Drivers who live off the island of Montreal will be paying $50 more per year for their vehicle registration in a bid to bolster train, bus and Metro services.
The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), which approved the regulation on Wednesday, says the tax hike will raise an additional $100 million for public transit.
“It works well,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. “It’s a way of getting revenues and so it is for the suburbs to decide if it’s good for them and this morning they said ‘Yes, let’s go for it.'”
While car owners on the island of Montreal already pay an extra annual fee to register their vehicles, the increase will now be extended to all 82 communities under the CMM’s wing. This includes cities and towns on Montreal’s north and south shores, including Laval, Longueuil and Saint-Jérôme.
It will also apply to communities in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area, including Hudson, Pincourt, Île-Perrot and Saint-Lazare.
The move comes following recommendations from a report tabled by the transportation commission in February. The extra contribution from drivers will help fund public transit projects such as extension of the Montreal Metro and implementing reserved bus lanes.
“As current municipal revenues are largely based on property taxes, new sources are needed to cover the rising costs of maintaining and developing public transit systems,” the CMM said in a statement.
Other Quebec cities such as Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Gatineau are also examining the possibility of increasing vehicle registration fees to help fund public transit in their areas, according to the CMM.
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— With files from Global News’ Amanda Jelowicki and The Canadian Press