The fare reform undertaken by the ARTM in 2018 aims to make it easier for citizens of the metropolitan area of Montréal to use public transit.
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Fare reform context
The strategic importance of the fare system
The fare system plays a strategic role in the mobility ecosystem. In all major public transit systems, fares finance a portion of service costs. The ARTM’s Politique de financement (funding policy), adopted in 2017, established the funding structure for the public transit system in the region and the contribution to funding services by each party; that is, public transit riders, drivers, the provincial and federal governments and municipalities. The Politique de financement established the contribution for funding services by riders at 31%.
History of the fare structure
The past 40 years have been marked by numerous changes to the fare structure in the region to make it more attractive and encourage the use of public transit.
In 1965, we witnessed a revolution in fares with the arrival of the métro and the start of integrated fares between bus and métro. Later, fares were adapted to reflect the changes to the network and people’s mobility.
Highlights of fare changes in the metropolitan area
Abolishment of fare zones and integration of bus and metro fares in Montréal
Introduction of reduced rate for people aged 65 and over in Montréal
Introduction of the CAM (bus and metro pass)
Implementation of subsidies for fare integration
Introduction of combined tickets (inter-operator)
Creation of a regional transportation pass
Implementation of a new financial and institutional framework leading to the creation of the AMT
Implementation of integrated fare structure and definition of zone-based system
Implementation of metropolitan single fare tickets
- Introduction of reduced fare for Montréal students aged 18 to 25
- Implementation of fare integration support
Introduction of OPUS sales and collection system for all modes and networks
- Creation of the ARTM with exclusive jurisdiction over pricing
- First ARTM fare structure
- Extension of student discount to age 64
Start of construction of the Réseau Express Métropolitain
New fare structure for the metropolitan area
The guiding principles of care reform
The guiding principles underpinning the fare reform, which is also guiding the work on it, were outlined following a consensus-building and consultation process. This took place through interviews and workshops with ARTM partners, including representatives from public transit agencies (PTA), municipalities and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM).
Out of a concern for geographic and economic equity and to encourage the use of public transit as well as reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, the ARTM structure for the metropolitan area must meet the following six following guiding principles:
- Coherency – a fare structure for the entire metropolitan area that takes costs, perceived value by customers and use of public transit services into account
- Simplicity – fares that are easy for people to use and understand
- Accessibility – fares that are accessible to all citizens
- Resiliency – a fare structure that can adapt to the customers’ changing needs, the transit service offer and new technologies
- Flexibility – a fare structure that can be coherently integrated into local fare initiatives
- Integration capability with other mobility service fares
The key steps to the fare reform adopted by the ARTM Board of Directors in May 2018 will be carried out in three phases:
Design | Consultation
- Work on priority projects with partners
- Introduction of online platform “Let’s talk transit fares”
Consultation throughout 2019 with community stakeholders, experts, citizens and public transit riders during the fare reform exercise.
- Adoption of the fare reform by the ARTM’s board of directors
- Submission of the detailed implementation plan for the 2020-2021 fare form
- Progressive implementation of fare reform
- End of fare reform implementation in December 2024