Posted in Montreal, Public transit

Transit fares for 2012

It’s that time of year again, when the STM releases its fare schedule for the next year and the entire city grumbles about it.

The STM’s press release (sent on Friday, which made Métro’s Mathias Marchal wonder if it was trying to get hidden in news coverage) talks about all the additional service it provides in exchange for this modest increase, and they’re not making it up – there have been significant increases in transit service over the past few years. But for most users, that increase isn’t enough – buses and metro trains are still packed during rush hour, and still don’t seem to come often enough outside of it.

No more six tickets or CAM Longueuil

Two fares disappear completely from the grid for 2012. One is the CAM Longueuil, a compromise set up for 2011 that allowed users of the Longueuil metro station to transition from a regular STM fare to a Zone 3 fare.

People who use the Longueuil metro station (but who don’t use the RTL network) will go from paying $82 a month ($49 reduced fare) to $117 a month ($70 reduced fare, $93.50 intermediate fare). This represents a 43% increase, or a whopping 91% increase for students 18-25.

The other item gone from the fare table is the six-trip package. Originally designed to be a single disposable magnetic card that could be used six times, the STM quickly started giving out six individual tickets when it noticed that careless users would discard their ticket after one use.

There is still the 10-ticket package available, but that requires an Opus card. This means that people who don’t want an Opus card (say, tourists) must buy tickets two at a time or use the “Carte occasionnelle” one-day or three-day tourist pass.

Fare progression chart

Here’s a chart showing the STM’s fares over the past five years:

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change 2007-2012
Monthly CAM (regular) $65 $66.25 (+1.9%) $68.50 (+3.4%) $70 (+2.2%) $72.75 (+3.9%) $75.50 (+3.8%) +16%
Monthly CAM (reduced) $35 $36 (+2.9%) $37 (+2.8%) $38.75 (+4.7%) $41 (+5.8%) $43.75 (+6.7%) +25%
Four-month CAM (reduced fare only) N/A N/A N/A $148 ($37/month) $155 ($38.75/month) (+4.7%) $164 ($41/month) (+5.8%) +10.8% (2010-12)
Weekly CAM (regular) $19 $19.25 (+1.3%) $20 (+3.9%) $20.50 (+2.5%) $22 (+2.5%) $23.50 (+6.8%) +24%
Weekly CAM (reduced) $10.75 $11 (+2.3%) $11.25 (+2.3%) $11.50 (+2.2%) $12.75 (+10.9%) $13.75 (+7.8%) +28%
Three-day tourist pass $17 $17 (unchanged) $17 (unchanged) $14
(-17.6%)
$16 (+14.3%) $16 (unchanged) -6%
One-day tourist pass
(Also used as 747 fare)
$9 $9 (unchanged) $9 (unchanged) $7
(-22.2%)
$8 (+14.3%) $8 (unchanged) -11%
Evening pass (after 6pm) N/A N/A N/A N/A $4 $4 (unchanged) None (2011-12)
10 trips (Opus card only) (regular) N/A N/A $20 $21 ($2.10/trip) (+5%) $22.50 ($2.25/trip) (+7.1%) $24 ($2.40/trip) (+6.7%) +20% (2009-12)
10 trips (Opus card only) (reduced) N/A N/A $10.75 ($1.08/trip) $12 ($1.20/trip) (+11.6%) $13 ($1.30/trip) (+8.3%) $14 ($1.40/trip) (+7.7%) +30% (2009-12)
Six trips (regular) $11.75 ($1.96/trip) $12 ($2/trip) (+2.1%) $12.75 ($2.13/trip)(+6.3%) $13.25 ($2.21/trip) (+3.9%) $14.25 ($2.38/trip) (+7.5%) Discontinued +21% (2007-11)
Six trips (reduced) $6.25 ($1.04/trip) $6.50 ($1.08/trip) (+4%) $6.75 ($1.13/trip) (+3.8%) $7.50 ($1.25/trip) (+11.1%) $8.50 ($1.42/trip) (+13.3%) Discontinued +36% (2007-11)
Two trips (regular) N/A N/A N/A N/A $5.50 ($2.75/trip) $5.50 (unchanged) None (2011-12)
Two trips (reduced) N/A N/A N/A N/A $3.50 ($1.75/trip) $3.50 (unchanged) None (2011-12)
Single fare (regular) $2.75 $2.75 (unchanged) $2.75 (unchanged) $2.75 (unchanged) $3 (+9.1%) $3 (unchanged) +9.1%
Single fare (reduced) $1.75 $1.75 (unchanged) $1.75 (unchanged) $1.75 (unchanged) $2 (+14.3%) $2 (unchanged) +14.3%

I’ll leave it to you to decide if these increases are too much in the short or long term.

UPDATE: Here’s some progression tables for Montreal’s other transit agencies:

AMT

I value my sanity, so I won’t do the entire fare table. I’ll limit this table to the most popular fare, the TRAM fare, for each zone. (Zone 8 doesn’t have any train stations, but does have some bus service). The full 2012 fare table is here (PDF).

