STM’s night bus overhaul increases service by 73%

On Wednesday morning, the STM convened the media to announce its overhaul of the night bus network, the biggest changes to the night service in more than a decade.

STM's new night bus network (click to enlarge)

There are a lot of changes here, and they’re summarized below, but the major themes are these:

  • Three new routes (353, 354, 376), all of which existed before – and along similar routes – long ago when night service first began in Montreal. The 353 serves the northeast end of the island, while the other two are express buses to the West Island.
  • All routes now operate seven nights a week. No more Friday/Saturday-night-only routes.
  • With few exceptions, the maximum wait time between buses is reduced to 45 minutes from an hour.
  • The other two West Island routes take dramatic turns halfway through their routes to serve a north-south axis: the 356 along Sources and the 382 along Saint-Jean and Saint-Charles. Before this change, there was no north-south link west of Décarie, which means if someone stayed until 2am at a bar in Ste. Anne de Bellevue and wanted to go home to Pierrefonds, they’d have to take three night routes, including a stop at Atwater, getting home at 4:30am, if they were lucky.
  • Four routes are extended to serve the downtown core between Atwater and Frontenac, bringing the total to six. In addition to the 358 Sainte-Catherine and 360 des Pins (which was a Friday-Saturday route) are added the 350 Verdun/LaSalle, the 355 Pie-IX and the 364 Sherbrooke/Joseph-Renaud, all along René-Lévesque, and the 356 Lachine/Mtl-Trudeau/des Sources, which goes along Sherbrooke. This has two main benefits: People who take these routes to get home will require one less transfer, and there will be more night buses travelling through downtown, reducing waiting times for those who want to get to the major hubs of Atwater and Frontenac down to about 15 minutes.
  • Hochelaga-Maisonneuve gets night buses on more streets. Before there was just the 364 along Hochelaga and the 355 along Ontario and Ste. Catherine (depending on direction). Now, there are four buses on different streets: 364 on Sherbrooke, 362 on Hochelaga, 355 on Ontario (in both directions) and 353 on Ste. Catherine. All four connect with the Frontenac terminal.
  • The 378 Sauvé/Côte-Vertu is extended west to connect to the Trudeau airport terminal.
  • The 362 Hochelaga/Notre-Dame is extended west to Frontenac.

With the three new routes, the extension of three others from three to seven days a week, and the increase in frequency, the number of departures goes up pretty dramatically, from 1,368 to 2,009 per week, an increase of 47% (note that this is by my hand count, so it may be off by a few). This doesn’t count the nine routes whose length has been extended, in some cases dramatically. In terms of hours of service, the increase is probably more than 50% is from 46,000 to 80,000 hours a year, a 73% increase.

The STM calculates that 95% of the people in the Montreal agglomeration now live within one kilometre of a night bus stop. It also estimates that transfers will be reduced by 25%

All changes take effect the night of Monday, June 27, along with changes to day bus schedules. The STM has posted a cute little Flash app showing the various routes.

Why did it take so long?

These changes are a long time coming, and follow some serious public consultation. As a public transit user, it’s hard to be against a huge increase in service. My criticisms, laid out below, are minor compared to the praise for the new service. If anything, my biggest reaction is to ask why it took so long to make these changes, and why the routes we’re bringing back were removed in the first place. (I have the answer to the second question, unfortunately: Ill-advised budget cuts to public transit in the 90s).

As a regular night bus user, I can attest that the service is underused by casual users. There are a few reasons for this:

  • confusion – the routes don’t match day routes, and it’s not obvious which ones to take or how and where to transfer
  • wait time – in some cases up to an hour between buses, and long waits for transfers
  • lack of shelter – this is a problem particularly in winter, but there are few places where one can wait for a night bus indoors

Many people who don’t like what the night bus service offers use alternative forms of transportation. Many take cabs, which is expensive but very convenient (and relatively worry-free when you’re drunk). But many people also prefer to drive home from bars at night, which presents the very obvious risk of drunk driving (and an even higher risk of “buzzed” driving, from those who are convinced they’re just under the legal limit). I don’t know if increasing night bus service will have a major impact on drunk driving stats, but if even a handful of lives are saved because a few people took a night bus instead of driving after a long night at a bar, I’d say it’s worth it.

