Riders complaining about ongoing Berri-UQAM construction
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 12:25PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 9, 2016 6:37PM EST
Following years of construction at the Berri-UQAM metro station, the latest work seems to be pushing commuters over the edge.
In January the STM was forced to close an escalator at the heavily-travelled station, and a new one will have to be built.
"We all know that more and more people are coming through the metro and need this staircase to be bigger, so we have no choice to but to close it over the next three or four months," said Maha Clour, STM project manager.
The work is expected to take six months, and until the work is done passengers transferring from the orange line to the green line are limited to one stairwell.
Six weeks into the process, complaints on social media about the STM and the work have skyrocketed, with some people saying that security guards are herding passengers like cattle.
The opposition party in Montreal, Projet Montreal, says it's time the STM came up with a better solution.
"This is a really important station. 13 million people pass by Berri-UQAM every year," said Craig Sauvé, a Projet Montreal city councillor.
"It's really important that this work gets done quickly and orderly, and that the security guards that are there can do their job and that's keeping the whole station secure and not just to organize the people on the metro."
The STM admits there have been problems with a contractor that is installing tiles in the station, and that some work has to be redone.
"The contractor is fully aware of the questionable quality of his work on those three walls. ... He's going to redo the work and he's going to be taking on all the costs," Clour said.
The transit agency says the work is short-term pain for long-term gain, and there is more pain ahead: the access tunnel to and from St. Denis St. will close for several months starting in May.