As a comedian once said, the great thing about escalators is that they can’t break; they can only become stairs. Just don’t tell that to commuters at Plamondon metro station.
One of the escalators at the station has been broken for several months and according to the STM, it could be a while before it’s fixed. That is forcing users, including those with mobility issues, to walk up and down a 110-step staircase on their way to and from the platform.
Cleveland Steer is among those who is having difficulty with the steep climb.
"I stop like maybe four or five different places there. So I go, I stop. Sometimes people pass me standing but they don't know what's happening but I just go like I'm resting. I just can't go no more,' said Steer.
It's one thing to walk down the stairs. It's extra difficult when carrying a stroller, but Kamisha Robinson says it's troubling just accompanying a young child.
"I have to lift her up. Even myself I'm scared because I think I'm going to fall," said Robinson.
The delay is due to a replacement part that is on back order and STM officials said it will be months before it’s delivered.
Out of 300 escalators in Montreal’s metro stations, 17 are currently out of order.
Rapliq, a group that represents people with physical disabilities, said months-long delays in repairing escalators would never be accepted by private industry.
"When a company makes money with the service they do they will tend to rush and choose another supplier if there's delays regarding suppliers,' said Laurent Morisette.
He said the STM really needs to come up with a backup plan.