Paratransit: non-essential travel companions allowed to join rides again starting September 30

Press release

Paratransit users will be able to reserve their trips starting Wednesday, September 28, following the usual procedure.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 – Working tirelessly to improve trips for vulnerable customers affected by the labour shortage in the taxi industry, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is announcing that, as of September 30, non-essential travel companions will once again be permitted to join trips made for any reason. Paratransit users will be able to reserve their trips starting Wednesday, September 28, following the usual procedure. It should also be noted that this measure may cause some delays. In addition, the STM will be accepting a higher volume of trips in the larger metropolitan area.

“Since we signed the new agreement with the eight taxi service providers who carry out 88% of customer trips, our paratransit vehicle capacity has increased, which is why we are able to announce today the return of non-essential travel companions,” says Marie-Claude Léonard, Chief Executive Officer of the STM. “Today, we are taking a step in the right direction toward reinstating our zero refusal policy. We understand and appreciate the significant impact this exceptional situation has had on our customers, and I assure you that all STM teams, including our partners, have been working together to resolve it as soon as possible.”

For the last several months, the STM has been working hard to keep its paratransit service active despite a major labour shortage in the taxi industry. On August 15, the STM had to implement several exceptional measures to mitigate the effects of the shortage and continue providing its paratransit service. On August 31, the STM and the eight taxi service providers with whom it does business reached an agreement to, among other things, maintain the current pool of drivers who provide paratransit services and attract new drivers to keep pace with growing ridership.

The STM understands that these measures have a significant impact on its customers and will continue to collaborate with its partners to find sustainable solutions, so that it can reinstate its zero refusal policy as quickly as possible.

October 3 provincial elections

Paratransit users who need a travel companion to go to the polls with them on October 3 will be able to book their trips as of Wednesday. Paratransit vehicles will also be able to wait 30 minutes at polling stations while passengers cast their votes.

Paratransit at the STM

The STM has provided door-to-door paratransit service for people with disabilities since 1980. Around 29,000 customers use the service to travel on and around the Island of Montréal, with 86 STM minibuses providing 12% of trips and eight regular and accessible taxi services providing 88% of trips.