“It”, by the way, is about $4.4 million, according to STM chair Michel Labrecque.

A bus wrap advertising the new night network is one of the ways the STM is getting the word out.

The new network will come with an advertising campaign to inform riders, which includes wrapped buses, social media, and a campaign organized with Labatt.

Here are the details, route by route (links are to summer PDF Planibus schedules):

New routes

353 Lacordaire/Maurice-Duplessis

The route: Besides serving Lacordaire (which the last bus numbered 353 also served), and closing a pretty big hole in east end service, the 353 also adds much-needed service to Montreal North and Rivière des Prairies. Starting from Frontenac, it takes Ste. Catherine to Viau, to Beaubien, to Lacordaire, to Léger/Perras, Armand-Bombardier and Maurice-Duplessis to share a terminus with the 372.

The schedule: Every 45 minutes. Service is the same seven days a week, except that the first departure is removed on Saturday nights northbound (when day bus and métro service lasts longer).

Review: This route fills a big hole in night service map, particularly in the St. Leonard area. Makes you wonder why they got rid of it in the first place. For those going from downtown to Montreal North, this will probably represent one fewer transfer, and maybe less walking time too.

Departures per week: 69

354 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue/Centre-Ville

The route: Much like the 354 of old, this route is designed as a night version of the 211, an express to the West Island. It runs without stopping from Atwater to the Dorval train station (it doesn’t stop at the airport), and then continues along Highway 20 right up to Ste. Anne de Bellevue. This route takes over the western portion of the 356 (see changes to that route below).

The schedule: 35 departures a week in either direction, exactly 45 minutes apart. Identical schedule weeknights and weekends. First departure westbound at 1:45, last one at 4:45am.

Review: The express nature of this route will be great news for West Island kids who spend the night downtown and want to get to their parents’ place before they puke. This route knocks a full 18 minutes off the trip from Atwater to Dorval compared with the 356. But I’m not sure how many of these teens will enjoy walking home late at night from stops next to the highway.

Departures per week: 70

376 Pierrefonds/Centre-Ville

The route: Another night bus route with an express portion, this one starts at Atwater, heads up the Décarie expressway, makes a stop at Namur, and then is express again down Highway 40 until Halpern St (UPDATE: Despite what the map says, there are stops along Côte de Liesse and Highway 40’s service road). It then takes Sources, de Salaberry, Saint-Jean and Pierrefonds up to Château-Pierrefonds. (West of Saint-Jean, it’s identical to the old 382 route.)

The schedule: Service is every 45 minutes, seven days a week.

Review: A lot of people who take the 470 will be interested by this route, which is largely similar. Considering how much of a huge success the 470 is, one can imagine this being successful as well. It’s also a huge improvement for western Pierrefonds residents, who had to transfer at Côte-Vertu. The worst part is that the 371 was scheduled to arrive at Côte-Vertu one minute before the 382’s departure, and often people would miss their connections, forcing them to wait a full hour at a dark, lonely outdoor bus terminus for the next one. (If I sound bitter, it’s because this has happened to me a couple of times.)

Departures per week: 69

Bus stop sign showing new stops for two existing routes that have been extended

Existing routes

350 Verdun/LaSalle

Major route change: Eastern terminus extended from Atwater to Frontenac via René-Lévesque.

Added departures: From 28 to 35 departures eastbound per week. From 33 to 44 departures westbound per week. Time between departures will be no more than about 45 minutes seven days a week, while before they could be as long as an hour apart.

Review: Considering the number of young people who live in Verdun, having this route serve downtown directly will be a welcome change to having to walk to Atwater.

Departures per week: 79, up from 61

355 Pie-IX

Major route changes: Western terminus extended from Frontenac to Atwater via René-Lévesque. Portion between Frontenac and Pie-IX now takes Ontario both ways instead of Ste. Catherine eastward.

Reduced departures: Now five per night instead of six (35 per week instead of 42). Still 45 minutes apart, but starts later (first northbound departure at 1am is effectively deleted) and ends earlier. Weeknight and weekend schedules are the same.

