When it was created, the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain was entrusted with establishing a coherent public transit fare system in the Montréal metropolitan region. The purpose of this fare reform is to simplify and harmonize public transit pricing in the Montréal metropolitan region.
The legal framework and fare reform
The Act respecting the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) stipulates that it must “foster and simplify access to the various mobility services, including those for persons living with a handicap, by focusing on transit intermodality and ensuring fare integration “. The ARTM has therefore been mandated to establish the public transit fare structure as it applies to its area of jurisdiction.
The aim of this exclusive jurisdiction, in particular, is to promote fare integration for all of its public transit services in the metropolitan area in order to make it easier for regular and reduced mobility passengers to access public transit. Within this framework, the ARTM will be able to build on discussions and consultations held with different public transit agencies and its partners over the course of the past decade.
The last major change to public transit fares in the Montréal metropolitan area was in 1998, with the introduction of integrated fares and the subsequent arrival of metropolitan ticket offices. The context has changed significantly since, notably due to the introduction of new services, changes in land use planning in cities in the Montréal metropolitan area, innovations in payment methods and increasingly complex trips.
The fare reform aims to simplify the fare structure across the metropolitan area and take these new developments into account to encourage the public to use public transit.
Reforming the fare system in the metropolitan area
The current fare reform aims to simplify and integrate transit fares in the metropolitan area, including the implementation of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). The consultation process and study of the fare system reform, which will be carried out in 2019 and progressively implemented by 2024, will take the integration of the REM into the new fare system into account.
Balancing access and quality service
Public transit is a public service funded by user fares, government contributions and municipal contributions. The ARTM’s Politique de financement (funding policy) specifies the overall self-financing ratio target, or user contributions to funding public transit. Currently, this is 31%, with the remaining share funded by municipal and government contributions.
In its efforts to improve access to its services, the ARTM must secure sufficient funding to maintain the quality of its services and respond to the needs identified in the public transit strategic development plan and asset management plan. If we hope to maintain the current balance for the funding of services, the changes made to the fare system following the fare reform exercise will have to made using sustainable income, or financed by new sources of stable and predictable funding.
Dialogue and consultation
Dialogue and consultation are two key elements to the success of the ARTM fare reform exercise. It is crucial, therefore, that this fare reform draws on the expertise of partners such as public transit agencies (PTA), municipalities, the Communauté métropolitane de Montréal (CMM), the Gouvernement du Québec and different mobility stakeholders in the metropolitan area as well as the participation of citizens and community groups.
A preliminary survey was conducted among the population to assess what citizens thought of fares for the different transit services offered in the Montréal metropolitan area. The survey was carried out between November 1 and 22, 2018, among a representative sample of the population; that is, 3,565 public transit riders and non-riders. The results were weighted according to area of residence, gender, age and how often they took public transit.
The study allowed us to evaluate the perceptions, attitudes and expectations of citizens in the greater metropolitan area of Montréal regarding potential public transit fare options. It gave us a better understanding of perceived value of the various transport modes and services. More specifically, the questions pertained to:
- Reasons why public transit was or was not chosen as primary means of getting around
- Principles and parameters for setting public transit fares
- Fares according to passenger class
- Ease of use of technology
- Interest in creating a client account for public transit
- Suggestions to improve the current fare payment and collection system
The survey was also put online and completed by 7,074 people.
Want to know more about fares in the Montréal metropolitan area?
As part of this process and to prepare you for the public consultation that will take place this coming summer and fall, ARTM experts have put together a wide range of information on issues and challenges about the fare reform for you to consult. This interactive platform was designed to provide a common ground for dialogue that we would like to have with citizens of the region and people who use public transit. It will also be used to inform a version of the fare reform project that will be subject to vast public consultation in summer and fall 2019.
Join the conversation!
Citizens and mobility partners are at the heart of this collaborative fare reform exercise. The consultative process that we are going to lead over the next few months will allow us to listen to the comments and preoccupations of citizens, public transit riders, community stakeholders and experts. We invite you to join in this collaborative process by taking part in public and digital consultations and citizen panels, giving feedback on the sections of our site or submitting papers.
Sign up and be among the first to receive information on the fare reform exercise.
What is the ARTM?
Since June 2017, the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) has been responsible for planning, organizing, funding and promoting the public transit, paratransit and active transportation services of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Montréal to offer people an easy, integrated, seamless and efficient travel experience while promoting sustainable development and integration across the region.
It seeks to integrate services between different modes of transportation and works closely with public transit organizations. Exo, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL), the Société de transport de Laval (STL) and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) are responsible for providing public transit services within their respective territories through agreements reached with the ARTM.
By reducing the number of transportation organizations from 16 to 5, the new model, which is inspired by the best practices in Canada and around the world will allow us to make transportation in the region more efficient and coherent and offer clients a simplified experience.
Think about the environment!
In an effort to reduce paper and promote an environmentally-friendly approach, the ARTM will prioritize digital platforms in its communications with the public throughout the fare reform exercise.