Public transit fare rates will change in Montreal on July 1

Montreal’s regional transit authority (ARTM) is introducing a new mass transit fare system as of July 1 comprising four different zones in the Greater Montreal area.

While the price of single-ride tickets on the Montreal metro and STM buses will remain at $3.50, the new system includes several price increases for monthly passes and intercity commuting.

The metropolitan area will now consist of zones A, B, C, and D:

  • Zone A: Montreal (the island of Montreal and Île Bizard)
  • Zone B: Laval and the agglomeration of Longueuil (including Brossard)
  • Zone C: Northern and southern suburbs served by the ARTM
  • Zone D: Regions outside the ARTM territory

A map of new public transit fare zones A, B, C, and D in the Greater Montreal area, effective July 1, 2022. (Source: Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority)

The ARTM will reorganize over 750 different fare rates across Greater Montreal and condense them into just over 100, according to Simon Charbonneau, the transit authority’s media relations officer. The goal is to simplify and further integrate the fare system that’s already in place.

Purchasing a monthly pass in Zone A will now cost $94 for adults (up from $90.50), $56.50 for children, teenagers, and students over 18 (up from $54), and $28.25 for seniors over 65 (up from $27). Paratransit fares will experience identical changes in each age category for Zone A, while the senior one-way ticket will go up by 25 cents to $1.25.

Despite the price increases, commuters will now pay the same fare on all types of public transportation within Zone A, which includes Exo commuter trains and the future Réseau express métropolitain (REM) system.

Some may save as much as $53 every month on the 30-day pass, as the combined TRAM 1-3 pass can currently cost up to $147. This is good news for West Island residents whose commute can consist of an Exo train ride and the Montreal metro or bus.

However, Laval and Longueuil residents using a single-ride metro ticket to enter Zone A will now have to spend $5.25 — 50 per cent more than the current $3.50 fare. Earlier in April, the South Shore collective transit association (ATCRS) denounced the fare changes in a published statement, calling such a price difference “clearly excessive” and urged local commuters to sign a petition against the transit fare hike.

Charbonneau explained that Zone B commuters will, conversely, save more money with the new system. If Longueuil or Laval residents first take a local bus before taking the Montreal-bound metro, they will pay the same $5.25 fare for interzonal travel instead of $7.

Besides the new multi-zone system, the ARTM plans to modernize the currently available payment methods on public transit, which includes installing more credit card readers across the system.

“A pilot project financed by the ARTM is currently in place on all bus lines of the Société de transport de Laval to test and improve it, in order to offer the solution elsewhere on buses of the metropolitan region,” said Charbonneau.

As for reloading one’s OPUS card on a smartphone, Charbonneau stated that such technology had already been tested. A call for tenders will be launched this fall to offer this option to all commuters in the metropolitan area in 2023.

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