Review: Pie-IX is one of the top five axes for bus traffic, which makes the 355 an excellent choice to extend into downtown.

Departures per week: 70, down from 84

356 Lachine/Mtl-Trudeau/des Sources

Major route changes: Eastern terminus extended from Atwater to Frontenac via Sherbrooke. Route is the same as before from Atwater to Sources (via Sherbrooke, Elmhurst, St. Jacques, St. Joseph, Georges V, Victoria, Bouchard, Dorval train station, Dorval Airport and Cardinal), but then it heads up Sources Blvd., turns right on Hyman and then up Sunnybrooke to end at the Sunnybrooke train station.

Added departures: Eastbound, from 28 to 35 departures per week, with time between buses reduced from one hour to 45 minutes (identical schedule weeknights and weekends). Westbound, from 32 to 39 departures per week, with time between no more than 45 minutes.

Departures per week: 74, up from 60

357 Saint-Michel

No changes to route.

Service is now seven night a week. The Friday night schedule is used for Sunday to Thursday as well, with departures every 45 minutes. Saturday schedule is unchanged.

Departures per week: 68, up from 18

358 Sainte-Catherine

Minor route change: The STM has finally (partially) clued in to the fact that this bus hasn’t followed its assigned route in years because of street closures on Ste. Catherine. A permanent detour, taking René-Lévesque between Union and Berri, bypassing the closure around Place des Arts, has now become part of the official route. But a second detour, between Berri and Papineau during the summer (because of the pedestrianization of Ste. Catherine), isn’t reflected in the official route.

This might seem like a minor issue, but the unmarked detour causes a lot of confusion on a route that sees a lot of confused (and, let’s be honest, drunk) passengers. Many stops on Ste. Catherine didn’t have signs indicating the detour, and many stops on René-Lévesque didn’t have signs indicating the 358 stopped there.

Otherwise, the route is unchanged. Its terminuses remain at Atwater to Frontenac.

Reduced departures: Four departures are deleted in each direction (all on Friday, making service every 15 minutes only from 2:30 to 3:30am instead of from 2 to 5am), to bring the total weekly departures from 71 to 67 eastbound and 70 to 66 westbound. Schedules the rest of the week are unchanged.

Review: The importance of the 358 is diminished by all the other routes serving the downtown core, so it’s not the end of the world that there are fewer buses on Fridays, but it would have been nice to have a more predictable schedule on Saturday nights. The detour around the Gay Village should also be made official (at least in the summer schedule) if it’s going to happen for months every year.

Departures: 133, down from 141

359 Papineau

No changes. Route is the same, along Papineau Ave. from top to bottom, and the schedule is every 35 minutes, seven days a week.

Review: This is one of the few routes that doesn’t connect to any major hubs. It wouldn’t take much for it to end at Henri-Bourassa and Frontenac, but it doesn’t. This also looks like a route that could have benefitted greatly from being extended into the downtown core, but it hasn’t been for some reason.

Departures per week: 96

360 Avenue des Pins

Service is now seven nights a week. Departures are now 45 minutes apart instead of an hour. Schedule is identical seven nights a week.

Major route changes: The western part of this route is unchanged, along Pine Ave. to Atwater. But it no longer takes Sherbrooke St. east of St. Laurent. Instead, it continues along Pine, then takes Berri, Cherrier, Amherst and Ontario to get to Frontenac.

Review: The addition of the 356 downtown means this bus no longer has to serve Sherbrooke. This will be a welcome improvement, particularly in the lower Plateau.

Departures per week: 70, up from 15

361 Saint-Denis

No changes. Route is the same, through Old Montreal and up Berri/Saint-Denis/Lajeunessse. Schedule is identical to before.

Review: I admit to some bias because I live on this line and take it home often on non-peak nights (particularly Sundays), but it’s annoying that the STM’s busiest night route, whose departures can be as little as five minutes apart on Friday and Saturday nights, has such poor service on Sunday nights, with service only every 45 minutes. This is especially annoying because the 358 is every 30 minutes, which means two of every three transfers involve long waits.

