STM has big plans for 2019: Schnobb

In an interview with the 24 Hours newspaper published Friday morning, STM chairman Philippe Schnobb said big changes are coming to the way Montrealers are able to use public transit — including how we pay.

Among the major projects the city's transit commission plans to kick-off in 2019 will be the installation of new validators aboard buses, which will allow passengers to board through rear doors — and potentially, pay by credit or debit, instead of an OPUS card.

This year will also see the arrival of the 300 new hybrid buses purchased at the end of 2017 by the Plante Administration, as well as the beginning of work to extend the métro's blue line eastward to Anjou.

Capacity on the oversaturated orange line of the métro is also set to expand in the first half of this year, with two new Azur trainsets schedule to join the city's fleet by June.

"That's 1,000 people per train, it's going to have an impact," Schnobb said.

Schnobb added that most of the projects beginning this year will extend into 2020 and beyond.