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change
2007-2012
TRAM Zone 1 $74.50 $77 $79.50 $81 $82 $84.50 +13%
TRAM Zone 2 $87 $90 $93 $94.50 $96 $99 +14%
TRAM Zone 3 $103 $105 $109 $111 $113 $117 +14%
TRAM Zone 4 $113 $115 $119 $121 $123 $127 +12%
TRAM Zone 5 $131 $133 $138 $140 $142 $147 +12%
TRAM Zone 6 $156 $159 $165 $168 $171 $177 +13%
TRAM Zone 7 $182 $185 $191 $194 $197 $203 +12%
TRAM Zone 8 $207 $211 $218 $222 $225 $232 +12%

The AMT says it will also maintain the “discount” allowing people using the Hudson train station, which is in Zone 6, to use a Zone 5 pass. This policy has been in place since Hudson (and Rigaud) were moved from Zone 5 to Zone 6 on Jan. 1, 2005.

STL

Slight hikes in all categories, including an increase in the cash fare from $2.80 to $3, which is equal to the STM cash fare and the cash fare to enter the Laval metro stations. It also brings it back up to the level it was in 2007. The fare was reduced in 2008 to encourage more people to use transit.

The full list of fares is here.

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change
2007-2012
Single fare $3 $2.50 $2.60 $2.75 $2.80 $3 Unchanged
8 tickets (regular) $21 (8x$2.63) $18 (8x$2.25) $18.50 (8x$2.31) $18.75 (8x$2.34) $19 (8x$2.38) $19.50 (8x$2.44) -7%
8 tickets (reduced) $12.25 (8x$1.53) $12.50 (8x$1.56) $13 (8x$1.56) $13.25 (8x$1.66) $13.50 (8x$1.69) $13.75 (8x$1.72) +12%
Monthly pass (regular) $72.50 $74 $76.50 $78 $79 $81.50 +12%
Monthly pass (intermediate) $58 $59 $61 $62.50 $63 $65 +12%
Monthly pass (reduced) $43 $44.50 $46 $47 $47.50 $49 +14%

RTL

The full fare table for 2012 is here.

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change
2007-2012
Single fare $3.25 $3.25 $3* $3 $3.10 $3.20 -1.5%*
Single fare (reduced) $1.90 $2 N/A N/A N/A N/A Fare eliminated in 2009
6 trips (regular) $15 (6x$2.50) $15.50 (6x$2.58) $16.10 (6x$2.68) $16.50 (6x$2.75) $16.75 (6x$2.79) $17 (6x$2.83) +12%
6 trips (reduced) $8.85 (6x$1.48) $9.25 (6x$1.54) $9.60 (6x$1.6) $10 (6x$1.67) $10 (6x$1.67) $10.25 (6x$1.71) +16%
Monthly pass (regular) $73 $76 $79 $81 $82.50 $84.50 +16%
Monthly pass (reduced) $42 $45 $47 $48.50 $49.50 $50.50 +20%
Four months (reduced) N/A N/A N/A $194 $194 $198 +2%
(2010-12)

*In 2009, the RTL eliminated transfers and reduced single fares. (All other fares moved to electronic cards.) As of then, cash fares no longer allowed transfers, hence the reduction in price.

57 thoughts on “Transit fares for 2012

  1. Jessica

    This is why I dislike the STM. Not only is the metro/bus always crowded and super hot, they feel the need to increase the prices every year! Increasing the price every year is not going to convince others to start taking the metro, if anything it encourages people to stop.

    Reply
    1. Aaron

      Seriously though, prices have to go up (a little) each year just to stay with inflation, and more than inflation if you want better service. If the problem is that the metro is crowded/hot, how does putting no additional resources into the system help anything? Ever been to Toronto? The TTC is way slower, way more crowded, and significantly more expensive. We have it pretty good here in comparison.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        We always hear the same refrain “but we’re the cheapest in Canada/World/Universe!”.

        We also have cheaper salaries than Toronto or Vancouver or New-York or London. But that, they never point out.

        Reply
        1. Vahan

          Why do you suppose that Montreal, a cosmopolitan city, with more flair, vibrance and a zest for life, than the two Canadian cities you mentioned has lower salaries? I was born and raised in this city and love it to bits, but tomorrow if I wanted to run after the money I could get up and leave without any barriers in my way, well except citizenship issues in other countries. So do you see where I am going with this? Why has a group of fat old white men, with past grievances snuffed out the prosperity of so much of the youth of this province? Why have we allowed that to happen? Who does that to their own children, to the future generations, who wants the next generation to have less by cutting off options in education? A bunch of self serving fat old white men, that is who would do that. While their own children have options of private education. Shame on them.

          Reply
  2. Charlie

    People mustn’t forget that the STM will be adding additional bus service, particularly to the West Island, once the Turcot/a large chunk of the 20 becomes unusable, as we’ll be getting 3 express buses out here in the boonies. I’m okay with a fare hike for that very reason.

    Reply
  3. BOBBY b

    As an occasional bus/metro rider I think it would be nice to be able to buy single use tickets at locations other than metro stations. I like having tickets which is a nice simple relatively fail-proof system, not a digital card with no way to tell if it still has a ticket on it or not. Boo opus!

