A Few Moments in the Seoul Metro

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Un Métro à déstination de nulle part

On dirait que le prochain Big Owe au Québec sera, en effet, un deuxième Big O. Un gros O en orange, pour préciser, qui amènera ses usagers en comfort et luxe sous la plaine banlieusarde de Laval, coupant dramatiquement le temps de parcours entre les deux bouts de la ligne. Gilles Vaillancourt, vous avez de […]

Subway People

New York City is filled with all kinds of different people from all over the world. Everybody knows that, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting in the eyes of a visitor. What better way to get a look at people than on the subway? Riding the NYC subway lines 4, 5 or 6 […]

J’vous emmene?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk9OB9d1Hqs[/youtube] It’s got nothing on Il fait beau dans l’métro, but this 1985 TV spot certainly ranks up there in the pantheon of kitschy transit ads. What kind of bugs me about it is that the metro is taking this very fashionable couple from their living room to a restaurant and a swimming pool, yet […]

Montreal in a Minute

When it first launched, Urbania magazine had a pretty useless Flash-based website that replicated selected content from its print magazine. I’m glad to see it has embraced the full potential of the web. 14 “channels” of video, images and text add a new, more dynamic aspect to the quarterly magazine. One of my favourite features […]

Three Stops on the Cairo Metro

Mar Girgis Saad Zaghloul Giza Pending the completion of Johannesburg’s Gautrain, the Cairo Metro is the only rapid transit system in Africa. And for all the rot and deterioration that characterizes much of Cairo’s city center, it’s surprisingly clean and efficient, with stations that possess a maintenance level and design savvy that would be the […]

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Aide-mémoires transport

The scenario works like this: after a night of revelry on Boulevard St-Laurent, it’s time to stagger home. You know the set of night buses you have to take: the 360 to Atwater, say, and then the 356 out to NDG. But, of course, you have no idea what times they’re due to arrive; you […]

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Songs and Dances of the Underground

It often seems like the subway is treated as a metaphor for urban life in general. When we’re immersed in the optimism of economic expansion, it represents progress and vitality. In more troubled times, it becomes a symbol of crime, danger, aggression and alienation. Last winter, while browsing the shelves in Stephen Welch’s bookstore on […]

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Metro Partying

[youtube]_cWYgJazm7Y[/youtube] Earlier this evening I attended the latest Montreal edition of Pecha Kucha Night, a creative show-and-tell that is based around a number of brief six-minute presentations on an eclectic array of topics. One of tonight’s presenters spoke about Urban Play, an umbrella term meant to unite much of the public space-related art and intervention […]

Meet Opus

When Montreal’s new public transit smart card was officially launched in late April, most of its details had already been known for months. There was, however, one surprise: its name, Opus, which was chosen from more than 1,000 proposals and then kept secret for nearly four years. Many transit users like smart cards because they […]

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Underground Art

[youtube]0JlHOUycXfA[/youtube] Axel Morgenthaler’s “.98.” Video by Matt McLaughlin It becomes obvious as soon as you enter the métro car: this will be no ordinary ride. The usual advertisements and bright orange colour have been replaced by a dark blue, wood-textured film covering the car’s interior walls. Distorted, semi-transparent photos are pasted on the windows. As […]

“Give Them Bread and Circuses, and TV Ads on the Subway”

The usual assortment of passengers on the train: cellphone fiddlers, ad-gazers and the lone reader With typical New China audacity, even hubris, Shanghai authorities opened up more than 100km of subway tracks on a single day this past December, nearly doubling the metro system in a single stroke. This puts it well on its way […]

An Unusual Ride on the Metro

“Point de fuite.” Photo by MTL Guy on Flickr. I was going to wait until I’d seen it myself before writing about it, but Fagstein has beat me to the punch: there’s a spooky metro car going around on the orange line. Spacing Montreal contributor Jacob Larsen was the first to tell me, at our […]

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Haa Yat Zaam… The Next Station Is…

Scenes from Hong Kong’s subway, the MTR.

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