STM - Society in motion
Not only does it melt snow, but because of it, 1143 trees will be planted!
The STM recently purchased a mobile snow melter. It’s a simple machine, like a huge vat that turns snow into water, while separating it from pollutants and solids. The snow melter is environmentally safe and efficient for getting rid of snow around bus garages. Still, the snow melter runs on diesel and so produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when operated. As a result, the STM decided to join the Projet Carbone Boréal, that enables companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees in areas where natural reforestation is not possible.
The snow melter: an efficient solution
Today, we are pleased to show you a new piece of equipment the STM purchased in 2012: a snow melter.
What does a snow melter do? Basically, its job is to melt the snow that accumulates on STM property. How it works, though, is simple: a loader tractor picks up the snow and dumps it into a huge vat that already has water in it. The water is heated up by a burner and sprayed on the snow, making it melt. Inside the vat is also a drain pan to recover solids, to ensure that only water is channelled back into the wastewater system.
The snow melter can handle between six and eight 10-wheel trucks per hour. The big advantage of this snow melter is that it produces much less noise pollution. It saves us from having to transport several truckloads of snow on the road, so less visual pollution as well. After all, mounds and mounds of dirty snow in a parking lot is not a pretty sight. Its main disadvantage, though, is that it runs on diesel, which produces greenhouse gas emissions. So the STM has joined in the Carbone Boréal project, and will plant trees to offset the GHG emissions from the snow melter.
To maintain a comfortable temperature inside métro cars and in stations, we have to ensure proper ventilation.
In addition to existing métro car fans, mechanical and natural ventilation stations, the STM is reviewing its entire program to improve ventilation infrastructures. A pilot program, launched in June, is being conducted at Berri-UQAM métro station. Various sensors installed throughout the station allow for regular temperature monitoring and adjustments when required. If this project is conclusive, it may be extended to the entire network.
Air conditioning would generate more hot air in the tunnels and stations. This goes against our comfort objectives.
The new cars will not be air-conditioned. However, the ventilation system on board will be more effective while the braking system will help reduce heat build-up. The temperature will therefore be more evenly controlled all year round, regardless of the season.
For further informations:
- Reportage du lundi 23 janvier 2012 de Radio-Canada (in french only): Il fait chaud dans le métro
Voix off : “A breath of air for the métro”Speaker 1: Dominic Lemay, Senior Director, Métro Network We are now in Berri station. The STM’s staff works very hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in the metro at all times. It’s a challenge, often underestimated, but one that’s in fact quite complex. Speaker 2 : As you know, there is new rolling stock on the way, to replace our original métro cars that are now 45 years old. For now, we call it MPM-10, and it’ll have an improved ventilation system, to really improve ventilation for the comfort of passengers. Speaker 1 : As part of our Réno-Systèmes program, we are also working hard on renovating and upgrading the métro’s stationary equipment, particularly the ventilation system. Speaker 3 : We’re now standing in front of one of the métro’s 90 ventilation stations. This one will soon be commissioned into service. From its outside appearance, you can’t really tell it’s a ventilation station, but it is, and its purpose is to control the temperature inside the métro. Now, we’re at the lower level with the mechanical ventilation equipment. That equipment is electrically powered from a dedicated power supply, while the telecommunications equipment allows us to switch between functions, from blowing in fresh air to extracting foul air from the underground levels. Speaker 4 : I’m often asked this question: Why is there no air conditioning in the Montréal métro and why can’t we add air conditioning ? It’s possible to do so in the metro. The Hong Kong metro is air-conditioned, both railcars and stations. However, the Hong Kong metro was built in early 2000 and was designed to be air-conditioned. The metro in Montréal was designed back in the sixties, and air-conditioning was not part of the plan. The New York subway, for example, is very different from ours. Here, all our tunnels are underground, whereas in New York, the subway system is partly underground, partly above-ground. There, the extremities of tunnels are outside, which makes it easier for the heat to escape from underground. So, in our underground network, if we added air-conditioning units aboard MPM-10 métro cars, they would release a lot of heat. We asked specialized firms to conduct studies, and they confirmed that the heat would be trapped underground and that our tunnel configuration would prevent it from escaping. The net result would be a 3 degree increase in temperature inside stations. Also, installing air-conditioning in each station would cost billions of dollars. So instead, the STM has chosen to invest in ventilation stations like this one. They perform well and are quite efficient in terms of purging the heat from the network. We are also focusing on improving our control over these equipments, to raise their efficiency. And let’s not forget that the older MR-63 railcars will soon be taken out of service and be replaced by the MPM-10 that will produce a lot less heat. Speaker 1 : In closing, if we look at the measures included in our action plan, and at what will be installed in the métro in the next few years, breathing will be a lot easier in the métro compared to today.
You care about public transit… and you are eloquent in showing us so. By the end of this year, 2011, we will exceed the 400 million mark for passenger rides, which means that bus and métro ridership has now reached a level unmatched… since 1947.
This record is all the more significant as it coincides with Montréal public transit’s 150th anniversary. Indeed, the very first horse-drawn vehicles took to the streets of Old Montréal on November 27, 1861 !
Times are changing
In 1947, the public transit network run by the Montréal Tramways Company operated tramways, buses and trolleybuses. At the time, some 80% of Montrealers used public transit to get around the city, and only 29% used a car. The city, with a population slightly above 1.2 million inhabitants, is not as expansive as today in 2011, and people made a habit of riding public transit, as gas was strictly rationed during the second world war (1939-1945).
The 1950s and 60s became the golden age for car use, the establishment of a highway network and the creation of suburbs. The car became king of the road. Nowadays, the majority of people use their car for all their daily transportation needs, even for only buying a quart of milk.
However, hope is not all lost, and we are starting to see a reversal in that trend, particularly on the island of Montréal. Since 2007, we have witnessed an increase in ridership of more than 11%, while the number of car trips has decreased by 6%. More than 60% of all trips toward the downtown core are carried out by bus, metro and bicycle.
Our Society in Motion is gaining in strength. Such growth in ridership is enough for us to expand our services and improve their quality. It more than justifies our request at all levels of government for dedicated, indexed and recurrent sources of funding to further promote public transportation in Québec.
I trust we will continue to increase our ridership by convincing more and more people of adding public transit to their transportation cocktail.
By using public transit, at times, sometimes, more often, all the time…. you are doing your share for the environment and you are contributing to the quality of life of all Montrealers. Thank you !
Set to be built in Saint-Laurent, the new Stinson bus garage will be both green and gold! Not only is the two-storey building aiming for a LEED GOLD certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), but its construction is part of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.
Subscribing to the principles of sustainable development, the STM will make every effort to ensure this new building becomes the first LEED GOLD bus garage in Canada. Not only must the STM minimize the project’s impact on the environment and ensure the sound management of resources, it must above all concern itself with the quality of life of area residents. As such, all surface water, mud and dust produced during construction will be closely monitored. Outdoor light and noise pollution will be kept to a minimum, green spaces and wooded areas will be established to enhance the surrounding area and limit the formation of thermal islands, while building materials will be procured locally as much as possible. A rainwater recovery system will also recover some of the graywater produced by the garage. The green roof system will cover an area equal to one and a half football fields, roughly one quarter of the total roof surface area. Energy efficiency will also be optimized in order to recover up to 85% of the heat produced during cold snaps.
With a surface area of some 38 400 m2, the garage will house 300 buses, including 200 standard and 100 articulated ones. Plans also include basic installations needed for the eventual arrival of electric vehicles. The garage is expected to open in fall 2013 !