    Reply
  4. Vahan

    As someone who lives steps away from a metro station and a very “frequent” bus route, I was able to sell off my car have the whole family travel by bus and end up with money in my pocket at the end of each month. Now I know I am “lucky” to be in this position, as my off island suburban friends like to point out, I live in the city. Yes, that was my choice, I paid more for a smaller place in the city and now, with gas prices shooting up, I am laughing all the way to the bar for a few drinks, while they are stuck on bridges heading home. The only issue I have with the service is that the “frequent” bus route I take everyday tends to come infrequently at the off-peak spots and then there are like three or four of the buses jammed into one area, with the third one running empty and the first one jammed with riders.I have no idea why this happens that if I wait on Rene-Levesque or St-Mathieu for my bus it will take ages for it to show up, but if I re-route and pick up the same bus route on Parc there is the first full one, I get stuck in and then a minute later two empty ones behind it.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      That’s nothing.

      Given that a car costs ? $10,000 per year (CAA), after 30 years when it comes to take your pension, guess who will be in a better financial position? You in the city with a $400,000 house, or your boondocks friends in their $200,000 house???

      Reply
  5. allisonshine

    Now what needs to go up, is their customer service. For the money I pay to use the service, is it too much to ask for courteous STM employees?

    Reply
        1. Just Me

          Yeah, but what if you don’t get a chance to do that because you’re running to catch the bus, you and the bus driver see each other eye to eye, you wave at her, she knows you want to get on the bus but she doesn’t give a damn about you, and pulls out of the bus stop ten seconds before you get there and leaves you waiting 20 minutes for the next bus?

          Reply
        2. alexandre

          Must be so great to be you. I went for a replacement of my OPUS card recently — I said ‘bonjour’ and ‘excusez’ and was still treated like a bag of poop. I get much more courteous service at the average supermarket even though their employees tend to be much more busy.

          Reply
          1. Alexander M

            You do know they have a schedule to follow, I know it must suck for you but they can’t be waiting for everyone. Then people ask why some buses show up late, cause everyone expects the drivers to wait for them.

            Reply
        3. allisonshne

          I say bonjour and merci. And for every really awesome STM worker, there are at least 5 who are not.

          Not everything in this city/province is about the language we choose to speak.

          Rude, inconsiderate, or impolite in any language is Rude, inconsiderate, or impolite.

          Reply
  6. red adair

    3 points:
    1- have they caught up up to the cuts in service made a number of years back?
    2- it`s unfortunate and unfair that the reduced fares are going up way faster than the regular fares
    3- re the astronomical increases for the longueil users – this is sure going to help slow the flight to ths suburbs!

    Reply
  7. Apple IIGS

    Am I the only one who sees a **major** issue in abolishing the sale of 6 tickets…?

    1) COST
    To purchase 6 tickets is $14.25. Now I’m forced to buy 10 tickets and fork out $24 instead?! That is an extra $10 extra we have to spend when I need to buy some tickets to keep on hand.

    2) INCONVENIENCE
    I’m now forced to use the electronic OPUS card. How the heck can I check how many virtual tickets I have left on my card? Can I enter my card # on the STM website, or can I phone up a hotline like the rest of the planet using smart cards? NOPE, not in good ‘ol Montreal! If I have physical paper tickets in my wallet, I can actually COUNT how many tickets I have left. (and no, walking to a subway station to insert my card into a machine to check how many tickets are left is NOT a viable solution!)

    3) NO FLEXIBILITY
    If I have a family, and we buy 6 tickets, we can divide them up between us and go our separate ways. With 10 trips stuck on one OPUS card, you cannot share tickets. In fact even if you’re headed to the same place, you cannot just pass the card to the next person….once swiped it turns into a transfer. Your other tickets are LOCKED AWAY and inaccessible for 2 hours.

    4) I HAVE NO FAITH IN OPUS OR THE STM
    So if my paper ticket gets stuck in the read or damaged, that’s only one trip lost. What happens if your OPUS card decides to to use another ticket instead of acting as a transfer? Is the bus driver going to do anything? Can I prove the reader “ate” one or several of my trips? In fact because there is no way to keep track of how many tickets you have left, you won’t even know you’ve been cheated!

    Great….so let’s review. The cost of bulk tickets is going up $10. I have to keep stick-it notes handy to put on my OPUS card to keep track of how many tickets I have left. I have to constantly worry….did the bus use a transfer or another one of my tickets in error?

    So how do you guys feel?

    Reply
    1. Richard

      I’ve never seen it happen that a bus used a ticket instead of a transfer that should have been still valid. Not to say that it can’t happen, but has it actually happened to you? Anyone else?

      Reply
      1. Apple IIGS

        A number of times I’ve come out of the metro, stepped onto a bus and my magnetic ticket has registered as “time period expired”. This is within 30-45 minutes after it was processed through a turnstile, complete with time/date stamp on the back.