Departures per week: 154

362 Hochelaga/Notre-Dame

Major route change: The western terminus is extended from Honoré-Beaugrand to Frontenac, via Hochelaga. East of Honoré-Beaugrand station, the route takes Sherbrooke for a bit before going down Des Ormeaux and back on Hochelaga.

Added departure: Just one, westbound on Saturday nights, making service begin at 1:37 instead of 2:05. All departures remain 45 minutes apart.

Review: Here’s a route where the extension is going to make a real difference. Now, if someone wants to party downtown and lives in Pointe aux Trembles, they need to make only one transfer instead of two.

Departures per week: 69, up from 68

363 Saint-Laurent

No changes. Route is the same, up St. Laurent and St. Urbain from top to bottom. Schedule is identical, with service about every 45 minutes, but more northbound on Friday and Saturday nights.

Review: For a bus that goes up the Main, this should come more often during the week. But otherwise, it works, so no need to mess with it.

Departures per week: 102

364 Sherbrooke/Joseph-Renaud

Major route changes: The western terminus has been extended from Frontenac to Atwater via René-Lévesque. The route that was until now named Hochelaga won’t even take that street anymore, so it’s been renamed. Instead, it takes Frontenac up to Sherbrooke (du Havre when southbound) and Sherbrooke all the way to Honoré-Beaugrand. The route northeast of Honoré-Beaugrand is unchanged, taking various streets (including Joseph-Renaud) up to the Centre de transport d’Anjou.

Reduced departures: One extra departure added to each of Friday and Saturday nights eastbound has been removed from the schedule. Service is at every 45 minutes, seven nights a week in both directions.

Review: The extension of the 362 to Frontenac means this is no longer a necessary intermediary between the 358 and 362 for those who are downtown at night and live in the east end. People who live between Frontenac and Honoré-Beaugrand will now be able to take just one bus from downtown.

Departures per week: 71, down from 73

365 du Parc

No changes. Route is unchanged, along Park, de l’Acadie and de Salaberry (though, for those who haven’t taken it in a while, note that it still takes St. Laurent northbound instead of Jeanne-Mance until it gets past the Quartier des Spectacles). Schedule is identical, with service every 40 minutes (30 minutes on Saturday nights before 4:20).

Review: 40 minutes is an odd time between departures, and makes transfers less predictable when the other routes are on a 30 or 45-minute schedule.

Departures per week: 84

368 Mont-Royal

No changes. Route is unchanged, winding its way from Frontenac through the Plateau, Outremont and Côte des Neiges to Côte Vertu. Schedule is identical, with departures every 45 minutes.

Review: This has always been an awkward route, with far too many turns. It’s disappointing nothing has been done to make it more direct.

Departures per week: 70

369 Côte des Neiges

Route is unchanged, from Atwater up Côte des Neiges and over to Namur.

Added departures: Service is now at every 20 minutes instead of 30 on Saturday nights northbound, 30 minutes on Saturdays southbound (except first and last departures), and 45 minutes instead of an hour on other nights, in both directions.

Departures per week: 88, up from 75

370 Rosemont

Service is now seven days a week. Friday night schedule is imported to Sunday-Thursday. Departures are every 45 minutes.

Route is unchanged, going from Côte St. Luc to Honoré Beaugrand via Van Horne and Rosemont.

Departures per week: 76, up from 21

371 Décarie

Route is unchanged, going from Atwater through St. Henri, up Girouard and Décarie up to Côte Vertu, and then up to the Centre de transport Saint-Laurent.

Added and deleted departures: The STM isn’t advertising changes to this line, and for good reason: there’s good and bad news here. Service is now every 45 minutes in either direction seven days a week. This means an increase on weeknights and Sunday nights (where it used to be every hour), but a decrease on Saturdays (where it used to be every half hour). Those used to the 371 departing Atwater like clockwork at :30 past the hour will now have to memorize the new schedule, with departures at 2:15, 3 and 3:45.

Review: For a route that serves a metro line and connects two major hubs, this route has a remarkably sparse schedule. Maybe the people who live along it just don’t take night buses. Or maybe they would if it came more often.

