10/14/2014 12:00 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST

Overcrowding on NDG's 105 Sherbrooke bus prompts petition

The addition of a reserved bus lane on Sherbrooke Street West hasn't had the positive effect on curbing bus overcrowding that Notre-Dame-de-Grâce residents had hoped for.

KarenUrtnowski, a community organizer with the NDG Senior Citizens' Council, started a petition asking the STM to increase bus frequency. 

"The 105 has been too crowded for too long. For years, the bus has been regularly filled beyond capacity. Jam-packed buses squeeze out older people and those with mobility problems," the petition reads.

"We are shocked to learn that with the introduction of the reserved bus lane, the STM reduced 105 service by 8.8 per cent," it continues.

The petition has collected nearly 300 signatures so far.

Urtnowski told CBC Daybreak on Tuesday that seniors and other people with mobility problems are often left to stand on the bus due to overcrowding, which could lead to injuries.

Budget and service cuts

According to NDG-Côte-des-Neiges city councillor and STM vice-chair Marvin Rotrand, the 105 fell victim to budget cuts because of the STM's $20-million deficit.

He said the 105's 16,000 rides a day pales in comparison to the 29,000 rides a day boasted by fellow NDG bus route, the 51 Édouard-Montpetit line. 

"The service has to be allocated where the demand is," Rotrand said.

Still, he conceded there is a demand for more frequent service on the 105 and that the STM would run more buses on the line beginning in January 2015.