Choose Public Transport

Robert Flis       

Screen shot 2022-03-14 at 11.01.17 PM.pngImage source: Flickr.                                                

The public transportation system in Montreal is one of the city's greatest assets. The Société de Transport de Montréal, or STM, for short, provides bus and metro service across the island, making it very easy to get where you need to go. With this kind of service at our disposal, it really doesn't make sense to attempt making your commute through the congested streets of Montreal, by car. Public transit is truly the most cost effective, efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around. The bottom line is this: if you're not already using public transportation in Montreal, you should be.

There are a variety of reasons why people prefer to take their cars instead of hopping on a bus or metro car. For one, lots of us own cars already, and think "why should I pay for a monthly pass when I can just drive myself?" The answer is simple. Even if you own a car, public transit is cheaper. According to the STM website, Montreal households spend about 26% less on transportation than those in the rest of Quebec. The reason for this is that Montreal has transportation services that the rest of the province doesn't. This being said, in 2005, 361 trips were taken by STM users, 60% of whom do own cars (

It may seem unreasonable to some to pay about $100 a month to use these services, but for regular users it's totally worth it. Anyone who spends at least 25$ a week on gas driving around the city would be saving money taking the bus or metro. This isn't even taking into consideration the long-term costs involved in driving a car (such as wear and tear, tires and regular maintenance). Parking is another expense that Montreal drivers wouldn't have to deal with if they took public transit. 

Time is a huge factor that influences people's opinions of public transportation. When you're in a hurry, the thought of having to wait for the bus or metro could sway you into saying "I'll just drive there." Then you hit the other T word: traffic. Especially in the downtown core, Montreal drivers often fall victim to horrific traffic, which can crop up unexpectedly at any time.

The city's autoroutes are prone to accidents, which can grind traffic to a halt, at the worst possible times. The metro is a great way to avoid these delays. With busses and metros stopping every few minutes during rush hour, your travel time will actually become faster. If efficiency is very important to you, then behold all the things you can accomplish while sitting in the bus or metro instead of stressing out in traffic. In can also be unbearably frustrating and time consuming to find parking in some of the busier sections of Montreal. Taking public transportation eliminates this problem altogether. 

For those concerned with the environment, public transportation has a definite upper hand over cars. A common thought is that busses are large and source of pollution, and cars are smaller and pollute less. With the biodiesel engines in today's busses, and the number of people who are able to travel at one time, the bus actually pollutes 18 times less than cars. In Montreal, busses account for 2% of the city's air pollution, while cars account for 50% ( And that's just one half of the system.

The metro runs completely on electricity and is a great zero emissions way of traveling. The environmental friendliness doesn't stop there; by 2025, the STM is planning to convert its entire fleet of busses from diesel to electric (

Let's face it, it's not easy to drive in Montreal. It can be the most stressful part of anyone's day. But there are easier alternatives and they can be found on thousands of street corners throughout the city. The STM has a bright future ahead of it, and the more people get on board with public transportation, the easier it will be for Montrealers to travel with ease.       

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Image: Flickr.                                        

Works Cited  

"Frequently Asked Questions -" Le Métro De Montréal - Montreal by Metro. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.
Loveday, Eric. "Montreal's 1,300-plus Bus Fleet Going All Electric by 2025 -- Autoblog Green." Autoblog Green -- We Obsessively Cover The Green Scene. 24 May 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
Montreal's Official City Portal. "Ville De Montréal - Transportation Plan - Home." Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
"Montreal Subway Metro and Light Rail." Welcome to, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Subways and Light Rail but Were Afraid to Ask Because You Knew You'd Be Branded as a Subway Nerd. Web. 23 Oct. 2010..
Payment, Guy. "Montreal Has One of the Best Transit Systems in North America." Montreal Gazette - Breaking News, Quebec, Opinion, Multimedia & More. 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.
Société De Transport De Montréal. Web. 25 Oct. 2010..
"Societe De Transport De Montreal." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 23 Oct. 2010..
"STM - The 80th Anniversary of the Bus in Montreal." Société De Transport De Montréal. Web. 23 Oct. 2010..
Wyatt, David A. "Transit History of Montreal, Quebec." University of Manitoba: Personal Home Page Web Server. 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 25 Oct. 2010.


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