Fare collection on Montreal-area public transit gradually returning to normal; masks still not required

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Commuters in Montreal and surrounding regions will soon see a return to normal access and collection practices on public transportation.

The Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) announced on Friday that ticket validation and fare collection will gradually resume at the front of buses over the coming weeks.

The exo networks and the transit networks in Montreal (STM), Laval (STL) and Longueuil (RTL) are all affected.

Rules and practices were changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Users must hold a valid ticket at all times. They must validate their pass or pay in cash using the collection equipment installed at the vehicle's entrance.

Paratransit users can pay their fare in cash as of next week.

 The ARTM said customers should inquire with transport companies for more details about these measures as well as the exact dates boarding at the front of vehicles will resume.

The ARTM is strongly recommending that users wear a face cover when commuting.

LIBERALS CALL FOR MANDATORY MASKS ON TRANSIT

Meanwhile, the new leader of Quebec's Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, said Quebec needs to stop procrastinating and make masks mandatory on public transportation.

In an interview, Anglade said she did not understand why Quebec had not yet followed suit after Toronto made it mandatory to wear a mask on public transportation as of July 2.

It's even more incomprehensible, she said, since Quebec's public health director Horacio Arruda recently said he was "concerned'' about Quebecers relaxing on the guidelines as they were deconfining.

Arruda has not yet imposed a mask on public transport but said on Thursday that he was studying this possibility 'very, very closely.'

According to Anglade, the idea is to be better prepared in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.

"Science has shown that we are better protected in places where we cannot maintain a distance by wearing a mask,'' she said. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

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