Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day madness in the metro

Regular readers of this web log (hi Jim and Henry) know that I think stupidity and incompetence flow over every part of the Montreal transit authority like the hot lava of, say, the Arenal Volcano. Which is to say, it flows over everything. No one is spared.

The STM is a service business, but that fact is not very well understood by board members, managers and staff.

I illustrate my general point with a specific example, which today took the form of a hideous lineup to buy a $63 monthly transit pass at Snowdon metro. The line queued from the main ticket booth and up the stairs. (This I have never seen before.) There was no temporary ticket booth next to the main booth, as is usually the case. Hence, the extra long line.

Why no extra booth? I theorize there is a little-known STM regulation forcing workers to refrain from doing work-type things during International Worker's Day. Or maybe the extra long line was simply a tribute to the USSR, on which the STM models itelf (at least in the line-creation field).

Anyway, those suckers without a bus transfer or paper ticket were out of luck. They had to wait in that line to pay the STM for the privilege of walking down an 81-step staircase (escalator is still not working) and another 15-step staircase after that (the other escalator is under construction too)!

Relax... deep breath... 24 is on tonight... Jack Bauer is going to shoot bad guys in the knee... Yes... That is so cool... Okay... Okay, all better.

So, to conclude: STM sucks ass. CTU rules.

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