Bus and metro fares to go up in July

Bus and metro fares will be going up in July — though for the moment, it's not clear by how much.

Fanie St. Pierre, a spokeperson for the Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain, the new agency responsible for transit planning in the Montreal area, says there will be an increase of around 2 per cent — the exact breakdown, however, has not yet been determined.

"There will be a reflection on what to do with transit fares which will happen when the ARTM meets with its partners [the STM and other local transit authorities]," St. Pierre says. "For the moment, that reflection has not yet started."

During last fall's municipal election campaign, one of mayor Valérie Plante's major promises was the institution of so-called "social fares" for the poor, as well as students and seniors. St. Pierre suggests that may be one of the things the ARTM will consider when coming up with a revised pricing grid.

This past week, the Plante administration announced that 300 new hybrid buses would be put on the roads between now and 2020. The city is also committed to beefing up on some key bus lines, particularly in relatively underserved neighborhoods like Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles and Griffintown.

There will also be more metros made available during off-peak hours, particularly for weekday and weekend evenings. There would only be a five-minute wait between trains on all lines on weekday evenings, and on all but the blue line on weekend evenings. Currently, the wait can approach 10 minutes.