Montreal commuters can now reload OPUS cards with a smartphone. Here’s how

Montreal’s regional transit authority launched a new app, called Chrono, which allows users to buy transit fares on their phone. Martin Hazel/Global News

Montreal public transit users can finally reload OPUS cards using a smartphone as of Wednesday.

The city’s regional transit authority launched a new function on its transit app, called Chrono, which allows users to buy transit fares from anywhere with cell service.

Commuters will no longer have to wait in long lines at the Metro or worry about opening hours of service stations.

“For clientele, one of the main irritants of taking public transit is the complexity of buying fares,” said Laval transit authority director general Josée Roy in a statement. “By putting this new function into place, we simplify the purchasing of fares, thereby simplifying the use of public transit to encourage citizens to choose more sustainable transportation.”

Chrono accepts debit, credit cards, Apple Pay and Google pay as payment methods. The app already showed transit users how many fares remained on their OPUS card, but the function to buy tickets was added Wednesday.

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“This makes public transportation even simpler, more efficient and faster. This collaboration with the metropolitan transit authority allows us to better respond to the mobility needs of citizens,” Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.

Montreal is years behind other Canadian cities when it comes to buying transit fares digitally.

Toronto introduced paying for fares online in 2007 and buying fares through the PRESTO app in 2019, according to the Ontario transit agency. Vancouver has had the option to reload transit cards on their website since 2015.

In both Vancouver and Toronto, online services to purchase transit passes did not require any external technology.

In Montreal, an at-home card reader was launched in 2015 to reload monthly passes. It cost $16.66 when it was released on the market. The Chrono app, on the other hand, is free for users.

The OPUS online card reader is no longer available for sale and the service will be discontinued on June 30.

with files from The Canadian Press


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