        When this happens the bus driver always looks at the stamp on the back, scratches his/her head and tells me it SHOULD be good for 2 hours. They can never explain the error, and just wave me through. Nothing lost here, just a little inconvenience. So what happens when my OPUS card does the same? I’ll tell you what, I’ll lose a ticket when it should register as a transfer!

        Speaking of the OPUS, is there *any* way to check online or by phone how many tickets are on my smart card? I can’t believe the STM could be this short sighted and hoping I’m missing something.

        Reply
  8. Gral

    Lived in Toronto a few years ago.

    Gave 100$ to buy the monthly pass, received change back.

    It is now 120$ and up.

    We good here.

    Service in Toronto seemed *a little bit better* than in Montreal, but very close.

    WE good here.

    Reply
    1. Apple IIGS

      We good here?

      Makes sense, the same people who still believe Montreal is a world-class, flourishing, open minded and problem-free city, should also believe the transit system here is as good if not better than else where in Canada.

      The fact is you cannot compare Montreal with Toronto. Did it ever occur to you people in Toronto earn far, FAR higher incomes than in Montreal? And finding a job is far easier there, than in this economically depressed region of Canada we call Quebec, to say nothing of the ridiculous language restriction and laws that prevent people from finding work and causes companies to leave. The STM is headed towards raising their rates to that of Toronto, yet people here don’t have that kind of money….and never will.

      The level of service offered by Toronto’s TTC is also leaps and bounds above anything Montreal offers. For one thing, their subway cars are state of the art, while Montreal has THE oldest rolling stock in North America. We’re still using cars built in the early 60′s and 70′s for christ sake! No air-conditioning either, that makes me avoid our transit system in the summer.

      And service here is deplorable. Up to 15 minutes between subway trains at off peak hours? Buses that never run on schedule, or so overcrowded you cannot even board the bus? Or no synchronization between subways and buses? Add to this some of the worst customer service on hand (my favorite is the bus driver who called the police because a passenger asked “What time is it? in….gasp….ENGLISH).

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        The STM is headed towards raising their rates to that of Toronto,

        What do you base this on? At the current rate of increase, it would take a decade or longer to reach Toronto-level fares, and that assumes that Toronto freezes its rates that entire time.

        Up to 15 minutes between subway trains at off peak hours?

        Actually, the maximum is 12 minutes. And that’s for really off-peak hours like after midnight and before 6am. For times like mid-day, evenings and weekends, it’s more like 6-8 minutes.

        Or no synchronization between subways and buses?

        Plenty of buses are scheduled to meet up with the first and last metro trains of the day, but to go beyond that would be impossible. Metro trains come too often. The margin of error is larger than the time between trains.

        Reply
      2. Jean Naimard

        We good here?

        Obviously you don’t think so…

        Makes sense, the same people who still believe Montreal is a world-class, flourishing, open minded and problem-free city, should also believe the transit system here is as good if not better than else where in Canada.

        Since when has Montréal has ceased to be a world-class, flourishing and open-minded city? Hmmm. Lemme guesss… Monday, November 15, 1976, maybe?

        The fact is you cannot compare Montreal with Toronto. Did it ever occur to you people in Toronto earn far, FAR higher incomes than in Montreal?

        And finding a job is far easier there, than in this economically depressed region of Canada we call Quebec, to say nothing of the ridiculous language restriction and laws that prevent people from finding work and causes companies to leave.

        Good riddance. Companies who will not respect the indomitable fact that Québec is french first and foremost are not welcome here. May they leave with their money, and open up their market to respectable businessmen who have no problem with reality.

        Good riddance!

        The STM is headed towards raising their rates to that of Toronto, yet people here don’t have that kind of money….and never will.

        Translation: “Bring back the rhodesians so we (the english, of course, and maybe some servile french-canadians who know their place) can enjoy a greater share of the wealth, while denying the french majority proper wealth”.

        The level of service offered by Toronto’s TTC is also leaps and bounds above anything Montreal offers. For one thing, their subway cars are state of the art, while Montreal has THE oldest rolling stock in North America. We’re still using cars built in the early 60′s and 70′s for christ sake! No air-conditioning either, that makes me avoid our transit system in the summer.

        I guess that the judges who judged the STM to be the best transit system were smoking Rob Ford’s weed???

        (my favorite is the bus driver who called the police because a passenger asked “What time is it? in….gasp….ENGLISH).

        I bet the driver called the cops because the passenger became butthurt that he could not force the driver to speak white and blew a gasket???

        Reply
        1. Apple IIGS

          So Mr. Jean Naimard comments which are smacking of bigotry and racism are posted. However my comments, countering them is deleted. Wonderful.

          I can understand not wanting a political debate here, but come on…

          Allowing biggots to spew hate and no one pointing out they have no right to do so is dangerous, as history has taught us. We are all equals, no one group is superior or should have more rights than the other (and yes, than includes English and French). Off topic, yep, but it needs to be stated.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            So Mr. Jean Naimard comments which are smacking of bigotry and racism are posted. However my comments, countering them is deleted. Wonderful.

            I’ve deleted many of his comments too. I’m trying to keep things from getting out of control. This is a post about transit fares, for crying out loud.