Departures per week: 71, up from 62

372 Jean-Talon

Route is unchanged, taking Jean-Talon to Anjou, through the Centre de transport d’Anjou, and up to Rivière des Prairies.

Schedule is mostly unchanged, with departures every 45 minutes. A departure is added westbound on each day so service starts around 1:45 instead of around 2:30.

Departures per week: 97, up from 70

378 Sauvé/Côte-Vertu/Mtl-Trudeau

Service is now seven days a week. Frequency is also bumped up slightly, with departures every 45-50 minutes instead of every hour.

Major route change: As the name suggests, the western terminus has been extended to Trudeau Airport, via Decarie Blvd. and Côte de Liesse (Highway 520). Note that this route does not stop at the Dorval train station, so there’s no connection with the 354 bus. The eastern portion of the route is unchanged.

Review: Would it be that difficult to have this bus stop at the Dorval station, so those who want to get from St. Laurent to Ste. Anne don’t have to walk across the airport parking lot or take a third bus? Also, there was talk after the 747 airport express bus was launched that a second airport bus would be added along Côte de Liesse. This route would make that less necessary during the overnight hours. But there’s still no daytime route that goes from the St. Laurent area all the way to the airport terminal. (UPDATE: Labrecque says an airport express along this route is still in the STM’s plans.)

Departures per week: 49, up from 13

380 Henri-Bourassa

The route is unchanged, from Côte-Vertu via Côte-Vertu, Henri-Bourassa and Maurice Duplessis to the Centre de transport d’Anjou.

Added departures: Service is now every 45 minutes instead of every hour.

Departures per week: 70, up from 56

382 Pierrefonds-Saint-Charles

Major route changes: Like its counterpart the 356, this route takes a 90-degree turn in order to serve a major north-south artery. In this case, it goes up Saint-Jean, then down Hymus to Saint-Charles, then down to the Beaconsfield train station, for a connection with the 354. The portion of the route west of Saint-Jean is taken over by the 376.

There’s also a change to the other end of the route. The terminus is extended from Côte-Vertu to Namur. This allows for direct connections with the 368, 369 and 372.

Added departures: Service is now every 45 minutes instead of every hour.

Review: The change makes this service kind of U-shaped, and I wonder how many people will enjoy travelling through Pierrefonds to get to Beaconsfield from downtown. But considering how fast night buses are, it’s not the end of the world.

On the plus side, the centre of the West Island was a giant hole in night bus service, and it’s nice to see a north-south route here. It’s also the closest night buses have been to Fairview in a long time. It was once served by the old 376, and though the 382 doesn’t appear to serve the Fairview bus terminal itself (which makes sense, since the mall is closed and there’s nothing to transfer to), it’s nice that there’s service in that area again.

Departures per week: 56, up from 45

René-Lévesque Blvd. will get four routes serving it through downtown.

515 bus cuts off useless René-Lévesque leg

On the day side, very little has changed in the summer bus schedules. The only major thing I’ve seen so far is that, as expected, the 515 bus serving the Old Port has had an underused portion along René-Lévesque Blvd. cut off, so it’s now U-shaped instead of a loop. The STM has known for quite a while that this portion of the route was pointless, but kept it anyway, mainly because it was along the route of a proposed tramway.

Unfortunately, the STM is still using a colour-coded system to tell the directions apart, though they are now labelling them East and West. Hopefully this route will eventually start being treated like any other, which will reduce confusion and increase ridership.

What do you think?

Let’s start the discussion with something useful: Would these changes make you more likely to consider taking a night bus home than, say, a cab, driving, waiting for someone to drive you or just crashing at a friend’s place?

UPDATE: CIBL has a short interview with the STM’s Michel Tremblay on the night bus improvements.

31 thoughts on “STM’s night bus overhaul increases service by 73%

  1. ant6n

    It’s nice that they improve service, and that they added all the routes through downtown.

    But I think the reduction from 60 to 45 minutes is not all that dramatic. If the bus always goes every 60 minutes exactly, you can remember, for the two or three buses that you could take, at what minute it passes, and stay in your bar longer etc. – now you’d have to check the schedule and/or wait.

