Better metro service in exchange for higher fares

Interesting how just after we hear the news that metros will run more frequently in the hours around rush hour (though not during rush hour when they run pretty well at capacity), we get the first hints that transit fares may go up again for the 11th straight year.

In 1997-1998, the last time fees didn’t go up, a regular monthly pass was $45 ($19 for reduced fare) and a single adult fare was $1.85. That puts today’s prices into perspective.

The problem, of course, doesn’t lie with the transit authority (or its 90% unionized workforce) but with the government, which is forcing the users of public transit to fund its operation to an increasing extent. In 1990, users were funding 42.5% of the STM’s revenues, now that number is above 50% (though not as high as the 58% of 2001).

How much the government should be funding public transit operations is a matter of personal opinion. If you think we should be paying all the basic operating costs, expect to pay $130 a month on transit passes, or up to $400 a month if you live in the suburbs. If you think it should be free, well you’re not going to be happy with this news.

2 thoughts on “Better metro service in exchange for higher fares

  1. DAVE ID

    Well the new smart card system being developed last I heard, will have a pay as you go system. The price will be lower during rush hour and higher during down-time. My boss used to head the contract that is currently developing this system for the STM. And from what I heard with a discussion with a resource at the STM, this is going live in 2008. The new terminals are already in place at RADISON METRO station but not yet operational.

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  2. James Lawlor

    I think that you will find that the reason why service frequency cannot be increased during rush hour is because ALL the available trains are already in use. With the extension to Laval, the average distance that the trains travel has been increased (only 1/2 the trains go to Laval) but the number of trains has stayed the same. The interval between trains (the headway) must therefore increase.

    Once the rush hour is over, trains are typically sent to the maintenance shops for storage and cleaning. This announcement means that some trains, instead of being diverted to the maintenance shops, are left on the line for a little longer.

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