How to save $25 off your next transit pass

The AMT has just announced that it is adding even more days to its coupon distribution for that 50% rebate off next month’s train passes for people who were inconvenienced by train problems over the past month and a half.

As I said previously, the AMT has no way of distinguishing those who were inconvenienced or delayed by train breakdowns from any other form of transit user. They are simply assuming that anyone who takes the train does so on a monthly pass and will continue to do so over the next two months.

So why not take advantage of that? Here’s how you can save $25 off your next STM transit pass, even if you’ve never taken the train and never plan to:

  1. Go to Central Station during coupon distribution times and pick up a coupon (if the coupons are given in the fare-paid area, you’ll have to buy a $4 single-use Zone 1 train ticket*)
  2. Between Feb. 20 and Feb. 28, go to Central Station again and buy a TRAM 1 monthly pass with the coupon. The price will be $79.50/2 = $39.75
  3. Use that instead of your $68.50 monthly STM pass

With those steps, you not only save $24.75 ($28.75 if you can get the coupon without taking the train) on your next monthly pass, but you can use the train all you want in Zone 1 (to Montpellier on the Deux Montagnes line and to Lachine on the Dorion line) during the month of March.

Better still, this scheme will also save you money with the 25% discounts in April and May.

If the AMT wants to throw money away, why not grab some?

Coupon distribution starts Wednesday during the morning rush hour. It continues Thursday and Friday, and Feb. 24 and 26 (where coupons will be given out during the day and evenings as well). People can also call 514 287-TRAM to find out where/when/how to get coupons.

*You can also grab a paper metro transfer and buy a “combined” train ticket for a smaller price.

22 thoughts on “How to save $25 off your next transit pass

  1. DAVE ID

    Because there’s no free ride. The ketchup is free to you, but it’s not free to McDonald’s. So when you take 6 cups lets say and throw away 5 (like so many do) well those expenses are not just swallowed up by the restaurant they are passed on to you the consumer through higher pricing of said Big Macs.

    People are just like that everywhere. They bitch about long wait times and complain about the impending death of our social healthcare yet they get a little cough and they go see a doctor get some free anti-biotics instead of chasing down some Tylenol with NyQuil and waiting 2 days for the cough to pass.

    And now we got this, yet another way to fuck the system over for a few bucks and feel good about ourselves for getting a free ride on the System that WE pay for and then we complain when it fails.

    We have our share of the blame here.

    Reply
  2. Chris

    I’ll back you up Steve! Transit is too expensive as it is so any way to make it cheaper is more than a good thing in by books!

    Reply
  3. Peter

    You are both right. It IS a free ride, however, it’s a completely rational thing for a person to do from an economic perspective. I think the AMT should only distribute the discount coupons on the trains themselves while they are en route. To get the discount, you’d have to actually pay the train fare AND get on the train. Maybe that would reduce the number of people who take advantage of the situation.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I might, just to see if it can be done. But I’m not getting up for the morning rush hour. So I’ll have to wait until next week when they’re giving out coupons during the evening.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      TRAMs from zone 1 to 3 can be loaded onto Opus cards, as can monthly train-only passes from all zones, based on what I see from this AMT page.

      Actually you can load all AMT passes onto Opus cards. The only catch is that some CIT/OMIT agency bus routes don’t have card readers yet.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The AMT uses a different fare system, but it also has an 18-25 student pass, called “intermédiaire” or “étudiant”. That TRAM 1 price is $63.50, which divides into $31.75 with the discount.

      You wouldn’t save as much, but you’d still save.

      Unless I’ve mistaken the way Opus works, your Opus student ID card should work with the AMT’s pass just as it does with the STM’s.

      Reply
  4. Jessica

    No, there’s a special AMT student ID. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it is different from the STM only one. (Although this is the pre-OPUS days, they may have changed that, though it’s doubtful)

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The AMT and STM harmonized their student rate criteria (AMT used to be 18-22 instead of 18-25) because it’s all on the OPUS card now. That should mean they’re compatible, but I haven’t seen anything that confirms it.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Fagstein » AMT rebate: mission accomplished

  6. Sylvia

    Hi,
    I was wondering if I can use the TRAM 1 pass on STM buses/metro outside of Zone 1. For example can I board the 211 (or any route for that matter) in Beaconsfield? Or can I get on the metro in Longueuil? (Longueuil is zone 3 I think)
    Thanks for your answer,
    And thanks Fagstein for the great idea!

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      That’s actually a good question. Neither the STM or AMT websites make it clear, but the STM’s by-laws (which govern this legally) say the following:

      Lorsque utilisées conformément à la réglementation et à la tarification qui les gouvernent, les cartes «TRAM» (zones 1 et 2) émises par l’AMT confèrent à leur détenteur ou titulaire, durant le mois de calendrier indiqué au recto de la carte, l’utilisation illimitée, à partir du territoire de la Société, des services d’autobus et de métro offerts par celle-ci.

      Unless there’s some subtlety I’m missing, that means that TRAM 1 and TRAM 2 passes can be used on all buses and at all metro stations run by the STM (with the exception of the stations in Laval). You might still get a strange look from a bus driver if you show a TRAM 1 pass getting on the 211 in Ste. Anne though.

      Reply
  7. Alex

    Yes you can.

    Think of a TRAM 1 as an “upgrade” from a CAM. Everything you can do on a CAM you can do on a TRAM 1 (and 2).

    211 in Beaconsfield and Ste-Anne – YES
    Metro in Longueuil – YES
    Metro in Laval – NO (Minimum is TRAM 3)

    The Zones are only used beyond the STM, and in the case of the metro to Laval. There are no Zoned buses on the island of Montreal.

    I’ve got weird looks using any TRAM pass in the East End!

    Reply

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