    I would’ve preferred the introduction of clockface schedules, and more guaranteed transfer points. Are the transfers at Frontenac/Atwater even guaranteed?

    Basically, a lot of casual users use service (like the metro) because of simplicity – but this service increase does not improve that side much.

  2. Will

    Seeing as the new 376 line goes from downtown directly past my home in Pierrefonds (something previous thought unthinkable without a half-dozen transfers), I’m very excited about the changes.

      1. Zack

        You know how the 371 and 382 connection sucks well i checked the 376 and 382. 376 leaves Atwater at 1:30 and arrive at Namur for 1:40 The 382 leaves Namur at 1:45 do you think that’s enough time for that transfer?

        1. Fagstein Post author

          You know how the 371 and 382 connection sucks well i checked the 376 and 382. 376 leaves Atwater at 1:30 and arrive at Namur for 1:40 The 382 leaves Namur at 1:45 do you think that’s enough time for that transfer?

          That sounds like enough, particularly because the 376 is an express bus between those two points. There are also other options: the 371 and 369 both travel from Atwater to Namur. A bit of advance planning (or Google use) could come up with a convenient trip schedule.

  3. Zack

    If the 356 is going to go up Sources why not bring itup the entire way instead of making it go threw Hyman. Also Sunnybrooke as terminus no i don’t agree it should go there off course but not terminate there. Why not terminus at Pierrefonds/Roxboro?

  4. wkh

    You know what would really cut down on drunk driving? Keeping the fucking metro open past midnight in a town where bars close at 3am. Jesus at least on Fridays and Saturdays. Most brain dead dumb fuck idea I have ever seen, having them barely past midnight on weekdays and maybe if lucky to 1am on weekends. God. Even 2-3 times an hour.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      You know what would really cut down on drunk driving? Keeping the fucking metro open past midnight in a town where bars close at 3am.

      That’s a common complaint, and STM chair Michel Labrecque addressed it at this morning’s press conference. The reality is that those four hours at night are needed for track maintenance, cleaning, emptying cash registers and other activities that requires the service be stopped. They have occasionally kept the metro running all night as one-off events, but they can’t have it running 24 hours a day on a regular basis.

      1. Jimmy Jack

        New York City runs their subway system 24 hours a day, as I am sure many other transit systems do. The STM just can’t bother trying. Like most government in Quebec, the STM doesn’t exist to serve the public, only itself.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          New York City runs their subway system 24 hours a day, as I am sure many other transit systems do.

          Most of those other transit systems (including New York City) have more than two sets of tracks, which allows trains to pass while maintenance is being performed. Montreal doesn’t have that luxury.

        2. Stewart Clamen

          NYC’s round-the-clock subways is the exception. Even London and Paris close down their subways overnight.

      2. ant6n

        Other cities keep theirs running all night. Doing three nights should be possible. It’s an expense, but one could do service where the metro goes every 20 minutes, and only stops at every second/third stop downtown (so that many stations can be shut down).

        1. Fagstein Post author

          Doing three nights should be possible. It’s an expense, but one could do service where the metro goes every 20 minutes, and only stops at every second/third stop downtown (so that many stations can be shut down).

          The problem is that, to do maintenance on the track itself, power needs to be cut to the rails. This can’t be done while the metro is in service. I don’t know if it’s feasible to run it overnight on Friday and Saturday nights, but I do know the reason they don’t do it isn’t because they haven’t thought of it, and that – particularly with the system’s advanced age – work is being done just about constantly while the metro isn’t in service. Cutting 2/7 of that time would make maintenance much more difficult.

          1. ant6n

            “the reason they don’t do it isn’t because they haven’t thought of it…”
            I don’t really believe this argument. Transit operations tend to be stuck in doing things the way they always are, and innovations happen slowly. Overall I believe it’s a matter of cost. There are other systems, not just the New York one, which run their system 24/7, even without the 4-track redundancies (which doesn’t exist everywhere in nyc, either).

            As for track maintenance – if the metro ran every 30 minutes at night, with half the stops closed, one would only need a single track beyond the downtown hubs.

