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Jack 47

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  1. It's been 20 years now, and I'm still waiting for the AMT to make "Intégration tarifaire" to happen. Well it didn't. Hey EXO and every political party. Give us a really good deal on transit! An EXO unlimited zone daypass would fix this problem. $12 gets you every train, REM, bus and metro for a day. $40 for a week. $120 for a month. Drop the price and reduce the number of fare zones. Plant a massive warehouse-size EXO daycare at every train station to rake in the money and pay for the trains. Why $12 (or less) ? Because the Google Traffic Map is all RED now. Keep bickering and everything will go to "Dark Red". Montreal Metropolitan area is going to break 4.5 million in about 4 years, and the ARTM better find a simple way to put every man, woman and child on a bus, train and metro. Enough with the make-them-pay mentality and politics of fare zones. It may be less fair in the strictest sense, but more fair to your children if they can breathe better and have means to get around faster.
  2. RTL territory mayors want a piece of the transportation improvement pie during the pre-election period: https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2018/08/20/cinq-maires-de-la-rive-sud-veulent-des-engagements Extension of the yellow line towards Rolland-Therrien is a good choice, but there is still no efficient way to travel between Panama Terminus, Longueuil Métro and the theoretical Rolland-Therrien station sector. Would efficient bus travel involve: 1) Frequent hub-and-spoke from each rail transit terminus? 2) Point-to-point between popular destinations? 3) An express bus between the above three rail hubs? 4) A Tachereau Tram (how would this even attract people given the sprawling pavement surrounding each commercial establishment) These South Shore mayors should order an origin-destination study before building something extravagant.
  3. 13 stations between Bonaventure and Crémazie will be receiving anti-suicide barriers similar to those used in the automated portion of the Paris Métro, at a cost of $15 million per station. The placement of platform of doors will correspond to the Azur's exit doors: http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/grand-montreal/201808/16/01-5193304-des-portes-antisuicides-dans-13-stations-de-la-ligne-orange.php https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-metro-system-getting-anti-suicide-barriers-at-13-stations This will mean that the MR-73's (and the STM's last remaining MR-63 element) will never serve the Orange line again. All stations in the REM network will be equipped with the same barrier system.
  4. Train "Attendant" does not equal Train Operator, who typically hovers over a red mushroom in case of emergencies or track obstructions. Will every train get an "attendant"? If not, late night trains can become an arena for Fisticuffs-Free-for-All.
  5. Ever wonder what will happen on REM's unattended automated trains if something goes wrong and trains get stuck between stops? At least on the STM Métro the train operators can debug a train, seal and bypass doors and manually operate the train in case of track signalling defects. Here is an example from the Paris Métro, Line 1, which is fully automated with no personnel on board: https://www.rtl.fr/actu/debats-societe/paris-la-ligne-1-du-metro-bloquee-les-usagers-evacues-par-les-voies-7794287300 You get stuck and you fend for yourself! These people were supposedly in reach of urban area emergency services and it was still bad. Il fait n'importe quoi pour 90 minutes and escaped the train to walk the tunnel on their own. Fortunately, only twelve trains were stuck between stations. But the situation could present far more interesting drama on the REM, since the train could get stuck in the Mont-Royal tunnel, in the middle of the Champlain bridge, or in the middle of a snowfield in Pierrefonds. Remember that STM train operators were trained for the (remote) possibility of using a hose? Automation is the way of the future and is here to stay. I should stop complaining, there is no other safer way and we should get used to it... On the REM, God help you if there was fire.
  6. NovaBus LFS HEV hybrid (BAE HDS200) were supposed to cost $750,000 each. Each of those buses is now costing the STM $1.4 million ($1,400,000) to buy. 300 buses were ordered, a total order of $420 million. The fleet of 300 buses will cost $75 million to maintain each year. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/opposition-wants-to-know-who-is-paying-excess-costs-for-300-new-stm-buses-1.4035307 It is doubtful that equipping STM buses with an air conditioning system is responsible for inflating the price of each bus to ultra-ridiculous levels.
  7. After riding the Orange Line for the past few months, I noticed that the line is completely saturated with riders from 7am to 9am (towards Côte-Vertu) and 3pm to 7pm (towards Montmorency), between Crémazie and Lionel-Groulx. The literature (annual reports) and press releases from the STM also suggests the same. The introduction of the Azur was supposed to alleviate this with their higher passenger capacity. However, I have noticed that station dwell times are painfully longer (>45 seconds per station) compared to the MR-73's. It's starting to take really too long to load the trains and close the doors. Because train progression and overall schedule speed has been bogged down, train throughput is lower and I suspect that total line capacity has dropped. It no longer matters whether saturate the line with trains, it can no longer transport as many people as it once did when the MR-73's were in service. The root of the problem are the 3 sets of doors on the side of each Azur car, while wider, can accommodate only two streams of passengers. They were intended to accommodate three streams, but this is not happening! The MR-73's have 4 sets of doors, while narrow, can still accommodate 2 streams. There is a reason why New York does not put fewer than 4 doors per car on their A line and C line trains. I am starting to seriously doubt the appropriateness of the Azur for Montréal's Métro, which is an off-the-shelf design imported from another city. The STM will either have to consider building a third or fourth track ($Billions) if it continues to accept the Azur's glaring design flaws.
