Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:14 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is introducing a VIP user program you can apply for after you buy monthly passes for at least a year. They’re not offering the right stuff, though – a first class metro car on every train with reserved seats, for example.

    • Faiz Imam 02:19 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I assume you’re being sarcastic :)

      I love this idea. I hope they have more interesting incentives in the future, but the announced setup is pretty great considering that it requires zero additional infrastructure and makes an an ready useful option that much more desirable.

    • Stefan 05:58 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      If you get a yearly abonnement in Vienna (equivalent to above program), it costs 33% less as if you would buy monthly passes (or 4 out of 12 months free). It used to be only 2 months free until 2010 when they significantly reduced the price. Everybody i know who does not cycle regularly has this pass. Since it is in your name, forgetting it at home if you get asked for it is not a problem, as they can verify it with your name in an id (no show at turnstiles required). The money is deducted automatically from your account, so you can just ride any kind of transportation in the city with ever having to do anything ticket-related. Aside from that, there is a whole booklet with rebates for museum fees, carsharing etc.

      there is a real VIP program though: you can rent an entire (nostalgic) tramway by the hour and define where you want it to go. friends of mine did that for their wedding, to transport about 50 guests from the marriage office to the reception.

    • Brad 06:48 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I’ve been an Opus à l’année subscriber ever since the program was first announced, but for me the benefits of this program don’t outweigh the hassle of having to get a new Opus card with my photo on it. My guess is that there’s only one place where you can get that photo taken, at the kiosk at Berri-UQAM, which is almost an hour’s journey by bus and Métro from my home and is never open when I’m off work.

    • steph 08:35 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I’m already a yearly subscriber so this is better then a slap in the face. Now I return the favor to my driving friends and give them rides!

    • Ian 10:33 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      @Brad I know that for student cards you can go to McGill metro and it’s open outside of work hours but I don’t know if adults can go there for photo ID.

    • TransportJames 12:06 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      It sounds like a great program – but you be no longer able to loan your card to a friend for them to use it because it will have your photo on it.
      Currently, you can share your card with your wife/husband/friend when they want to take a trip and you don’t need it. As long as no money is exchanged, the STM says it is ok.
      If you sign up for this new program, that is no longer possible.

    • Brad 15:16 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Actually I just got my email from STM offering the program, and you can get your photo taken at 6 different stations, not just Berri-UQAM, and they’re open til 21h, so it’s workable. I suppose I’ll do it.

    • No\Deli 15:42 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      steph: “I’m already a yearly subscriber so this is better then a slap in the face.” The STM has been throwing those in gratuit (for the price of a regular adult fare).

    • GC 16:47 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      “but you be no longer able to loan your card to a friend for them to use it because it will have your photo on it.”

      Won’t you be able to, though? Isn’t the photo just for when you want to bring a guest? Presumably, the card will still have a strip that will unlock a turnstyle, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to enter a station at the entrances where there is no attendant.

      Of course, anyone you loan the card to wouldn’t be able to bring a guest along, but that seems pretty minor.

    • Mathieu 09:37 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      If an agent asks to see your card to check if you pay, they would see the picture and possibly give you a fine (as well as cancel the card).

    • GC 23:27 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I suppose you’re right, but doesn’t isn’t that true of discounted cards now? This is just another form of discount, isn’t it? You still have the option of just paying full fare if you want the flexibility to loan your card out.

  • Kate 22:59 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe and Mail has a little feature on Québécois food in the city’s English-style pubs. For those with paywall woes, you can try this.

    • Jonathan 03:36 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I wonder at what point a ‘British-Style’ pub becomes just a Montreal-Style pub. Maybe after then they can stop writing articles about how surprising it is there is great québécois food at British pubs in Montreal.

  • Kate 22:53 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Back in 2009, the management of St. Joseph’s Oratory announced plans to begin allowing the public to climb to the top of that magnificent dome by 2013. Well, they’re not, or not yet. This report sounds like it will cost gazillions of dollars to get it done.

    • Marc 00:46 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Darn. That would have been a fabulous 360º view.

