Renovated métro cars A major investment for increased confort and passenger capacity 

Press release

Renovated métro cars
A major investment for increased confort
and passenger capacity

Montreal, 18 November 2005 - Earlier today, Québec Transport Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, Michel Despr�s, joined Société de transport de Montréal Chairman, Claude Dauphin, for the unveiling of the first two newly refitted MR-73 métro cars. The pair will be introduced into service on the Orange line sometime next week. These 423 métro cars, almost 30 years old and each having travelled an average of 2.3 million kilometres, will all be fully refitted and put back into service over the next three years. The $ 35.6 million project was largely made possible thanks to a $ 25.2 million contribution by the Québec government.

A sound decision

For Montréalers, the métro is central to their daily commuting habits. In 2004, the métro registered some 217.2 million trips, a average of about 750 000 a day, Monday to Friday. Refurbishing the MR-73 rolling stock is part of the métro’s vast modernization programme that began a few years ago.

According to Claude Dauphin, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors, «This investment will allow us to extend the rolling stock’s service life by at least ten years and handle the increase in ridership expected from the three stations opening in Laval».

«With this $ 25.2 million investment, in addition to the financial package already granted by the Québec government for the métro’s modernization, the government is acknowledging the métro’s immense value and making it the cornerstone of public transportation in Montréal», added the Transport Minister, Mr. Despr�s.

More room, more comfort

The purpose of the renovation programme is to offer métro railcar interiors more suited to the needs of passengers, while increasing the overall comfort level and each car’s capacity by 10%. Providing more space for transit users and making it easier to move around doors and between seats, the redesigned interior layout is one of the tangible improvements. The new seats and support bars will make travelling more comfortable for passengers, and the ventilation will be both more efficient and less noisy. And the finishing materials are more resistant to graffiti.

Compared capacity

Total capacity
Current métro cars
Newly refitted cars
33 or 34
(motor car vs trailer car)
77 or 76
For a nine-car train, total capacity will increase from 900 to 990 passengers.

Nearly 2 000 people were consulted

The redesigned MR-73 is the result of two years of work during which three different interior layouts were tested in the métro. The STM initially persuaded métro users to test the three models by inviting them to share their impressions, needs, and expectations. Over 750 people volunteered their opinions, either through the internet or by filling out reply cards aboard the prototypes or even by calling the STM’s customer relations department. And in an effort to single out the most appreciated elements, the STM followed up by surveying no less than 1,200 clients who voiced their comments about the proposed layouts. The results were decisive. In the end, prototype C was the overall favourite among transit users, and served as the starting point for the redesigned métro cars.

Refitting done by STM employees

The newly refitted MR-73 métro cars will gradually be introduced into service, at a rate of about 20 cars a month, without any disruptions to normal operations.

«In carrying out this project, the STM takes pride in the expertise of its employees, who were entrusted with the task. Special teams will be hard at work, day and night, seven days a week, to take on the challenging work ahead», indicated Mr. Dauphin.

«The Québec government has always been a steadfast financial partner along with the municipalities in the matter of funding public transportation. For 2005-2006, we will be dedicating nearly 435 million dollars to finance a variety of mass transit projects. As with the métro’s modernization, these different investments will translate into improved transit services for the population», concluded Mr. Despr�s.


– 30 –