The STM reveals historic ridership results

Press release

Montréal, October 25, 2011 –  Mr. Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the STM (Société de transport de Montréal) Board of Directors, announced today new ridership results far exceeding the annual estimated increase of 1.8% projected in the 2011 budget (representing 7 million trips). With 296 million trips already recorded in the first nine months of this year, the STM can already confirm a 4% increase in ridership, the approximate equivalent of 12 million additional trips when compared with the same period in 2010.

“ The many efforts, initiated through the service improvement program implemented in 2007, clearly show that public transit continues to generate a keen interest among the population of Montreal’s Greater Metropolitan Area and to attract new customers. Indeed, the general level of customer satisfaction has grown from 84% to approximately 89% between 2006 and today,” stated Mr. Labrecque. “ We can already estimate that objectives set by Quebec’s Public Transit Policy will be surpassed. Financed in equal measure by the ministère des Transports du Québec and the Montreal Urban Agglomeration, this policy aims to increase service levels by 16% and ridership by 8% in five years by 2012. If the current trend is maintained, service levels will increase by 25% and ridership by nearly 12%, representing an approximate increase of 42 million trips since 2006 (405 million trips in 2011 versus 363 million in 2006). “

Since the end of 2006, the métro network has added nearly 17 million more kilometres of service. Métro cars will have traveled a total of 77 million kilometres in 2011 with an increase in service of nearly 29% versus 2006 results, and a 14% rise in the number of customers entering the métro during the same period.

Furthermore, some 15 million kilometres have been added to bus service during this same period contributing to a near 6% rise in the number of public transit users. Buses will have traveled 85 million kilometres in 2011, and represents a 22% increase in service in comparison with 2006 results.

In addition to the ongoing implementation of measures to improve service since 2006, this significant increase in ridership can also be attributed to the STM’s growing presence during major events in Montreal and to its fare strategy as it provides an ever-increasing and diversified range of products and services to appeal to the various needs of its customer base.

The economic context of the past years has allowed the STM to increase ridership. Among external factors that have contributed to this increase, we can mention the employment upswing, the increase in gas prices, road congestion and roadwork along with an increased customer awareness of environmental issues.

Major factors that contributed to the increase in ridership

These positive results are especially due to the increase in bus service implemented since 2006 adding nearly 800 000 hours of service. For example :

  • the introduction of the 10 minutes max network has yielded a 7% increase in ridership on 31 of the busiest bus lines;
  • rapid services (métrobus, trainbus and express) has recorded an increase of 48%. The 470 – Express Pierrefonds bus line has shown an exceptional increase of 134% in ridership results;
  • the introduction of Express bus lines 467 – Saint-Michel and 427 – Saint-Joseph have lead to increases in ridership of 6% on Saint-Michel Boulevard and 65 % on Saint-Joseph Boulevard respectively;
  • the creation of the 747 – Express Bus line recording a 32% increase in ridership in comparison with 2010 results per average weekday.
Number of additional passenger trips per day
Number of daily trips in 2011
10 minutes max network
(31 bus lines)
7 %
38 000
572 292
Rapid service
(métrobus, trainbus and express)
(13 bus lines)
48 %
14 800
45 518
470 – Express Pierrefonds bus line
134 %
5 700
9 954
467 and 67 (St-Michel Boulevard) bus lines
6 %
2 500
41 401
427 (Saint-Joseph Boulevard)
65 %
2 200
5 594
747 Express Bus line
32 %
1 000
4 000

The 427 bus line, introduced in March 2010, that runs along the new reserved lane on Saint-Joseph Boulevard, is successful and confirms its purpose as the “ other Orange line “ option. Indeed, this service with limited stops links the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and Plateau Mont-Royal boroughs to downtown, allowing customers direct access to downtown without transfers – an appealing alternative for customers who take the orange métro line as it has reached its full capacity at rush hour.

Historic ridership record

“ The progress of public transit and the increase in ridership in our network is a telling example of this new trend. Our gains, and the firm commitment provided by the Quebec government and the Montreal Urban Agglomeration to encourage public transit with large investments, allow us not only to surpass 1947 ridership records (398 million trips), but to anticipate with optimism the completion of our ambitious 2020 plan. Therefore, we will continue our efforts to incite people to use public transit more often. To this end, our network of rapid bus lines combined with reserved lanes and the implementation of a system of rapid service on Pie-IX Boulevard will become the focal point in the development of STM services in the next few years. To support this growth, a major challenge remains: to continue investing in the modernization of our infrastructures while pursuing the development of our services to the public,” concluded Mr. Labrecque.

–  30 –