            Reply
  9. AlexH

    The monthly CAM card is still priced way too low, the 3.8% increase barely keeps up with the increased costs in the system, and the $75 or so price is less than half of the true cost of providing the service. the reduced fare increases actually make some sense, considering this is a large part of the users of the network, and they are paying somewhere around only 25% of the true cost of service.

    Considering all of the increases in gas taxes and such over the last few years to pay for this (often defective) system, it seems only fair that the actual users pay a little more.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      We pay enough for transit, we should pay less because those who benefit the most from transit are car users who are spared the traffic that would be the result of transit users if they used cars.

      As a matter of fact, car users should pay more taxes to fund transit precisely because of that.

      Eventually, when using a car will be so expensive that only the truly rich will be able to go by car, transit will be profitable enough that it will turn-out a profit, exactly like the time before governments started to build free roads for the cars to use.

      Reply
      1. Vahan

        A nice toll on all bridges leading onto the island would be a big help. Why are bridges, not much older than the majority of drivers on them falling apart so soon? Because nobody wants to pay the fair value for using infrastructure. Every single government formed in Quebec has been afraid to tell people “hey this bridge/road costs X, pay to use it”. But every user wants it cleaned of debris in the summer, swept of leaves in the fall and have the snow and ice grated off before they wake up to go to work. Oh and then they have the nerve to complain when roads are closed for repairs, which in the long term will be better for them. Bunch of entitled pussies.

        Reply
      2. AlexH

        You really need to learn the economics of the deal. Montreal’s public transit will never be profitable, never even close, because Montreal doesn’t have sufficient population density to make it effective. The “miles per fare” numbers are the sort of thing that tells the tale of the tape. The travel distances are too far, the costs to provide that service too high, and the off peak usage too low for the system to ever work out for itself.

        As for car drivers paying more, I think that this is an issue of killing the golden goose. Right now car drivers (and tax payers in general) provide a subvention for public transit that is more than half the average monthly fare. The more you encourage people out of cars and into public transit, the bigger that problem becomes. You end up with an ever increasing deficit, with fewer and fewer people paying the bills. If car travel dropped 10% tomorrow, and those people shifted to public transit, the income from gas tax would drop, and the number of money losing monthly passes would go up – who would pay the gap?

        Without significant increases in people living inside the metro service areas, the system will never have enough users to make it work out. There is no profit to be had at the current cost per passenger mile.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          You really need to learn the economics of the deal. Montreal’s public transit will never be profitable, never even close, because Montreal doesn’t have sufficient population density to make it effective. The “miles per fare” numbers are the sort of thing that tells the tale of the tape. The travel distances are too far, the costs to provide that service too high, and the off peak usage too low for the system to ever work out for itself.

          You really need to learn the history of Montréal. Montréal’s public transit used to be profitable when it was privately run, until car use skyrocketed thanks to free roads built by the government.

          As for car drivers paying more, I think that this is an issue of killing the golden goose. Right now car drivers (and tax payers in general) provide a subvention for public transit that is more than half the average monthly fare. The more you encourage people out of cars and into public transit, the bigger that problem becomes. You end up with an ever increasing deficit, with fewer and fewer people paying the bills. If car travel dropped 10% tomorrow, and those people shifted to public transit, the income from gas tax would drop, and the number of money losing monthly passes would go up – who would pay the gap?

          With more and more people using transit, buses can both be filled much easier and run in an attractive frequency that will further increase transit use. It’s called “the snowball effect” — or the “Hygrade™ sausage effect”.

          Without significant increases in people living inside the metro service areas, the system will never have enough users to make it work out. There is no profit to be had at the current cost per passenger mile.

          You really need to look at what is happenning in Montréal right now; instead of heading back to the Waste-Island after work, you should hang around the city and look around at all the condos being built all over the place, all for people who are sick and tired of wasting time in traffic from their far-out ’burbs.

          Here’s your increase in population!

          Reply
          1. AlexH

            Oh geez. Jean, it use to be profitable to a Parette’s depaneur as well, but you don’t see any of those around anymore, do you? The circumstances and situations from 50+ years ago are not going to repeat themselves again. Sorry!

            “With more and more people using transit, buses can both be filled much easier and run in an attractive frequency that will further increase transit use. ”

            It’s a nice thought, but lacking in reality. Most of those users would be at the same peak times as everyone else, requiring significant increases in the amount of rolling stock for short peak periods – and once again leaving us with plenty of empty buses wandering around in the off peak hours. Call it the “9 to 5 effect”, where people actually have to live in a real world and not some statistical fantasy land.

            ” instead of heading back to the Waste-Island after work, you should hang around the city and look around at all the condos being built all over the place”

            Don’t be ignorant, I live in the city. There are not enough condos to make a difference at this point, there isn’t enough to make up for even a small percentage of the people who were chased out of the city by successive mayors who worked their magic to empty out the city and make it all but impossible to build in the core. History is an important thing to understand if you want to make grand claims Jean!

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Looks like I hit the comment-depth wall…

            ALEXH:

            The 9 to 5 effect can very easily be solved by a simple change to the labour code: make flex time compulsory. If an employer wants to force people to hold specific times, he has to apply for a special permit for which he would have to provide justification.

