Transit agencies aren’t giving enough notice of fare increases

Late November has always been transit fare increase season, as the various agencies rush to approve fare hikes in time to give users the requisite 30-day notice.

But in the past couple of years, the transit agencies have been lazy, pushing late November into early December, giving people only a few weeks to prepare.

Now, this may seem trivial. In the past, the only real effect of cutting it this close has been printing monthly passes without prices on them (AA$ and BB$) for January and February. But it seems just another disrespect of users for these transit agencies to not follow their own rules.

La Presse points out that the STM and RTL haven’t yet given notice of their fares for 2009, the STL didn’t respond to say whether or not it had, and the AMT has apparently given notice to the government but not its users about fares for 2010.

The 30 days notice comes from Quebec’s law concerning public transit corporations, section 90:

Titres de transport.

90. Une société établit, par règlement, différents titres de transport et en fixe les tarifs selon les modalités et pour les catégories d’usagers qu’elle détermine.


Le secrétaire publie ces tarifs dans un journal diffusé dans le territoire de la société et les affiche dans les véhicules de la société. Ils entrent en vigueur le trentième jour qui suit cette publication ou à toute autre date ultérieure qui y est fixée.

Entrée en vigueur accélérée.

Cependant, lorsque la société est d’avis que des circonstances exceptionnelles le justifient, les tarifs peuvent entrer en vigueur à compter du dixième jour de leur publication pourvu qu’elle publie également les motifs de sa décision.

2001, c. 23, a. 90.

It’s unclear if the transit agencies are ignoring the law, if this law somehow doesn’t apply to them (or maybe I’ve read it wrong) or they’re using that “exceptional circumstances” rule.

One thing is clear, as far as public notice goes, this is becoming a habit. Last year, the RTL, STL and AMT all announced fare schedules less than 30 days before Jan. 1. Only the STM announced its fares in November.

There are no exceptional circumstances. We should have fare tables by now.

5 thoughts on “Transit agencies aren’t giving enough notice of fare increases

  1. Jason

    In my case, since I am subscribed to the Opus by mail, I actually got an email from the AMT during the month of November that my AMT pass is going up in Jan 2010. They didn’t mention all the zones, just the one I am in. I assume that they sent an email to all of their subscribers, from each of their zones.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      There’s still no notice online, which I imagine means they haven’t issued their notice in newspapers as required by the law. Even if they did, they should inform users on their website.

  2. Caroline

    What kind of special ”preparation” is needed exactly for a 2 bucks hike?

    If someone is cutting it that close every month, then maybe they should take care of their finances better

  3. Pingback: STM sweetens late fare increase with money-savers – Fagstein

  4. Jesara Sinclair

    I just spoke with the STM.
    They say that because of the November elections, they’re calling it exceptional circumstances.
    They weren’t able to get a committee together to approve the new fares in time for the 30 day deadline.
    I asked why they couldn’t simply push the fare hike to February, and she informed me that they couldn’t wait because then they would lose a month of revenue.
    Yes, it’s total bullshit, but it’s also (unfortunately) legal.


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