Oh no! It’s the bus pass loaners!

Here’s an interesting one from the Gazette: Apparently there’s “some” people renting out their monthly transit passes to make a little extra money. The article cites the Chinese-language sinoquebec.com website as a source of postings offering bus passes for short periods.

Is this really widespread? I’d never heard of this before and it doesn’t seem to make much sense.

First of all, would you hand over your $65 bus pass to a complete stranger in exchange for a couple of bucks and a promise to bring it back?

Secondly, at $2 a day or $5 for a weekend, these passes are clearly being rented at a loss. Nobody’s going to make any money from that. It’s just some people not using their passes who figure it can make a few bucks.

There’s a lot of borrowing of bus passes between friends, or groups trying to use one pass with more than one person (it doesn’t work for the metro turnstiles, and bus drivers can spot the trick a mile away). And there are certainly lots of people selling passes they bought in error or no longer need. But renting just seems silly, and unworthy of our attention.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article is from spokesperson Odile Paradis:

“No, you cannot pass the bus pass to the person behind you in line, but it can be loaned to family members and friends,” Paradis said. “Just not for money.”

I can’t find anywhere in the STM by-laws that specifically prohibits borrowing bus passes (so long as two people aren’t using it simultaneously), so I guess that makes it official: Bus passes are transferable, so long as you don’t charge for it.

3 thoughts on “Oh no! It’s the bus pass loaners!

  1. princess iveylocks

    You don’t have to show ID with the pass?

    The systems I’ve seen always require photo ID with a serial number, which is then written indelibly on the monthly pass. If the ID number doesn’t match the picture… you don’t ride.

  2. Fagstein Post author

    Nope. It’s just a plastic card with a magnetic stripe.

    Reduced-fare passes are paired with photo ID, and technically people are supposed to write the serial number on the pass, but nobody ever actually does it, and it’s not enforced.


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