            Better yet, make telecommuting compulsory along the same lines. That could decrease the size of the rush.

            Of course, stores will be exempt from that requirement.

            That’s funny… Where did all the people “chased from the city” used to live? Well… in the city. And as I can tell, not many houses were demolished during the last 30 years…

            Reply
          3. AlexH

            ” And as I can tell, not many houses were demolished during the last 30 years…”

            You are kidding, right? Plenty of housing stock in the city has been demolished or “converted” into commercial space, you only have to look at all the old 2 and 3 story walkup stock in the city that has been converted into commercial space to understand it. That is all lost residential stock.

            Just as importantly, while the population of the island (and off island) has grown, the housing stock in town has not grown at all. Outside of the current builds going on, the only major apartment or condo projects in the core have been those below the Bell Center on de la Montagne. Otherwise, the city has been in a time warp, not allowing new development, discouraging development in the city, all the while the burbs have been growing at an alarming rate. Condo and rental stock development in the city is probably 30 years behind the times, and it’s hard to grow it back because all of the support services have been lost (like supermarkets, schools, etc). It will likely take a generation for the downtown core to be much more than students, singles, and “hipster bar hoppers” living downtown. There is huge demand to live downtown (see the results of the sales of the Condos on St Catherine near the old Forum), but the city has made it all but impossible for new developments to be made at a cost and price that makes much sense. The rest of the world has plenty of 20 – 30 story condo buildings in their core… where are they in Montreal? Nowhere. Our rules limit these sorts of buildings, which hurts the ability of the core to grow.

            It’s the same effect around almost every metro station in the city. Low rise commercial and residential is pretty much the rule, very little population density where it would be most useful. It’s only been in the last few years that any development of this nature has happened, around the DuCollege area in St Laurent, example. But so many stations come out in areas where the population density is lower (Snowdon metro, example… surrounded by buildings no higher than 4 stories, and most of them commercial and not residential). Or Place St Henri, or Vendome… or Frontenac, Sauve, or almost every other station. The space next to and above metro stations should be prime space, with allowance for higher rise developments that would lock people into the system. If you have to take a bus to the metro to get off the metro to take a bus to your final destination, it’s just not anywhere near as effective as driving a car. Each of those metro stations is a direct extension of the downtown core, and without development at them with an eye on population density, it is unlikely that public transit will ever be the preferred option for Montrealers.

            I think that thinking you can change the hours people work to make public transit work is a bigger pipe dream than anything else. That would be the tail wagging the dog, and certainly wouldn’t be a widely supported idea. When you start trying to enforce it, companies just move on down the road and avoid being part of the core.

            Reply
          4. Jean Naimard

            ALEXH:

            You are kidding, right? Plenty of housing stock in the city has been demolished or “converted” into commercial space, you only have to look at all the old 2 and 3 story walkup stock in the city that has been converted into commercial space to understand it. That is all lost residential stock.

            Er, excuse me? You’re just talking about St-Denis and Park Avenue here; elsewhere I can see the very opposite (like near my girlfriend in St-Henri), stores converted to dwellings. (I like that word, “dwelling”; it has a much different swing than “house” or “appartment”)…

            Just as importantly, while the population of the island (and off island) has grown, the housing stock in town has not grown at all. Outside of the current builds going on, the only major apartment or condo projects in the core have been those below the Bell Center on de la Montagne.

            Excuse me? Haven’t you noticed all over the place the gas stations that are levelled, and who are replaced by condos?

            Otherwise, the city has been in a time warp, not allowing new development, discouraging development in the city, all the while the burbs have been growing at an alarming rate. Condo and rental stock development in the city is probably 30 years behind the times, and it’s hard to grow it back because all of the support services have been lost (like supermarkets, schools, etc).

            That’s funny, one wonders on which planet you are for not hearing about the various construction scandals and arson surrounding Catania condos…

            It will likely take a generation for the downtown core to be much more than students, singles, and “hipster bar hoppers” living downtown. There is huge demand to live downtown (see the results of the sales of the Condos on St Catherine near the old Forum), but the city has made it all but impossible for new developments to be made at a cost and price that makes much sense. The rest of the world has plenty of 20 – 30 story condo buildings in their core… where are they in Montreal? Nowhere. Our rules limit these sorts of buildings, which hurts the ability of the core to grow.

            They are there, downtown.

            I think that thinking you can change the hours people work to make public transit work is a bigger pipe dream than anything else. That would be the tail wagging the dog, and certainly wouldn’t be a widely supported idea. When you start trying to enforce it, companies just move on down the road and avoid being part of the core.

            That’s what Paris did; back in the 1960’s the subway system was overloaded and the only way out was for the companies to introduce flex time.

            Here, the roads are overloaded and if the companies want to retain their most valuable workers, they will have to yield and shoot in the head the old-style managers who can only feel comfortable when they can watch with their own eyes their livestock.

            If a boss cannot measure work output without watching his employees in person, he is not competent to be a boss.