          2. AlexH

            Actually, I think it is a combination of allowing for maintenance and also a question of the costs to secure all the stations 24 hours per day. You could imagine the number of people sleeping in subway stations to keep warm if they were open 24 hour day.

            With low traffic volumes, limited stop buses on the surface do a much better job without the costs.

      3. Maurice

        Except, more or less as wkh says, why not 2 nights per week (Fri. & Sat.)? I appreciate the maintenance issue, but judging from Nuit Blanche, I think it would make as much if not more difference to the public than these commendable night-bus changes. It takes me about 25 minutes *top* from where I live to my usual downtown stomping grounds, but I figure it would be well over an hour (assuming a guaranteed connection) with the night buses. The metro is awfully easy and convenient…

    2. emdx

      Maintenance insure that trains can’t run 24 hours.

      However, as no maintenance is ever done between saturday and sunday, they could run all night on the saturday-to-sunday night.

      But why not add buses that do the subway lines during the night? This way, people would not be confused when they have to go home after the subway closes.

  5. Montreal66

    I am very pleased with the service increases on the 362 and the 364, it used to be hell to get home from work, or when I had to work an earlier shift. I now have a direct access from my House in Pointe-Aux-Trembles all the way to a major hub (Frontenac).

  6. SMS

    I hate to correct you Mr. Fagstein but…

    There are 376 stops on the T-Can service road between Halpern and Cavendish… I believe the express routing only begins east of Cavendish. The planibus maps didn’t make it very clear…

  7. Steve Hatton

    My question regarding the night service is the numbering. Why not have a system that it is easier to remember? For an example, for the 365 on Park Avenue, why not number it the 80N or N80 or 380 or anything with “80” in it since it follows a route similar to the 80, albeit not identical to it. (Bonus if you consider that it also replaces the 180 on De Salaberry, but I digress)

    1. Fagstein Post author

      My question regarding the night service is the numbering. Why not have a system that it is easier to remember?

      The night bus numbering follows its own logic: North-south routes have an odd number, going up as one goes west (353 Lacordaire, 355 Pie-IX, 357 St-Michel, 359 Papineau, 361 St-Denis, 363 St-Laurent, 365 Du Parc, 369 Côte-des-Neiges, 371 Décarie) and East-west routes have an even number, going up as one goes north (350 Verdun/LaSalle, 354 Ste. Anne, 356 Lachine, 358 Ste. Catherine, 360 Pins, 362 Notre Dame, 364 Sherbrooke, 368 Mont-Royal, 370 Rosemont, 372 Mont-Royal, 376 St Jean, 380 Henri-Bourassa, 382 Pierrefonds).

      Matching them with day routes might make sense, except (1) most night bus routes are longer than day routes and don’t really match a particular day route; and (2) there’s only a block of 50 numbers (350-399) reserved for night bus service. 300-349 could also be added to this, since those numbers are unused, but that’s still not enough to match the day routes whose numbers go into the 200s.

      Also, the STM isn’t in the habit of making sweeping renumbering changes just for the heck of it.

  8. AlexH

    My thoughts are that the STM could do themselves a favor and think about doing similar things to their normal bus service as well. Rip much of it up and start over, working on a core routing system that meets more of the users actual needs, not those of 20 or 30 years ago.

  9. Caroline

    This may sound stupid, but is the new 378 still on the regular 3$ fare? So that means that the 747 and its forced 8$ day pass just for this ride to catch the 6am flights is now obsolete?

    my oh my <3

    1. Fagstein Post author

      This may sound stupid, but is the new 378 still on the regular 3$ fare?

      All night buses, including the 378, run on the same fare system as the day buses.

  10. emdx

    As usual, the STM is clueless and adds another dose of FAIL.

    Buses every 45 minutes. Okay, that’s consistent with the zany policy of having 13, 18, 22 or 39 minutes intervals that guarantee that people have to look-up a schedule because buses never go on the same minutes past of the hour.

    So, now, instead of being sure that the buses go 12 minutes past the hour, they’ll have to scramble to find a moving target that will run at 12, 58, 42 and 28 minutes.

    Very bright, STM, very bright.