  • Kate 22:48 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The second homicide of the year is positively Sophoclean, a murder-suicide that left two brothers dead in the presence of their aged mother.

  • Kate 22:41 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Vision Montreal and Projet Montreal are at odds over an office development in the Sud-Ouest, near Lionel-Groulx metro. La Presse headlines it as hostility between opposition parties although technically I don’t think they’re really in opposition to anything any more.

    More on Richard Bergeron’s opposition to the project, and his reasons for it.

    • david m 12:38 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      faith in bergeron? restored. i knew there was more to it than “it’s too big.” this developer really is a sneaky character and the city has been letting guys like this have their way for far too long. odd that it took the iron fist of il serenissimo applebaum (with no small amount of prodding from the square mile’s residents) to create a precedent for rule of law with 1750 cedar, but hearing bergeron’s motivation, i’m now far less displeased about the barriers to this project than i was. also, what villains vision mtl.

  • Kate 22:37 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The suspect in the assault at the church was nabbed in Brossard on Tuesday.

  • Kate 09:33 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a piece about Geoff Molson headlined Montréal a besoin de hockey while Metro has an opinion piece headlined Montréal n’a pas besoin de hockey.

    • Steve Quilliam 10:18 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      I always knew there was not 1 but at least 2 Montreal.

    • Marc 10:54 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      There was no hockey briefly in 1992. None for much of the 94-95 season. None for the entire 04-05 season. Then there was this. In none of these cases did the city collapse. Let’s be very, very clear on something: Montreal is not, repeat, not a hockey city. It’s a Habs city. Big, big difference.

      We had several junior teams that either folded or relocated due to lack of interest. The amazing Montreal Stars sadly attract just a handful of people. If this were truly a hockey city we would have the Habs, their AHL affiliate, a QMJHL team, plus a women’s team and they would all be sold out. Anyone who wants to pontificate that the Habs are deeply crucial to Montreal’s well-being is full of baloney.

      The Nordiques left Quebec in 1995 and that city didn’t die. No one even noticed they were gone.

    • Kevin 11:17 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      It’s not even a Habs city. It’s a city with a small but excessively vocal minority of Habs fans.
      Not even enough to support a French all-sports radio station.

    • Josh 12:05 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      Kevin, to be fair, Montreal essentially does manage to support two French all-sports TV stations (RDS and TVA Sports).

    • Kate 12:11 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      I do have for you some archival photos of the Cup-winning Canadiens of 1929-30. Facebook but open.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 12:52 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      I’m put off by this sort of thing, as I think a lot of Montrealers are.

      The Habs used to be something you could get close to. Players weren’t making more money than god, tickets and concession prices were affordable. In sum, it used to be family entertainment.

      Now its drunken douchebags, the rich, and people who are being convinced to do business. I know this is a generalization, but c’mon, it’s no longer affordable to go see a game as a family, and the environment is more geared towards young, single, heterosexual men with almost no attempt to include or reach out to anyone else.

      And ultimately, this is a generally bad marketing strategy.

      The demographic they go after may consume a lot of shitty, over-priced beer in the process, but they do more than enough bad PR for the team when they invariably riot.

      Families, by contrast, will spend much more on merchandise, all of which are emblazoned with the team logo – ergo better marketing. Moreover, kids form the association in their heads at an early age that hockey: spending time with family watching the Habs is fun, and they’ll be fans forevermore as a consequence. Multi-generational, ‘traditionalized’ marketing.

      In any event, there’s not much any of us can do about either the Habs or the NHL if we’re not happy with how they operate and such.

      I’d love to have another rink where CHL/AHL/QMJ and women’s hockey could take root, as a kind of family-oriented alternative. If the city got behind it we could have another multi-purpose venue.

      But the Habs may very well have soured a lot of people to hockey.

    • Kevin 07:36 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      TVA sports laid off a huge chunk of their staff in December after launching in September…

    • Kate 12:14 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Some excellent comments here. Marc is right that this city is weirdly indifferent to all other forms of hockey. Taylor is right that NHL hockey has become too expensive and, in its turn, indifferent to its traditional pool of fans.