            Reply
          5. AlexH

            Jean:

            First off, replacing gas stations with 10 unit condo buildings isn’t “growing” anything much at all. It’s just filling in the little empty holes. Putting up more 3 story buildings isn’t going to create enough population density to make anything work out. Further, that isn’t happening in the core, it’s happening in the “city burbs” like in the north of town (closer to Sauve, Jean Talon, etc). Samcon and a few others are cranking out smaller buildings, a few units each, filling in blank spaces. But without making the buildings any bigger, they fail at adding any real density, which is what is needed to make public transit go.

            Remember too, the core is the downtown area… say sherbrooke and decarie to the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and down to the water. In that core area, there hasn’t been too many hude developments in the last 30 years. There has been some, that is for sure, but most of it is pretty low rise (3 to 4 story at most… I know, I live in one, and shopped the area extensively before buying). When 10 stories is considered stunningly tall, you know you aren’t getting much in the way of density.

            The 20-30 story buildings in downtown Montreal are almost exclusively older buildings, late 60s early 70s. We haven’t seen very many tall residential buildings in Montreal at all, which is disappointing.

            “Here, the roads are overloaded and if the companies want to retain their most valuable workers, they will have to yield and shoot in the head the old-style managers who can only feel comfortable when they can watch with their own eyes their livestock.”

            Comparing it to Paris is laughable, a city where workers for years were doing 30 hours weeks and getting paid full time, didn’t have to show up at the office much, and for the most part people slack assed and never showed up at all… so much so that their economy basically ran into the ground. Europe right now is paying the price for it’s slovenly work rules, which have allowed an entire generation to get paid for doing nothing.

            Flex time isn’t just about your own productivity. In a world where more and more of what we do is “service” and less “produce”, you have to be there to serve people when they need you, not when you feel like showing up. If the service is demanded 9 to 5 from commercial customers, then the service companies are going to be there 9 to 5. Can you imagine a world where Tim Hortons only opens at 10Am, to avoid the traffic rush?

            The real world isn’t anything like your pipe dreams. You can join Mayor Bike trying to figure out why you cannot put your finger in the dyke and expect it to stop the flood. Look, even with highway 20 / 720 reduced to a single lane, people still take their cars and still go downtown and downtown is still full of cars. Limiting the roads only causes an overflow onto surface streets, lowering the living standards of the people in those areas. Cause and effect… it’s fun to watch!

            Reply
  10. Apple IIGS

    UPDATE: I phoned STM customer service this afternoon. According to the woman I spoke with, you WILL be able to purchase 10 trips on ten physical magnetic paper tickets as of January 1, 2012 and beyond.

    Assuming she gave me the correct information, that is good news for people like myself that prefer paper tickets over storing them on the OPUS card. I hope she is right.

    Speaking of which, I just thought of another drawback with the OPUS card and tickets. What happens if you have tickets on your OPUS card and then add a monthly pass on it? Those tickets are inaccessible until the following month (or indefinitely, if you continually buy monthly passes). It almost forces you to purchase multiple OPUS cards, which is a headace if you accidentally mix them up running out of the house to catch a bus!

    Reply
    1. Apple IIGS

      http://stm.info/English/tarification/a-tarif2012.htm

      Hmm, so now according to the STM 2012 fare chart (which only just appeared recently), those 10 trips are *not* available on physical paper tickets! I won’t know for certain until I walk up to a ticket booth and request 10 tickets, but if this chart is right, I can forget about it.

      Typical of the STM customer service. Misinformation or outright lied to. This sucks.

      Reply
    2. Faiz

      Actually, you can just ask the driver and he can enable the tickets to be used instead, I have both in case i travel with a guest, and I use my pass then ask the driver to reset the card so that he can deduct a ticket.

      Reply
  11. Connie

    There is no acceptable explanation for a 16% increase in 5 years. The service has NOT improved in the least bit! There always seems to be a shortage of buses or a problem with the metro service. Unfortunately we hear it on a regular basis: “a bus driver called in sick and there was no one to replace him, so you just have to wait for the next bus”. The wait could easily be half an hour. Furthermore, the metro service always seems to be down one way or another with regards to electrical problems, slow service, incidents, door problems, and many more (the list is too long). Makes customers wonder if these problems are real or just a cover up story from the STM. If the problems are real, then they should have competent employees to solve the problem. Seems that maybe our system is too old and perhaps problems are recurring, but with all the increases and money they’re making they should have more than enough to fund these issues. This is an unacceptable increase and as usual it is abolutely absurd that consumers have no choice but to pay the fee and have no say and no service!

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      There is no acceptable explanation for a 16% increase in 5 years. The service has NOT improved in the least bit!

      Quantitatively, it has, in terms of both metro and bus service. Tens of thousands of additional bus service a year, particularly with the “10 minutes max” network and the addition of metro trains just before and just after rush hours, significantly reducing wait times during those periods.

      Furthermore, the metro service always seems to be down one way or another with regards to electrical problems, slow service, incidents, door problems, and many more (the list is too long). Makes customers wonder if these problems are real or just a cover up story from the STM.

