Welcome to Part 4 in the series "What I learned in Montréal," documenting the day trip a friend and I took in May to check out Montréal's cycling and transit infrastructure for lessons that can be applied in Ottawa. Previously, in Part 3, I discussed the functional design of Montréal's subway system, the Métro.
We got off the métro at Côte-Vertu, the end of the line, and took a short walk around the neighbourhood to see how they do things. This building is the main métro station building:
Two other surface access points are connected by an underground walkway.
Côte-Vertu connects with a lot of bus routes, as shown in this map. What's interesting is that each queueing area ("Quai") only serves one or two routes, as opposed to Ottawa's method of having many or all buses stop at the same place. This can help organize passengers, but it also disperses people.
The bus canopies at the Metro station were sizeable and look relatively new. But because the routes are dispersed around the station, the canopies are too. If you want to provide a heated waiting area, you have to do it for each canopy. Ottawa's system of having one large canopy area means that a large number of people waiting for one route still have a place to wait indoors, and you only have to heat one or two areas per station.
Case in point, there was no canopy for the route we wanted. There was, however, a bus lane. We waited at least 12 minutes for the bus that would take us to the other end of the metro line.
Like the metro stations, the buses allow you to use the Opus smart card for your fare. We found that it took 1-2 seconds for each passenger's card to register with the system. This slowed loading considerably--for the ten or so people getting on the bus at this top, I had enough time while waiting in line to get my camera out, move to the front, and take a photo of the people getting on board.
As we travelled the route, we passed few notable things (I'd compare it to taking the 85 down Carling Avenue from the Queensway to Lincoln Fields). The standard bus stops were not unlike those in Ottawa.
The only other thing to say about our short look at the bus system in Montreal--and only because I like to end my posts with something a bit more interesting than the above photo--was this long bus. We don't have articulated Novabuses in Ottawa-Gatineau, just the 40-foot model. Montreal does.
Stay tuned for the next Montréal post, where we'll head back down into the Métro and look at some more aesthetic aspects of the stations.