      Consider how soccer works in places like Italy and the UK. If the NHL had a promotion-relegation system it might create much more interest in second-tier teams. Supposing every year the worst two or three NHL teams had to drop down to the second tier while the top second-tier teams moved up into the NHL.

      But the NHL is not likely to be interested in extending its market share (horrible term) to anyone else, even if it damages the game in the long run.

    • Josh 17:41 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Kate, the promotion-relegation system has been floated a lot in some hockey circles lately. The problem is this: Last season the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, two of the most profitable, iconic teams in hockey, placed either in a spot that would’ve meant relegation or very close to one. You think the owners of those teams would ever, ever agree to a system that might see them playing in a second-tier league?

      And for that matter, would it be any good for the NHL to have its iconic franchises playing a level below?

      Kevin: Fair enough, but there’s also a 2nd RDS channel, and basically every media outlet that depends on hockey has had a rough last six months or so. TVA Sports is not alone in that regard.

      Taylor: The real money is in the corporate clients. Forget about the drunk rioters, it’s the corporate clients that matter. Increasingly, sports types are suggesting that in the future arenas and stadiums will be built with far fewer actual seats, and way more luxury suites. Also the fact that the experience of watching games at home (on a big, flat-screen TV) is improving by leaps and bounds isn’t helping the business model either.

    • Kate 23:46 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Josh, we’ve been waiting for the Habs to put together a winning combination for a long, long time. Relegation might’ve been the kick in the ass that the team has needed for nearly 20 years now. It would be an especially shameful experience for any member of the so-called Original Six but if it made them clean house and make a stronger effort it might be exactly what’s needed.

    • Marc 10:03 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      The Staples Center in L.A. is an example of what you’re describing, Josh. They have the 100-section seats, then THREE full floors of private boxes, then the nosebleeds.

    • jeather 12:19 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I’m not sure that relegation can work in a league with salary caps and drafting systems.

    • Josh 21:48 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I don’t believe I said I opposed it, did I Kate? I said that it was the reason it was never going to happen. I’m not the General Manager of the Canadiens.

      And I would encourage (*ahem*) entitled Habs fans to look elsewhere, to Toronto (where they haven’t made the playoffs once since the last lockout) and to Columbus (where the team has yet to win a playoff game in its history), to pick just two. You’re not so hard off. Jeez, your team made the final four just a few years ago. Many cities aren’t so lucky.

    • Kate 12:46 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      jeather, many other things in the NHL’s structure would have to change to make relegation viable.

      Josh, we have expectations here. Even people who can’t remember 1993 know there’s a deeply embedded feeling here that the Habs are the best and will inevitably win the Cup again… soon.

  • Kate 09:31 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal had a pretty good movie production season in 2012, with four big American productions doing work here.

  • Kate 09:24 on 2013/01/08 Permalink | Reply  

    There were more than a thousand service interruptions lasting at least five minutes in the Montreal metro in 2012, the worst record in six years.

    All kinds of things were to blame: the yellow line got slowed down repeatedly because of dynamiting at the CHUM construction site, for example, because the tunnel passes close by. Agitation by students caused a few well publicized delays. But the STM wants to you know it won’t stop trains for objects dropped on the tracks any more.

    • Dave M 09:38 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      I wonder how long until a train hits someone because they jumped down on the tracks themselves to quickly “save” their iPhone after finding out the STM won’t stop the train to let them get it.

    • Kate 09:58 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      I’m just surprised that people who fumble something into the tracks have been entitled to grab the red phone and stop the whole metro system to get it back.

    • Dave M 10:08 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      So am I, but now that they’re used to it, I can see the type of person who would do that feeling an entitlement and jumping onto the tracks anyways.

    • Blork 11:39 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      Wow! So how many of those 5 minute interruptions were due to some clod stopping the whole line while they retrieved their hat on the tracks? Sheesh!

    • Kate 23:17 on 2013/01/08 Permalink

      CBC has an infographic:

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