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Text and Photos by Shanake Mario Seneviratne

After the popular and successful charter of 60-013, the last 1990 MCI Classic of Soci�t� de transport de Montr�al, there was immense pressure on YUL Bus Charters to charter from the dwindling 11-000 series of 1991 MCI Classics. The members of the Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board have been tracking the movements of the 11-000 buses for quite some time, and there was much demand to host a charter sooner than later, especially with the large influx of deliveries of 2009 Nova LFS buses. The most attractive vehicle in this series was 11-088, with original fleet numbers in the blue stripe at the front of the bus. This is evidence that the bus sported its original livery upon delivery.

Based at the newly expanded Centre de transport Legendre, we decided to charter 11-088 on October with the specific intent of signing up the bus on the majority of Legendre bus routes that we knew would be transferred to other divisions. With the new capability to maintain and store just over two hundred articulated vehicles, Legendre took over the burden of most of the heavy ridership routes in the core and therefore had to let other divisions handle some of their less patronized bus lines. Thanks to one of our contacts at the STM, we gained knowledge of the new assignments of routes to their respective divisions. Therefore, our choice of routes to sign up 11-088 was deliberately and carefully chosen. Our contact also made available to us a list of the PR messages on the Luminator, so that we could take advantage of further photo opportunities per stop. During the actual driving of the route, we borrowed window signs from various divisions (Saint-Denis and Frontenac) to give our charter more authenticity. These window signs were a staple of the CTCUM and STCUM (the predecessors of the STM) and are today mostly obsolete due to the flexible nature of electronic destination signs.

Our charter began and ended at Centre de transport Legendre. Our photostops included the following route exposures:

  • 179 Acadie (formerly at Legendre, now at Saint-Laurent),
  • 54 Charland/Chabanel (remaining with Legendre),
  • 30 Saint-Denis/Saint-Hubert (remaining with Legendre),
  • 159 M�trobus Henri-Bourassa (formerly at Legendre, now at Anjou),
  • 31 Saint-Denis (formerly at Legendre, now at Mont-Royal),
  • 140 Fleury (formerly at Legendre, now at Saint-Denis),
  • 143 M�trobus Charleroi (formerly at Legendre, now at Anjou),
  • 94 Iberville and 132 Viau (remaining with Frontenac),
  • 188 Couture (formerly at Legendre, now at Anjou),
  • 99 Villeray, 95 B�langer, 93 Jean-Talon, and 92 Jean-Talon ouest (all formerly at Legendre, now all at Saint-Denis),
  • 193 Jarry (formerly at Legendre, now at Anjou),
  • 55 Saint-Laurent (formerly at Legendre, now at Saint-Denis).

Our participants were offered promotional materials and souvenir transfers. As well, at the end of the charter, large STM 2009 network wall maps and other memorabilia were raffled off to lucky participants.

We had a lot of fun, considering that we didn't count on having more than one STM private charter this year. Special thanks to our very cooperative operator Ernest, and the superintendent on duty that day at Legendre who notified us of the location of a brand new 2009 Nova LFS Artic on route 69 Gouin since one could not be brought outside for us. Thanks as well to our charter contact Linda Boisvert that made sure that we were taken care of. At the time of writing (February 2010), we learned that she is retiring from the STM and we wish her all the best. She took care of our charters since our first brave venture into the charter scene in May 2006 with the 1989 MCI Classic 59-019, and we are grateful for her professionalism and courtesy. Given the nature of the event, we would like to thank all those who attended and shared the bill on this private charter. After seeing the popular interest shown with our private STM charters, we will be happy to offer a full-fledged charter with a 12 series 1992 bus for our Farewell to the MCI Classic in May 2010. YUL Bus Charters hopes to see you then!

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