The STM presents its plan to ease up the mandatory wearing of face coverings

Press release

The STM presents an update of its lockdown lifting plan taking into account the mandatory wearing of face-coverings on public transit starting July 13.

Montréal, July 10, 2020 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) presents an update of its lockdown lifting plan while teams are hard at work preparing its plan to ease up for the mandatory wearing of face coverings as of July 13. We are also taking advantage of the summer period to gradually put in place new measures in the bus, métro and paratransit networks. Starting Monday and in the coming weeks, customers will notice a number of changes during their trips.

Mandatory face coverings and other means of protection
These new travel habits must be paired with new, simple actions, including wearing a face covering, which will be mandatory as of July 13, and maintaining physical distancing when possible, keeping hands clean and, in particular, avoiding public transit if you are sick.

The handing out of face coverings for customers will resume in the STM network as of Monday. Once completed, 1.5 million face coverings will have been handed out in the Greater Montréal area. A communication campaign on the mandatory wearing of face coverings will also begin on Monday, including messages on the front displays of buses, to allow customers who have not taken the bus or métro in a while to learn about this measure and its importance. Face coverings will be available from station agents in fare booths and will be distributed by our inspectors. In addition, a pre-recorded message will be broadcast in the buses if needed.

“The STM will make every effort to ease up the mandatory wearing of face coverings. Everyone has to do their part by adopting new habits that will ensure greater safety for our employees and customers. Our teams are working hard to be able to welcome you in our vehicles and facilities under the best possible conditions, and I would like to commend them for their efforts and thank customers for their cooperation,” says Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the STM.

Information on available space
As of the end of August, customers will be able to check the space available on the bus that they plan to take using the STM website and partner mobile.

Moreover, between now and the end of October, the métro network capacity on the Orange line will be broadcast in the métro stations and on the STM website. However, only AZUR trains will provide this type of analysis.

Boarding at the front and validating fares resume on the bus network
The STM is announcing the gradual resumption of boarding at the front of buses and the fare validation aboard vehicles on roughly forty lines serving downtown Montréal as of July 20.

“As part of the recommendations of the INSPQ and the CNESST, and in keeping with best practices with regard to public transit, it was necessary to make changes to bus configurations. These adjustments were made so that customers’ trips would be as efficient as possible. Moreover, the adoption of new health measures will make it possible to ensure greater safety for our drivers and customers,” says Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

The gradual resumption of boarding at the front of buses will start with those from the Frontenac and Saint-Denis bus garages, which now have new equipment. In the coming weeks, buses from the Mont-Royal, Legendre, Anjou, Stinson, Lasalle and Saint-Laurent bus garages will be deployed.

All buses will be equipped with protective screens for drivers and signage to direct customer flow into the back of the bus. This new arrangement will allow drivers to maintain a safe distance of two metres from customers. That is why the seat behind the driver must remain empty at all times. Another seat for people with functional limitations will be identified with the usual signage.

Fare collection for customers using paratransit was reintroduced on June 29. Users are required to wear a face covering, and protective screens have been installed in accessible sedans and taxis to help safeguard customers and drivers. At the end of July, two customers at a time will be allow in the vehicles.

A new experience inside stations
With the aim of encouraging customers to follow physical distancing measures while ensuring efficient travel, the STM will be rolling out new signage in priority stations over the summer. In the following days, these changes will be visible at Montmorency station, which will serve as a prototype, allowing the STM to assess the effectiveness of these actions. Customers using the Laval station will notice new markings on the ground indicating the direction of traffic flow. These traffic flow corridors are designed to keep the intersection of flows of passengers to a minimum. To ensure that appropriate physical distancing measures are followed, stickers will be placed on the ground in areas where customers are likely to line up.

Payment options and after-sales service
As of next week, it will once again be possible to pay cash when purchasing a transit fare from a fare vending machine (DAT). Moreover, the STM is speeding up the rollout of its contactless debit/credit card payment project at station agents’ fare booths so that this option will be available at seven stations in August. This measure will then be gradually rolled out in the remaining stations.

Reopening of Espaces clients booths
July 13 also marks the reopening of all 16 Espaces clients booths located in the network’s key stations. Customers can benefit from a full range of after-sales services.

A joint effort
The aim of the STM’s initiatives is to continue to minimize the risks of using public transit, since more customers are expected for the back-to-school season in September, and to ensure the quality of customers’ transit experience.

Complement - STM lockdown lifting plan


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