Montreal Metro commuters will not be able to take advantage of free admission this summer at some downtown stations, as was the case last year.
“The extension of the free metro from the city center on weekends and certain holidays is not planned for this summer,” confirmed Mariquim Goudreau, press officer of the city’s executive committee.
This pilot project is set up from June to September to allow users to travel without paying from Berri-UQAM, Place-des-Arts, Champ-de-Mars, Peel, McGill, Place-d’ Arms and St. .
This decision was made in particular to try to get users back on public transport two years into the pandemic.
However, the project has generated some criticism because it was only possible to be free from these stations, but not to get there from the rest of the network.
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“The context has changed a lot since last summer,” recalls Mrs. Guderault.
“Today, we can rejoice to see St. Catherine’s Street busy again, as much of the city center regains its usual dynamism and metro traffic returns to normal more quickly on weekends,” she added.
The measure will finally cost $2.3 million for the city, which agreed to pay that amount on Wednesday to the Regional Metropolitan Transportation Authority (ARTM).
If this project does not return, Montreal residents over the age of 65 will still be able to take advantage of the free metro on the island starting July 1. This measure would cost the city $40 million annually.
This was one of the promises made during Valerie Plante’s first election campaign for mayor of Montreal in 2017, in addition to free admission for children under the already 12-year-old.
The proposal could help get users back on the metro, as the Société de Transportation de Montréal (STM) has been forced to cut spending in recent months due to a $60 million budget gap in 2023.
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