Despite relief measures, Montreal metro’s orange line still overcrowded

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Montreal Metro’s orange line still facing overcrowding
WATCH: The Montreal Metro's orange line is still packed with commuters despite mitigation efforts by the STM. Global's Gloria Henriquez reports – Sep 9, 2019

Despite measures taken by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) to relieve pressure on the Montreal metro’s overcrowded orange line, the line is still packed to the brim every morning.

For commuters, riding the orange line during rush hour is an exercise in patience.

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“At this time, I know that I’m going to be squeezed and I know that it’s going to take forever,” said Janette St-Hilaire. “I might have to let a train to go by, so I’m used to it.”

For the past two weeks, the issue seems to have gotten worse when it was supposed to get better.

Two weeks ago, the STM put in place several measures to relieve the overcrowding on the orange line, including a new express service running along Papineau Avenue all the way to downtown.

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READ MORE: Montreal's new express bus aims to take pressure off overcrowded orange line

Not many seem to be using the service yet, however those who are, are on board with it.

“This new line is very, very convenient,” said Catherine Gignac, who lives in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough but works downtown.

Nadia Palafox says the line is convenient for now, but she will take the metro during the winter.

“It’s direct, you don’t have to change, however it’s not an express,” said Palafox.

The STM also boosted service on other bus lines running along Parc Avenue, St-Joseph Boulevard and Côte-des-Neiges Road.

Officials say they’ve also added two more Azur trains leaving from the Henri-Bourassa station during rush hour as part of their Mouvement Orange initiative.

“I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think they did, actually. I didn’t see any change,” said Noemi Poirier.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec agrees to explore solutions for overcrowded orange metro line

Click to play video: 'Quebec agrees to explore solutions for overcrowded orange metro line'
Quebec agrees to explore solutions for overcrowded orange metro line

The STM says construction on their new garage in the Cote-Vertu station is delaying trains in the Montmorency direction, particularly during rush hour.

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“This situation is temporary, we’re putting all our efforts into re-establishing normal service in the best of delays,” STM spokesperson Amélie Régis told Global News in an email.

As for the express line, Régis says it’s too early to have any statistics and that it takes at least two years for a bus line to fully “mature.”

READ MORE: Trudeau pledges $1.2 billion for new tramway, expanded transit network in Quebec City

— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines and Kalina Laframboise

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