In advance of the new year the Société de transport de Montréal has announced that fares for monthly bus and métro passes will be increasing as of 2013. Presently the cost of a pass is $75.50 but on January 1st that will rise to $77.75; a rate hike of 3.1 %. The price for a reduced monthly pass will also be up from its current rate of $43.75 to $45.50.
In the past few years transit fares have consistently been on the increase. Last year, for example, fares rose by 3.8%. The STM has pointed out that even with the changes Montreal’s public transit rates are still cheaper than the fees paid by other commuters living in Canada and the U.S.
The STM maintains that the rate hike is necessary for maintaining quality service, increasing transit efficiency, and improving services. Plans are also in the works for the creation of more reserved bus lanes, new express bus routes, and the installation of GPS devises on buses.
Government and environmental groups have put a great deal of emphasis on promoting the importance of public transportation. Montrealers who still drive to work face a number of challenges. Factors like pollution, road construction, the city’s crumbling and aging infrastructure, parking problems, traffic congestion, long detours, and the high price of gas are all reasons why more and more citizens are opting for taking the bus and/or metro. In 2011 the city’s public transportation ridership was estimated to be approximately 405 million. It’s estimated that in the coming year that number will jump to 418 million. In terms of long term goals, by 2020 the STM hopes to increase its ridership to 540 million
Fares for commuter train users may also be increased by 3% or so in 2013. The Agence metropolitaine de transport will announce its decision regarding fare hikes next month. In 2012 fares went up by 3.25 %
Although the cost of a monthly pass is increasing the STM has chosen to keep the price for a single ticket at $3 as well as keeping the cost of 2 tickets steady at $5.50. A seven day pass will rise by a dollar from $24.50 to $25.50. Ten tickets will also increase by a loonie from $24 to $25.