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STM announces numerous service improvements in 2017 budget

WATCH ABOVE: Montreal's metro system turns 50.

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is promising that its 2017 budget will improve commuters’ experience.

READ MORE: Accessibility activists demonstrate on Montreal metro’s 50th birthday

“Having a bus or metro at the right place at the right time, while having equipment in good working order, those are basic conditions for quality service and the STM understands this well,” said Montreal mayor Denis Coderre.

“The STM has put customers first among its priorities. In fact, this is why we raised our basic contribution to the STM by six per cent.”

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The transit company’s $1.405 billion 2017 budget increases expenses by 0.6% over 2015.

READ MORE: Montreal metro turns 50, what will next 50 years bring?

The aim is to ensure better service during peak periods and a maximum interval of five minutes between trains in the evening.

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The blue line’s operating hours will also be extended by 30 minutes at night, until 00:45 a.m.

The Metro will also stay open all night on Dec. 31.

READ MORE: Montreal metro stations to get overhaul in bid to increase accessibility

“The Montreal Metro will offer a level of service like never before and bus service will also be enhanced in several areas,” said Philippe Schnobb, chairperson of the STM board of directors.

“These improvements will take place without any fare increases in January.”

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In addition, the agglomeration of Montreal has increased its contribution by $25.8 million while the STM plans to invest $23 million in additional services.

READ MORE: Now you can virtually drive a Montreal metro train

About 100,000 hours of service will be added to the bus lines – the most significant increase since 2012 – including 50,000 hours earmarked for mitigation measures related to major roadwork sites around the city.

In addition to improving services, the STM plans to make passenger rides easier by:

  • Introducing 18 AZUR trains, for a total of 30
  • Deploying iBUS with advent of real-time
  • Deploying a mobile network with 10 newly connected station, for a total of 40
  • Establishing new bus priority measures to reach the target of 375 km, including reserved lanes and priority traffic lights
  • Acquiring 107 new, air-conditioned hybrid buses
  • Introducing operational elevators at the Place-d’Armes and Honoré-Beaugrand stations
  • Kicking off the City Mobility project with three fully electric buses on the 36 – Monk line
  • Continuing to refurbish and replace escalators in the metro system
  • Installing 310 new bus shelters
  • Implementing Vision Changeur throughout the Metro system
  • Implementing reminders for Transport adapté customers regarding travel the next day
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rachel.lau@globalnews.ca