Montreal Métro makeover will be good news to many people in Montreal, who use our fine Métro system to get around. That’s the title of a Montreal Gazette special series this week on the Montreal Métro Upgrading program now taking place. The first phase alone will cost $311 million and will, among other items, upgrade the communications and control infrastructure systems.
The Montreal metro system was first built to service the 1967 World’s Fair, Expo ’67, held in the summer of 1967. Construction began in May, 1962, and the main lines – Green (Line 1), Atwater to Frontenac; and Orange (Line 2), Bonaventure to Henri-Bourassa – were opened in October, 1966.
Ridership on public transit in Montreal remains high. In fact, the public transit lobby group Canadian Urban Transit Association says it believes Montreal has the highest ridership per capita in North America. About 367,000 people here use the bus and metro system daily, according to a recent survey by the Metropolitan Transit Agency.
The Montreal Métro subway system rates well also by international standards. The Railway Technology Strategy Centre at Imperial College in London does benchmarking for subway systems around the world. This includes benchmarking for ten of the world’s largest urban railways through CoMET – the Community of Metros. The participating metros are: Berlin, Hong Kong (MTRC), London, Madrid, Mexico City, Moscow, Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo (TRTA). That programme is now in its eighth year. Montreal is part of a second benchmarking group called Nova for medium sized metro systems. The twelve current participants are Buenos Aires, Dublin, Glasgow, Hong Kong (KCRC), Lisbon, Montr?al, Naples, Newcastle, Oslo, Toronto, Singapore and Taipei.
If you’re interested in more information on the Montreal Métro, there are a number of good resources. The official STM Métro website gives full details on schedules but in addition has information on each of the stations, Art in the métro, and History: The Years Leading Up to the Metro. The entry in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has a wealth of information. Last but by no means least is a most popular information bank on the Montreal Metro maintained by Matt McLauchlin.