Monday, September 17, 2007

Riding on the Metro

I will say this for this city. It shames Los Angeles in terms of public transportation. The Metro, which traverses the island in three directions, is a model of cool eficiency. According to Wikipedia, "The Metro was opened on October 14, 1966, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. (It) now incorporates 68 stations on four lines measuring 66.0 kilometres (41.0 miles) in length, serving the north, east, and centre of the Island of Montreal with a connection to Longueuil, via the Yellow Line, and Laval, via the Orange line.

"The metro system is currently Canada's second longest and second in total annual passenger usage (in both respects to Toronto's subway system), serving 286.7 million riders a year; according to the STM website, the metro system has transported over 6 billion passengers as of 2006, which is equivalent to the world's population. The Montreal Metro was inspired by the Paris Metro and in turn is also the inspiration for the Lyon (France) Metro, constructed a few years later, which shares the same rubber-wheel car design and Montreal Metro station architecture."

I read somewhere recently that the ideal public transportation system does not create the class of the car owner and the pedestrian, rather it creates a new community where everyone shares the same ride and the same egalitarianness, if you will.
Certainly that's true in this city by the river.

Its more expensive than riding the bus, which everyone rides as well. It's $2.75 a ride with a six-ticket strip available for $11.75. But that wont get you through the week. An EZ Transit pass in LA County is $70 a month and the Montreal monthly pass is $65. But the LA pass means riding a wickedly uncomfortable bus, or the limited area subway. (Dont get me wrong. I love taking the train in LA, but it doesnt really go everywhere.) With Montreal being one-mcjillionth the size of LA, its transit system shines, as it should.

So far I've ridden from Laurier, which is just around the corner from the crib, to Downtown, but this week, I will be everywhere.

Note to self: Charge iPod.

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