    And the epitome of that FAIL is the Papineau bus. Every 35 minutes. Now that’s very smart!!!

  11. Rob

    Just want to say thanks for the comprehensive overview.
    I wish the STM website was a fraction as informative, or at least have the information so readily accessible.

  12. JJ

    Initially, I’m satisfied the huge gap is being filled between Pierrefonds Blvd. and Highway 20 with the new north-south links. The 376 will come by close to my home as well and the one less transfer from downtown is very welcoming.

    Also improvements on Cote-de-Liesse to the airport; on Boul. des Sources, Highway 40 service road and Hymus Blvd. will significantly help out night workers, with the latter via the 382 linking the Lakeshore General Hospital via a short walk.

    I am concerned about the initial route maps and timing on the Planibus schedules for the revised night bus network on the West Island and I hope they will be addressed. Here are several observations I noted:

    – The 378 will stop at the Dorval Train Station (a 378 bus stop panel is up where the 204 & 460 is), however after leaving Trudeau Airport to go eastbound only, allowing for a connection with the 354 and 356.
    – The 354 actually has two new bus stops shared with the 356 along Cardinal Ave. before returning on the 20 at Sources than what the Planibus map has (e.g. at Pine Beach Train Station, there’s no 354 stop on Autoroute 20).
    – Also, the Westbound 354 is also timed to meet with the westbound 356 at Dorval terminus to receive passengers from Lachine and NDG.
    – The 376 after the express run on the Decarie with the stop at Namur Metro Station, makes its next stop on Cote-de-Liesse (Highway 40) to link with the 378 (westbound at the Cote-de-Liesse circle; eastbound just before the Decarie Circle), before local stops just west of Cavendish. This stop will really help some people working and living in the vicinity (especially those coming from Atwater Metro).
    – The route time for the 382 bus schedule may be slightly off in both directions, especially leaving from both terminus. From Beaconsfield Train Station (after receiving clients from the 354) to Hymus/St-Jean, its about 14 minutes on the Planibus, when it really could be 2-3 minutes quicker (along Boul. St-Charles). From Namur Metro Station to Cote-Vertu Station its 12 minutes between these points compared to 7 minutes with the 371 Decarie along the same routing.
    – Also with these modifications, the 4:50am departure at Pierrefonds/St-Charles on early Sunday morning from the old 382 is cancelled in favour of the first 470 departure at 4:42am. This means for a few people who use this departure east of St-Jean (from Pierrefonds/Rene-Emard) to connect the first metro train at Cote-Vertu Metro, they would have to leave 24 minutes early (4:31am) or wait about an 1hr 45 min for the first 68 east bus to Grenet St, which is after 6:15am!
    – A huge gap still rests along the Grenet St corridor (north of Cote-Vertu Metro) after the 4:12am 382 northbound departure before the first 64 bus at around 5:30am.
    – Finally, for people going from point A to point B within the West Island, inconveniences are expected with longer wait times, especially for a few along Pierrefonds Blvd (a disconnect now at St-Jean); and for some coming from nightclubs, bars and lounges on the weekend along Boul. des Sources or near Fairview who would like to try the new bus routes out.

    Overall, this is a start, and obviously some fine tuning is likely later on.

  13. Raffi

    The new 356 will be the longest STM route still. 1h 30 minutes between terminuses. It could be my benefit if I have an early morning appointment (I live in D.D.O.) at the montreal General. However, there’s cons to this route: It passes on Hyman, which can irk some residents. And how is the 356 going to loop at Sunnybrooke? However, it will have more bus connections than the “old” 356 (the old one only had connections at Atwater metro, Girouard/Sherbrooke and the airport).

    There’s also still a huge gap: Pointe Claire/Dorval south of the 20. The doors to the train stations are locked, so how are people going to have access in the middle of the night?

    The new 382 will also have way more connections now. The “old” 382 only had connections at the metro and at Salaberry/Grenet and Gouin/Lachapelle (the latter with the 365). With the new 356 and the upcoming return of the 376, west islanders will be petter served, especially if you’re between Gouin/Perrefonds boulevard and the 40, or between the 40 and the 20.


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