The AMT has issued notices to users of its five commuter train lines that it will be ending the use of paper tickets this month. Saint-Hilaire and Candiac riders get cut off on Friday April 17 and Blainville, Deux-Montagnes and Dorion users get cut off on the 24th.
This move is part of the metropolitan area’s move from paper and magnetic-strip based fare systems to the new Opus smart card, whose long phasing-in process is expected to be complete in June.
As of the dates above:
- Monthly train-only passes (which are only available for Zones 4-7) will no longer be issued in paper form
- Ticket machines will no longer issue single-fare paper tickets
- Six-packs of train tickets in paper format will no longer be sold (even though the vending machines they use to sell them are barely five years old)
- Paper ticket validation machines will be removed from service
That leaves commuters with three options:
- Get an Opus card for $3.50, which can store monthly passes and fares of all kinds (just make sure to keep the receipt)
- Get tickets on a disposable Solo card
- Get a TRAM magnetic-strip card which will still be accepted for now
What’s not clear here is what option there is for someone who just wants to take one ride on a train. Unless the Solo card is available in single-use format (which would be a huge waste), tourists who want to explore the city using its public transit system will be forced to purchase an Opus card or get more tickets than they need.
I’m hoping I’m mistaken.