  8. 35 days later... It's July 20th. Trains are late due to the availability of a single track. And yet there is no trace or progression of any phase of REM construction: https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2018/07/19/ou-est-le-chantier-du-rem-qui-cause-tant-de-retards-de-trains
  9. Some CIT's assign vehicles according to demand, so a cutaway would serve routes with light ridership, or weekend runs. Other CIT's like Sainte-Julie want nothing to do with cutaways and so the minimum size of a bus would be a Grande West Vicinity. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu would put 61-passenger coaches and full-size transit buses on weekends even when ridership justifies a minibus. Conditions of contract and cities' willingness to pay determine whether the community gets a minivan/minibus or puts up with behemoth intercity coaches doing transit in quiet residential neighborhoods. Really, a cutaway or modified school bus is a deal-breaker for the passenger and attracting new ridership, unless the service is free.
  10. I think what needs to be said is that each type of vehicle has an influence over the desirability of public transit by the population. It is after all, the showpiece of the corporation. Modified school bus < Minivan < Cutaway Minibus < Mid-size bus < Full-size transit bus < Articulated transit bus < Commuter Coach I hope this concept really sinks in the heads of those running transit providers.
  11. Ok. Sightings, sightings, sightings. But...any particular reason why? Recent media articles indicate that vehicle type is a factor in determining who gets awarded the transport contract (one wants to run an intercity coach, the other wants to run a modified school bus). A minibus is fast, reliable, easy to drive and very economical for a city or contractor to operate. It rides rough, even when equipped with optional air springs. But no one wants to ride that! A Vicinity is comfortable, spacious, soft-riding, quiet and good-looking. Now people want to ride that. My gripes is that it accelerates slowly because the Vicinity (9.2 tonnes) has a pickup truck engine (220 hp Cummins ISB) and weighs as much as a Fishbowl (9.4 tonnes). If this is actually the case here, please let me know!
  12. During a few months in 2002, a six-car Jeumont train (an MR-63 set with traction motors controlled by choppers like the MR-73) has been placed in occasional scheduled service on the Blue Line during peak periods. The train climbed steep slopes well (from Snowdon to Côte-des-Neiges) only when all the motor cars were functional, which was intermittently.
  13. A bus would be put in place if ridership goes up. I doubt that all the people in that picture could clown-fit in the back of that SUV. Theoretically, what vehicle would they be willing to place in service if 40 people suddenly start showing up every day at just one stop?
  14. I am surprised that there is no discussion about one of Canada's greatest achievements in aviation. The Bombardier CSeries, which has been renamed today as the Airbus A220. It is a medium-range narrow-body mainline Canadian-designed aircraft, produced in Mirabel Quebec, and next year Mobile, Alabama. Two Pratt&Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan engines provide up to 24,400 Ibs. takeoff thrust each. The plane's design is a result of years of research and compiling everyone's wish list for a perfect aircraft. YouTube reviews and news articles reveal that it has almost everything that passengers, pilots, crew and airlines could want: Bigger seats, big windows, big overhead luggage bins, a state-of-the-art cockpit designed by pilots with every favorite feature, quieter than any existing jet aircraft, huge amounts of available engine power, short takeoff and fast climb performance, ultra-high dispatch reliability, ultra-low fuel burn and profitable everywhere. The plane that has everything and does everything exceptionally well nearly bankrupted Bombardier with its $6 billion development costs. Production, testing and delivery is very slow (at most 2 aircraft a month). Airbus will no doubt transfer the comprehensive, highly perfected design and technology package of the CSeries to larger future Airbus aircraft. In September 28, 2017 Air Baltic stated that its CSeries aircraft are overperforming, that no other aircraft of similar size can compete with the CSeries/A220, and Air Baltic wants to order 14 more. The order later changed to 51 more. The CSeries CS100 will become the A220-100 (100 to 133 passenger short runway performance model, transatlantic-capable, operating out of London City, 3100 nm range) The CSeries CS300 will become the A220-300 (130 to 160 passenger model, 3300 nm range) Major orders are pending and in the past two months have started to pour in: An order for 75 A220-100 aircraft from Delta Airlines (April 28, 2016) An order for 51 A220-300 more aircraft from Air Baltic (May 28th 2018) An order for 60 A220-300 aircraft from Jet Blue (July 10, 2018) As of July 10th, 2018: Total deliveries: 38 aircraft (Air Baltic, Korean Air, Swiss International Airlines) Total backlog is now 426 aircraft. More to be announced at Farnborough 2018.
  15. If that were true, then I would ask for our version of an off-the-shelf highly-automated Bombardier BART D/E-class winterized train 10 cars long, rapid acceleration and normal operating speeds of 80 mph. Instead they are asking us what paint scheme we prefer. For $8+ billion of our own money. We will have no such influence over the "design" of the train.
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