"Enough is enough: Fix the commuter trains"

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"Enough is enough: Fix the commuter trains"


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 ...


Of course commuter trains have to be not only "fixed", but taken seriously. That would take serious political will, and cost a lot of money, as it means having dedicated tracks for passenger service (commuter and intercity) and service at all hours, for students, people working non-standard hours, and simply for using trains as a normal means of transport instead of those g-d cars.

Ideally, they would have some storage facility for bicycles. Today may not be cyclable except for the fanatical (I actually saw someone cycling past this morning, at minus 8000 degrees) but for much of the year trains and cycles are a match made in heaven.

Another important factor is densifying population in existing suburbs, to limit sprawl to the "troisième couronne", and hopefully reverse that trend. Many of the suburbs on Montreal island and Laval (île Jésus) were actually old villages, so there is a walkable core that could be developed as poles for walkable communities.

Not to mention the redevelopment of the tram system within Montréal proper and former and remaining suburbs with a suitable population density. http://www.carfree.com/ http://www.carfree.com/cft/ carfree times


I caught the 7:15 GO Train today when it arrived at 8:40, so this problem certainly isn't unique only to Montreal.


And many cities have no such service at all, not to mention the cuts to intercity rail service.

By the way, todd, you might want to put this in a different forum, as it is not a problem restricted to Montréal. Perhaps environmental justice?