Remember, these were built and have been running before the first moon landing! Scary when you think about it.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Especially when in a customer service position, where safety can be a concern.

          I’m not a fan of asshole metro ticket takers, but I’m struggling to figure out a safety issue related to the information they dispense. Has someone been injured by their actions?

          So you believe these are isolated and extremely rare incidents?

          I have no reason to believe they’re not. I think the extremes are heavily mediatized, and don’t think there’s some secret STM gang beating up anglos. I’m not saying there’s not a larger issue here of respect toward anglophone Montrealers, but I don’t think one case of an argument escalating can be extrapolated into all STM employees physically assaulting anglophone clients.

          Do whatever the hell you want, even assaulting customers, your union will protect you.

          I’m pretty sure no union contract can protect members from criminal prosecution.

          Why are they the ONLY transit agency in North American who is not doing this public service?

          What is your source for this statement? I don’t think it’s even the only transit agency in Montreal that doesn’t offer free rides on New Year’s Eve. The AMT offers free transit on New Year’s Day, but not New Year’s Eve.

          I can drive drunk, but it doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily kill or injure anyone… if I’m lucky. Guess that’s the STM’s logical, roll the dice on people’s lives.

          I don’t see how driving a metro train that is old but in working order is the equivalent of driving drunk. What exactly are the risks here? A breakdown of a metro train (which is actually not that common despite the age of the trains – most service disruptions have other causes) causes inconvenience, but I can’t think of any safety issues from a non-moving train.

          Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      This contradicts wha you say here, and I’m not sure which of you two is correct.

      I have no idea where CTV got this information, but the STM has made no announcement about all-night metro service, it hasn’t done so in the past, and with New Year’s Eve two days away it’s unlikely they’re going to spring a surprise at the last minute.

      Reply
  4. Mr. Robertson

    Thank you for your guide. It was useful and very thorough as always.

    However, I’m wondering why the Gazette’s list of what’s open and closed mentions the holiday hours of the STM, STL and AMT but neglects to include the RTL. The RTL has higher ridership than the STL, and serves an anglophone population at least as large as Laval’s. I know they can’t possibly list every transit agency, but I don’t understand the logic of including the STL and omitting the RTL.

    I noticed this in both the published lists for Christmas and New Year’s, so I’m thinking this wasn’t necessarily a matter of forgetting to include it.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      However, I’m wondering why the Gazette’s list of what’s open and closed mentions the holiday hours of the STM, STL and AMT but neglects to include the RTL.

      It usually does. It was probably left off by accident. The list is created for each holiday and then reused, so if it was off for Christmas it stays off for New Year’s.

      Reply

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