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Coronavirus: Gradual return to fare collection, front-door boarding on Montreal area buses

In this file phto, people can be seen boarding an STM bus in downtown Montreal. Front-door boarding will resume gradually as buses are retrofitted with protective screens for drivers. Friday, June 16, 2020.
In this file phto, people can be seen boarding an STM bus in downtown Montreal. Front-door boarding will resume gradually as buses are retrofitted with protective screens for drivers. Friday, June 16, 2020. Tim Sargeant/Global News

The regional transport authority for the Montreal metropolitain area, or ARTM, announced Friday a gradual lifting of COVID-19 lockdown measures and a return to normal fare collection on buses.

The announcement affects buses on the exo networks, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL), Société de transport de Laval, (STL) and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Read more: Coronavirus: STM to provide masks to commuters as Montreal’s reopening looms

While the return to normal will happen over the next few weeks, customers are being warned that they must hold a valid ticket at all times.

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Transport companies are in the process of installing protective screens for drivers which will allow for front-door boarding and with it, on-board fare collection to resume.

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Read more: STM increases cleaning measures amid coronavirus concerns

Once the fleets have been retrofitted with the protective equipment, clients will have to board at the front of the bus, make their payment or validate their tickets and exit at the back.

Back-door exiting will be mandatory except for those with mobility issues.

The STM says fare collection and cash payments for its adapted transport services and the 212 Ste-Anne line will begin on June 29. As for its standard fleet, no specific date has been announced.

The RTL will begin fare collection for para-transit on July 1 and is aiming for mid-July for the rest, while the STL announced it will resume fare collection on Aug. 1.

Click to play video 'Montreal, Laval public transit agencies hand out free masks amid coronavirus pandemic' Montreal, Laval public transit agencies hand out free masks amid coronavirus pandemic
Montreal, Laval public transit agencies hand out free masks amid coronavirus pandemic – May 25, 2020