Tag Archives: STL

Transit fares going up (but down in Laval)


It’s about to hit December, which means it’s that time of year when the STM announces its fare increases for the coming year. It’s required to give 30 days notice of fare increases, so that’s why it happens now.

The skinny:

  Adult fare
(Jan. 1, 2008)
Now Increase Reduced fare
(Jan. 1, 2008)
Now Increase
Monthly CAM $66.25 $65 1.9% $36 $35 2.9%
Weekly CAM Hebdo $19.25 $19 1.3% $11 $10.75 2.3%
Six tickets $12 $11.75 2.1% $6.50 $6.25 4%
Cash fare $2.75 $2.75 No change $1.75 $1.75 No change
Tourist card (3 days) $17.00 $17.00 No change      
Tourist card (1 day) $9.00 $9.00 No change      

The STM argues that these fare increases are modest (average of 1.9%, and lower than last year’s increases), and combined with a hefty increase in the amount Montreal is giving the corporation will help pay for increased capital expenditures and better services, some of which have already been announced or implemented. These include:

  • Running six trains all day on the Blue Line
  • Replacing 40-year-old train cars (currenty operating on the green line) with new ones
  • Increased metro service (26%), especially before and after rush hour on the green, orange and blue lines
  • Increased bus service on its 30 most popular lines, including the 121 Sauvé/Côte-Vertu, 18 Beaubien and 24 Sherbrooke
  • Longer service hours for rush-hour expresses 470 Pierrefonds and 194 Rivière-des-Prairies (running both during the day between rush hours), and running the 12 Île-des-Soeurs on Sundays.
  • General budget expenses to cope with a 2% increase in ridership.

Laval cheapens up

  Adult fare
(Jan. 1, 2008)
Now Increase Reduced fare
(Jan. 1, 2008)
Now Increase
Monthly pass $74 $72.50 2.1% ? $43.00 ?
Eight tickets $18 $21 -14% ? $12.25 ?
Cash fare $2.50 $3.00 -17% ? $1.80 ?

The Laval transit corporation, meanwhile, is going in the opposite direction, reducing its single-use fares. A single fare will now be $2.50 instead of $3. There will also be cute little incentives like increasing the age at which children can travel freely from 5 to 11 on weekends and holidays.

The decrease makes sense, especially because now it’s cheaper to take the metro from Montmorency to downtown Montreal ($2.75) than it is to take an STL bus down the street ($3). The change will reverse that. (The fact that neither STL nor STM tickets are valid at the Laval metro stations is still a huge annoyance though.)

On the other hand, the price of a monthly pass is going up, from $72.50 to $74. This changes the math of how often you have to use transit for the monthly pass to be worth your purchase. Right now, if you use public transit fewer than 28 times a month (14 round trips), it’s better off to get tickets. That number goes up to 33 (16.5 round trips). So in the unlikely event that you travel by bus exactly 14, 15 or 16 times a month, you’re now better off getting tickets than passes.

The STL is also dramatically reducing fares on smog days to just $1, if a smog warning is in effect as of 3pm. That sounds great and all, but it takes effect during the evening rush hour, when people either have their cars at work with them or they don’t. It will also require some system to inform travellers (and drivers) when the reduction takes place.

Still no word from the AMT, which controls prices of regional transit passes, on what its 2008 rates will be.

It shouldn’t cost $9 to get from one shore to the other

Midnight Poutine has a rant-post about something I’ve heard a couple of times recently: when taking a trip that spans two transit networks, it’s treated as two separate trips, and you’re charged full-price for each.

So imagine someone taking public transit from western Laval to Brossard. That person would have to take an STL bus ($3), the metro ($2.75), and an RTL bus ($3.25). Total cost: $9.

We have, thanks to the Agence métropolitaine de transport, a “zone” monthly pass, which allows unlimited travel in multiple transit networks at a price considerably below what you’d pay for the different network’s passes individually. Why can’t we do something about individual trips to save people some money?

Part of the STM’s plan as they introduce a smart card system next year will be to be able to control zoning better. This will probably mean that a trip between downtown and the West Island will cost more than a trip within the downtown area. Hopefully this might also mean it’ll cost less than $9 to cross three transit networks on a single trip.

Free transit this weekend

For those of you confused (and you should be, the media hasn’t been very clear on this), public transit is free throughout the STM and STL networks, including the metro and its three new stations.

Little mentioned so far is that the AMT will be running special free trains from the De la Concorde metro to Saint-Jerome to celebrate its new intermodal station. The line, which normally only runs on weekdays, will have four special round trips during the day Saturday and Sunday.