On March 29, the STM will launch the 747 “Express Bus” which will shuttle travellers and airport employees between downtown Montreal and the airport. For anyone who has ever tried to take the bus to the airport, this is more than welcome news. Currently, one must take a ridiculously convoluted route to make the simple and more than common trip from Montreal to Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in Dorval. It consists of taking the Metro to Lionel-Groulx, catching the almost-always crowded 211 bus to the Dorval train station then transferring to the 204, a bus that comes about once every half hour. It is not unusual for people to skip the transfer and trek across the highway to catch one of the parking lot shuttle buses instead. All this with however much luggage one’s trip requires. The bus ride from the airport to Montreal is even less fun with the 204 going in both directions stopping at the airport with only a confusing handwritten sign saying which bus goes which way. I always felt sorry for the 204 driver.
It seems as if a shuttle bus would be a given considering the fact that Montreal’s airport is the third busiest in Canada and that almost any other city on Earth has some sort of direct airport to central core shuttle service. No matter, we have our bus now, so how will it work? Fagstein, as per usual, breaks it down excellently but here are the basics:
Fares: A single fare will cost 7 dollars and will come with a day-long unlimited use pass. Such passes already exist for this price so this isn’t really a deal. Any other pass (CAM [reduced or regular], TRAM, 3 day tourist passes, and day-long passes) will be accepted like any other bus, with no additional cost.
Frequency: The bus will pass every 20 minutes during the weekday rush-hours; every 30 minutes between rush-hours, in the evening, and on weekends; and every hour between 1am and 5am.
Stops: There will be 9 westbound stops and 10 eastbound stops. The downtown terminus is at Station Centrale where it will either depart or terminate. The bus will run on boul René Lévesque, stopping at major intersections along the way. There is another stop at Lionel-Groulx Metro station then non-stop to and from the airport. This route allows boardings and departures near most of the major downtown hotels and attractions. A map of the bus’s route can be downloaded from these links: French, English.
The bus: The bus will be a regular STM NovaBus retrofitted with luggage racks and fewer seats. The exterior of the bus will feature a modified version of the STM’s “Movement Collectif” branding with a picture of an airplane and the route number.
It should also be noted that this new route will make the (more expensive) private Aérobus service redundant and it will cease to operate when the 747 begins service on the 29th. Taxi service won’t be affected but they’re not happy.