STM ridership grows, but so do complaints about service

The STM's buses and metros have never been busier than they have been in 2018, but many of the people using them aren't too happy with the service.

Figures released last week in the transit agency's annual report show more than 450 million rides were taken on STM buses and metros. That's a new record, and that's a 4.9 per cent improvement over 2017.

On the down side, there were 46,075 complaints filed during the year, with many of them having to do with overcrowding on buses and metros, particularly during rush hour.

Overall, the annual report's figures gave the STM a satisfaction rating of 64 per cent. Among metro users, that figure rises to 76 per cent.

STM chair Philippe Schnobb says a lot of the issues with bus service had to do with a difficult winter, coupled with the fact that maintenance workers' pressure tactics kept many buses off the roads.

"The maintenance was not done [on buses] as it was supposed to be done, so that had an impact on our capacity to deliver bus service," Schnobb said. "The good news is we signed a collective agreement [with the maintenance workers' union] and that's behind us now."

Schnobb says he expects other forthcoming improvements — such as two more trains to be added to the metro's orange line in the fall, and 300 more hybrid buses being put into service in 2020 — to help boost the satisfaction numbers.