      What would the STM be covering up? There are all sorts of reasons for delays on the metro, many of which are beyond the STM’s control. Some are because of equipment failure, mainly because the STM is using equipment that is nearing 50 years old, which they are trying to replace as quickly as possible. Much of it is because of human activity, whether it’s attempted suicides, people on the tracks or people holding doors open, causing trains to be stuck in stations (and requiring trains ahead of and behind that one to be slowed down).

      If the problems are real, then they should have competent employees to solve the problem.

      The STM is constantly trying to find ways to deal with these problems, but short of having an employee at every door of every train at every station, there are some things that can’t be prevented.

      Seems that maybe our system is too old and perhaps problems are recurring, but with all the increases and money they’re making they should have more than enough to fund these issues.

      The STM’s budget isn’t exactly overflowing with profits. But money isn’t the issue as much, since it comes from the Quebec government. The new metro trains have already been ordered, but it will be a few years until they come into service. The problem isn’t money, but time.

      Reply
      1. Marc

        Bus service has improved but not metro service. The intervals between trains are still too long at certain times of day. Most particularly on Friday & Saturday evenings on the green & orange lines. At these times trains should be every 4-5 minutes, not 9-10 minutes. I guess they’re assuming there’s no nightlife in Montreal.

        Also, they need to bump up service at strategic times instead always sticking to the same schedule. Case in point, this past Dec. 17th, the last Saturday before Christmas (typically the biggest shopping day of the year), people were left stranded on the platforms at several stations. Not acceptable.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Bus service has improved but not metro service. The intervals between trains are still too long at certain times of day. Most particularly on Friday & Saturday evenings on the green & orange lines. At these times trains should be every 4-5 minutes, not 9-10 minutes. I guess they’re assuming there’s no nightlife in Montreal.

          Unless I missed a time when trains were 4-5 minutes apart on Saturdays, metro service has improved. It may not be enough to your liking, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed. Intervals don’t creep above 8 minutes until after 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays on the green and orange lines. On weekdays, it’s six minutes or less until 8pm on the green line and 11pm on the orange line. This wasn’t the case before the improvements to metro service.

          I guess they’re assuming there’s no nightlife in Montreal.

          Why people are going where they’re going isn’t the primary concern. The trains at these hours are almost empty compared to those during rush hours or early evenings. They’re going to put more trains where the people are, and keep intervals as low as reasonable during off-peak times.

          Case in point, this past Dec. 17th, the last Saturday before Christmas (typically the biggest shopping day of the year), people were left stranded on the platforms at several stations. Not acceptable.

          What do you mean by “stranded”? Did rescuers need to be called in to free them? I can’t comment on their holiday train scheduling, and it’s possible they dropped the ball there, but the STM regularly increases service at strategic times. After every major event (including every Canadiens game) at the Bell Centre, after every event at the Olympic Stadium, before and after every fireworks show during the summer, and during plenty of other high-traffic activities.

          Reply
          1. Aaron

            Whew! I recommend everyone everyone spend a couple years commuting on public transit in Boston. You’ll be soooooooo happy to use Montréal’s again.

            Reply
  12. Al

    A small raise (based on the inflation rate) could make sense but adding 35$ to the previous fare (82$) is cruel! People like me who had chosen their home based on the previous fare are screwed! Now we have to pay 105$ more (3 persons use STM)each month to go to Montreal while we’re not using any of RTL services! And remember how poor is the quality of service in STM cars (in spite of super nice people who work with STM). In winter there’s always this huge fans that hit your head with chill and in summer you’re burning alive in heat and humidity! I’m going to look for a place in Montreal and stop paying that extra 100.

    Reply
  13. AlexH

    Hmmm… 16% increase… I wonder how much the price of fuel went up in that time? How much the salaries went up? How many extra people where hired?

    Sounds like 16% ain’t covering the costs.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Hmmm… 16% increase… I wonder how much the price of fuel went up in that time? How much the salaries went up? How many extra people where hired?

      The Consumer Price Index for 2007-2011 works out to 8%.

      Gas prices vary widely, but started 2007 about 90 cents a litre and is now around $1.30 a litre.

      Average salary in Canada for a single person was $30,600 in 2007. We don’t have data past 2009, so it’s hard to make a comparison.

      Reply
  14. melanie

    i’m visiting montreal. can 2 people share a one-day pass or is there a lock out period after you swipe the card, thus if a second person were to use it, they’d have to wait until they can swipe it again? anyone know how long the card is locked out for?

    thanks!

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      i’m visiting montreal. can 2 people share a one-day pass or is there a lock out period after you swipe the card, thus if a second person were to use it, they’d have to wait until they can swipe it again? anyone know how long the card is locked out for?

      You can’t use the same card twice in succession, so two people need their own one-day pass. I’m not sure how long the period is, but it’s long enough to be annoying to potential fraudsters but short enough that by the time you go somewhere and come back it works again.

      Reply
      1. Faiz

        It should be noted that this is not the case with the RTL, and it would be useful to find out why.

        I regularly use multiple tickets on a single card to take people downtown.

        I was shocked the first time i was rejected when i tried this with a STM driver.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>