A year of lockdown: The STM is still on the job


Since today marks a year of lockdown in Quebec, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) wanted to commemorate all the work done by its employees, who remained on the job to provide ongoing public transit service in Montréal.

“I would like to thank our employees for continuing to come to work despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. They showed tremendous agility and resilience in dealing with the changes brought on by this crisis. I would also like to thank our customers, who continued to put their trust in us and travel with us,” says Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

In the past year, ways of getting around have changed considerably because of the health measures implemented by the authorities. Public transit was not immune, and several measures were introduced to ensure a safe environment for customers and employees.

The following is a reminder of some of these measures illustrated in photographs taken by STM employees to commemorate this year of lockdown.

Cleaning activities were increased so that all visible surfaces in stations and all buses and métros were washed daily. As a result, 55,000 hours in the bus network and 18,000 hours in the métro were dedicated to disinfection activities related to the pandemic. Approximately 500,000 litres of solution were used to disinfect buses, and another 6,000 litres were required for the métro cars.

At the height of the crisis, some 280 employees from office employees’ and professional employees’ unions agreed to lend a hand with the cleaning and were reassigned to specific cleaning and disinfection duties.

Photo : Denis Lecours

McGill station. We sprayed disinfectant in places most likely to be touched by customers.

Photo: Geoffroy Dion

Place-Saint-Henri station. Disinfection of a booth used by a station agent with symptoms possibly linked to COVID

To protect drivers, Lexan panels were installed aboard regular network buses and paratransit minibuses. The seats directly behind the driver were left vacant to promote distancing. Customers now board at the front of the bus and use the back door to exit, for better flow.

Some 2,048 screens were installed in regular buses and 86 in minibuses, for a total of 2,000 m2 of Lexan, or the equivalent of half a soccer field.

Photo : Jessica Allard

Ready for boarding behind the Lexan screen

Photo : Sami Baazaoui

This squirrel is now a friend of bus 55, corner of Millen and Henri-Bourassa. 

To promote frequent hand washing, the STM installed 395 hand sanitizer dispensers in the métro network:

  • 207 in entrance buildings, including station entrances
  • 83 in fare booths for station agents
  • 105 near fare and validation equipment

A total of 6,720 gallons of hand sanitizer was needed for refilling.

Photo : Patrick Abgral

In the machining and production department. Development of a hand sanitizer dispenser stand that would be installed in the métro network

With help from the Government of Quebec and the City of Montréal, the STM distributed 1.24 million washable and reusable face coverings to customers in various ways: by hand, by mail, in booths, at the photo studio, etc. following the mandatory measure to wear face coverings on public transit implemented on July 13, 2020.

Photo : Guy Gagnon

Distribution of face coverings at Plamondon station

Photo : Patrice Gélineau

Line 427, westbound. A masked passenger reads the newspaper on her cell phone.

Photo : Kloé Marchand

An STM poster campaign

In an effort to limit exchanges, contactless payment by debit or credit has been in place since December in the 88 fare booths of all métro stations. A total of 108 terminals were installed to make payment easier.

Photo : Lilia Mena

The métro during rush hour, Parc station

Photo : Patrice Gélineau

Lionel-Groulx station. Colour explosion

Photo: Marcel Cormier

Sauvé station, at the 180 De Salaberry bus stop. A rainbow: a sign that everything will be alright!