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RTL, STM change metro, bus schedules amid coronavirus crisis

STM bus on Pie IX Boulevard.
STM bus on Pie IX Boulevard. Tim Sargeant/Global News

If you are one of the few people in Montreal who has to go out and rely on public transit to get to your destination, make sure you check the schedules in advance.

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has announced it will be reducing its regular bus and metro schedules by 20 per cent amid the coronavirus pandemic as of March 30. That includes bus services associated with Exo train lines.

The Réseau de transport de Longueuil also announced it will reduce its services as of the same date.

READ MORE: Coronavirus patient used public transit in Montreal: Quebec government

The STM says the reason is a dramatic decrease in ridership by 80 per cent for the metro and by 75 per cent for buses.

“It is a temporary measure that will make it possible to ensure the continuity of services, as well as the safety of our customers and employees,” the STM wrote in a press release.

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“These measures are constantly evolving, and will be adjusted according to our customers’ changing needs and the status of our networks.”

Metro service 

Trains on the Orange and Green lines will depart on average every 4 minutes 5 seconds. They currently leave every 3 minutes 20 seconds on average.

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Service offered on the Blue and Yellow lines remains unchanged.

The metro’s operating hours remain unchanged.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Montreal’s STM says it is disinfecting its surfaces daily, to remain in service

Bus service 

A 20 per cent service reduction means the level of service that will compare to summer hours, “with a few targeted improvements,” the transit agency said.

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The 747 line towards Trudeau Airport will also reduce its service.

The transit agency will eliminate or significantly reduce the services not currently in use, such as shuttles, bus lines for schools, and routes serving the Casino and Jean-Drapeau Park, which are all closed during the crisis.

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Paratransit: ‘according to demand’

The demand for paratransit services has also dropped, in this case by 85 per cent. The STM says it has adjusted this service “according to demand.”

Other measures include:

  • A decrease in high-frequency lines, including the “10 minutes max” lines, when ridership observed on these lines allows it
  • Adjustments to lines serving the exo train stations, to take into account the decrease in commuter train service
  • Postponement of mitigation measures planned for the REM work

The STM says it has the capacity to increase operations if necessary.

You can check the STM’s new schedules on its website, app, the AUTOBUS line and SMS.