STM fares for 2009 Affordable fares to help boost ridership

Press release


STM fares for 2009
Affordable fares to help boost ridership

Montréal, November 20, 2008

The STM Board of Directors approved a fare structure for 2009 designed to promote ridership growth. It agreed to maintain the cost of a single fare at 2007 levels, to keep the cost of a single ticket at $2 when purchasing 10 tickets with an OPUS card, to introduce free transit on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for children under the age of 12 travelling with an adult holding a valid transit fare, and to index the cost of a monthly CAM card, an increase of 7¢ a day.

According to Board Chairman Claude Trudel, “This new direction clearly shows that the STM is determined to draw more people to public transit, in accordance with the objectives set out in Québec’s policy on public transportation, which aims at increasing ridership by 8% by 2011. By diversifying its fare structure, the STM hopes to motivate people into using its services even more, an innovative strategy that should gain their loyalty”.

10 tickets on OPUS for $20 : same unit cost as in 2008
The STM is introducing a new fare product that allows it to maintain the unit cost of tickets at $2: 10 tickets for $20 (regular fare) or for $10.75 (reduced fare) on an OPUS card. The initiative was designed for the purpose of gaining the loyalty of occasional transit users and to encourage people to switch to the smart card, as more and more are doing. Indeed, nearly 400 000 clients have already purchased theirs, and its popularity is on the rise.

Family Outings: up to five children free of charge!
Among other innovations is the Family Outings programme, which allows an adult holding a valid transit fare accepted by the STM to travel with up to five children under the age of 12, free of charge, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The programme starts next December 6 and, beginning in January 2009, will feature discounts on the admission fee of Montreal’s major attractions thanks to a number of partnership agreements negotiated by the STM so that families may enjoy exclusive benefits.

A favourable fare structure
In accordance with the corporate direction taken a few years ago, monthly fares will rise in step with the average rate for the consumer price index (CPI) and transportation price index (TPI), set at 3.3%. Therefore, on January 1, 2009, a monthly CAM will cost $68.50 (a $2.25 increase), while the reduced fare CAM will cost $37 (a $1 increase). Cash fares will remain the same as in 2007-2008: regular fare at $2.75 and reduced fare at $1.75. The cost of 6 tickets is set at $12.75 (+ 75¢), for an average unit price of  $2.13, and at $6.75 for reduced fare tickets (+25 ¢).

“Thanks to our sound management, innovative financial strategies (fuel SWAP) and continued efforts to rationalize our operating expenses, we have succeeded in freezing some fares, introducing new fare products and limit the increase in subscription cost to a minimum,” insisted Mr. Trudel. The STM’s disciplined approach to management was in fact acknowledged by Standard & Poor’s, which has been giving the STM an A+ credit rating for several years now.

Exceptional growth : 15 million more trips
“With investments from the federal and provincial governments, as well as from the Montréal agglomeration, the STM continues to grow. Indeed, ridership has increased by 4%, and our estimates lead us to believe we will end the year with 15 million more trips, an exceptional result. In such a context, the STM must forge ahead with its service improvements programme and with modernizing its transit network. For this reason, it must assume an increase in its capital spending,” explained Mr. Trudel.

We’ll be seeing each other even more in 2009
In January 2009, the STM will add rush hour service on the 26 busiest bus routes in its network, a total of 70 000 more hours, used by 55% of clients. Other improvements are planned throughout the year : in the end, some 350 000 hours of service will have been added to the bus network since 2007. As the metro already operates at full capacity during rush hour, it will run an additional 1.5 million kilometres during off-peak periods, a 2% increase over 2008.

The most affordable and most used transit system in Canada
“With additional services introduced in 2008 and further improvements planned for our bus and métro system in 2009, we feel our clients are getting more for their money. In fact, according to a report published last October by the Fraser Institute, Québec is where public transportation offers the best overall performance in Canada, in terms of being the least expensive and most used. Obviously, the STM plays a major role in that, as it provides 70% of all public transit trips in Québec,” added Mr. Trudel.

Obtaining new sources of funding is imperative
The STM budget for 2009 exceeds one billion dollars. Service offer improvements, 2% wage indexation as per collective agreements, investments required to ensure service quality and reliability, and rising energy costs are some of the major factors explaining the budget increase. Despite efforts to reinvest in public transportation, the budget anticipates a $38 M shortfall, a reminder once again of the STM’s increasingly urgent need to secure stable sources of funding to offset the rising cost of investments and service improvements it must assume despite its tight controls on expenses.

The 2009 budget and 2009-2010-2011 capital spending plan (PTI) are now available (in French only) on the STM website by clicking


Consult the 2009 Fare Scale by clicking here.

 –  30 –