Operational problems with Montreal's commuter trains have now gone
well past the something-to-grumble-about stage. It's time for the
Quebec government to review the way the Agence métropolitaine de
transport manages its rolling stock, maintenance and scheduling.
could be done by a National Assembly committee or by a special
commission, but in either case the review should also include some
mechanism to give commuter-train users their say. This would have more
than therapeutic value: The AMT gives many signs of being aloof from
its customers, and it would be salutary for the AMT brass to hear
ordinary commuters complaining about delays, awkward schedules,
ill-maintained cars, unplowed platforms and no announcements.
week's botched rollout of "new improved" service was the last straw for
many users. Mechanical problems on several trains Monday morning and
evening made a laughing-stock out of the AMT's much-touted
improvements. Fares jumped at the first of the year, as they always
seem to do, and yet service "improvements" were a joke, at least on the
first day. Many travellers just shrugged, but being packed like
sardines once their trains finally did show up is hardly an improvement
in service ...