November 10, 2016 7:00 pm
Updated: November 10, 2016 7:16 pm

Too tall to handle: new Azur metro cars feature handles many can’t reach

WATCH ABOVE: They're shiny and new but Montrealers are already complaining about the new Azur metro cars. As Gloria Henriquez explains, some shorter riders don't feel welcome.

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There are now nine shiny, new Azur cars travelling the orange line of the Montreal metro, that’s up from one when the cars were launched last February.

But as the number of cars grows, so does the number of complaints.

The STM confirmed to Global News that it has received 25 complaints about the upper handles being too high.

Global News met Marylin Durant inside one of the new Azur metro cars. Durant is what you’d call the average Montrealer but holding onto the handles isn’t easy for her.

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“I think somebody forgot to to look at the average people,” she said as she was struggling to reach. “And I have heels today.”

She’s not the only one with that issue.

“It’s a little bit too high for me,” said Laurent Proteau.

Even on her tip toes, Maria Kwiter can’t reach the handle. And even for those who can reach it: “it’s not comfortable, I will not use this,” said Sorany Gagnon.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: STM won’t say when second Montreal AZUR Metro train will hit the tracks

The average Canadian woman is 5’4″ tall, the average man is 5’10”.

The new metro car handles hang at 6’3″. That’s three inches higher than in the old metro car handles.

“I find there’s more space in here, every time we’re less crowded than the old ones but there are some little glitches,” Durant said.

Fortunately there are alternatives to using the handles.

“If you’re too small, for this, you take this,” Kwiter said, pointing at the lower handles attached to the seats. But Kwiter doesn’t think there are enough of those handles and she’d like to see more.

READ MORE: Montreal’s new metro trains unveiled

The STM wouldn’t speak on camera but in an email to Global News, a spokesperson said the new cars have enough lower handles.

As for the upper handles, the STM said they were ergonomically designed according to “recent North American anthropomorphic standards,” and conceived with tall people in mind.

Phillipe Marquis likes the STM’s move.

For him, old metro cars are what he calls “a nightmare.”

“I think it’s better that the bars are higher so tall people don’t hit their head,” Marquis said.

Marquis is six-feet tall.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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