Friday, June 08, 2012

Riding the subway

I couldn't go to Montréal without riding the subway! I was not prepared for the cost of a single ride, however. The rides get cheaper when you buy passes or bunches of tickets, but they really gouge you for a single métro ticket. It's called the "tourist tax," I suppose. San Francisco does the same for cable car rides.

Waiting on the platform for our train.

It was funny when Ken took out the cash to pay the guy for the tickets. We had some Canadian dollars from our first trip many years ago. The young guy in the booth looked at the notes with the most curious expression on his face. He said we should want to keep them as they looked like museum pieces. Ken asked if they were still good, and they were, so we insisted and paid with them.

Our ride was short, from Square Victoria to Berri-UQÀM, only three stops. But it saved us a bunch of walking and a good amount of time.


  1. As a non-transport professional, just a one time regular underground system user, this look much like any other I've been on, and particularly the London underground. Is there something special about it? I didn't know it was famous.

  2. I'm with you there Susan, I could even smell the ozone and stale tobacco smoke when i saw this pic! Olfactory memory?
    Tim [on PGs machine]

  3. Looks like the Paris métro (both train tracks sharing a single tunnel, whereas in London, it's often each track has a tunnel, so the tunnels are smaller, tighter)and that doesn't surprise me since I think the RATP had a hand in it. How much did a ride cost? In Paris, a single ticket is now €1.70, or €12.40 in a carnet of 10. I've been to London and Northampton and I think Paris is relatively cheap.

    1. The single track per tunnel would only apply to some of the Tube lines (and I don't think even all of them). The Underground tunnels were formed by cut and cover, so are bigger and wider.

  4. I rode this every day when I worked there. A very clean and efficient system.

  5. I love using the Metro / Subway in whatever big city I'm in (except NYC). Was planning this kind of thing part of your previous job life, or was it more roads?

  6. Tourist Tax - I don't know :-)
    I pay the same amount when I have to go downtown $ 3.00 each way ( on the Express bus to the Metro station and a hop on the subway to get downtown) . When I know that I have to get to different locations downtown , I buy a day card for $8.00 in lieu of the 10 ticket bundle that will cost me $24.00 ( and I don't know when I will be using the left over).

    Another reason that I stopped using the commuter train : They've stopped issuing single or occasional ticket for the day and sell only 6-ticket booklet for $20.00 ( for my zone in the burb) and it is tough to get a parking spot at the station unless I leave the house first thing in the morning.

  7. Just to add:

    Wiki on Montréal metro system

  8. London has deliberately set the single cash fare high because they don't want to have lots of people handling small amounts of cash, but would rather everyone used electronic payment.

  9. You didn't give the cost of a single ticket. I'm guessing 4 or 5 dollars.

  10. I like your blog showing different places that you visit.

  11. I like good public transport; when I go to Toronto I ride the rail, just for the joy of doing so.

  12. susan, I don't know about famous, but I like to ride systems whenever I'm in a city that has one. The interesting feature of Montréal's system is that, like some lines in Paris, the fleet is all rubber-tired.

    tim, that ozone smell is a favorite of mine.

    ellen, Paris is less expensive per ride as far as single tickets go, but I haven't compared the multi-ride options.

    diogenes, yes, it's very nice.

    judy, I worked for the SF Muni Railway, so it was all transit, but a previous job was about all modes.

    t.b., yes, we did get a discount for buying 2 trips each.

    autolycus, I agree, but there needs to be an easy way for a tourist or the occasional traveler to buy. I suppose that smartphones will soon (if they don't already) have an app for transit payment.

    starman, it's $3.00 per trip if you buy a single ride. You get discounts for multiple rides.

    jon, thanks!

    dianeb, I'm glad you enjoy it!

    michael, I've never been to Toronto, and it's on my list for "one of these days!"


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